How to Deal with Emotional Eating


How to Deal with Emotional Eating


Emotional eating usually means overeating as a response to negative emotions rather than being hungry. This may be because food can be associated with providing some comfort when under pressure, stressed, anxious or experiencing other negative emotions – which leads some foods to be known as ‘comfort foods’.

Nutritionist believes that emotional overeating can lead to a vicious cycle –   where it causes weight gain – which in turn can affect self-esteem and body image.


How to tell the difference between real hunger and emotional hunger?

Experts say emotional hunger is more likely to

  • Begin quickly, needing instant satisfaction
  • Involves a desire for specific foods, such as sugary or high fat food
  • Continue after you are full
  • Make you feel bad about what you’ve just eaten.


What helps to stop emotional eating

  • Keeping a food diary to track what you’ve been eating alongside what was happening or going through your mind at the time can help identify what triggers emotional eating.
  • Knowing what these triggers are can help you break the emotional eating habits and deal with triggers instead of turning to food.
  • It can help to find pleasurable alternatives to eating and to distract yourself from the trigger feelings.


These might help as well:

  • Read a book or magazine, listen to music
  • Taking exercise, even a walk
  • Have a relaxing bath
  • Try deep breathing exercises or meditation
  • Talk to a friend, or write a letter or email
  • Get stuck into jobs around the home, like housework or gardening
  • Enjoy a hobby
  • Learn to enjoy non-food rewards – such as shopping away from food shops.



I hope you’ve found these tips useful, but if you need further in depth professional advice about this, then please get in touch to book an appointment today. I look forward to meeting with you soon!



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