How To Stop Emotional Eating Habits

Are you struggling with emotional eating?

I think at some point we all do.

Many of us turn to food for comfort in a time of emotional need.

Emotional eating is using food to suppress your feelings. You might feel stressed, sad, lonely or even bored. These are all reasons you might find yourself binge eating.

You find yourself turning to food for comfort instead of dealing with the emotional part of it.

You can manage your emotional eating habits and beat food cravings with a few tricks to regain control. 7 tips to help you stop emotional eating habits.

Sure, sweets at the moment may feel good but your real problem is still there after you have treated yourself.

This becomes a very unhealthy cycle and can seriously impact your weight loss efforts.

You’ll find yourself over eating and consuming higher calorie (feel good) foods.

The good news is you can manage your emotional eating habits and beat food cravings with a few tricks to regain control.

Here are 7 ways you can stop emotional eating:


1 – Figure Out Your Why

In order to stop emotional eating habits, you need to figure out why you are emotionally eating in the first place.

Emotional eating is often called mindless eating or stress eating.

Mindless eating is exactly how it sounds mindless. It’s an unconscious habit that you do not even realize you are doing.

For example, you are watching TV and have a snack to go along with your downtime. Before you know it, you’ve eaten an entire bag of chips or carton of ice cream.

Stress eating is a little different. It is used as a coping mechanism. You are replacing your emotion with food to cope.

No good comes out of this since you are not actually dealing with the problem at hand instead you are replacing it with another.

When you figure out exactly why you are emotionally eating you can create a plan on how to fix it.


2- Healthy Distractions

Instead of reaching for food you can beat food cravings by finding healthy distractions such as working out or working on a hobby.

If you are lacking the motivation to exercise start out small.

Go for a light walk even if it is just around the block.

Once you start the habit of exercising you will get those endorphins going and gain momentum.

Working out is a great way to control stress and it does wonders for your mental clarity.

The goal is to find something to keep busy that makes you feel good.

Related: How Working Out Can Improve Your Mental Health


3 – Keep A Food Diary

A food diary can be a huge eye opener to some.

When you write down exactly what you are eating you will see what you are actually consuming and when.

There are many apps to help with this such as MyFitnessPal.

You can log in what you are eating to show you how many calories you are in taking.

Maybe you are eating the wrong foods or maybe it is the time of day that you might be binging because you are more hungry.

Plan around this by realizing when your triggers are.

If you consume most of your calories in the afternoon, try to eat a little more earlier in the day to keep you full.

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4 – Reduce Your Stress

Stress is probably the number one reason you can not stop emotional eating.

When a person is under a large amount of stress their cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) tend to rise.

When that happens your body will naturally crave sweets or salty foods. Then you give in to that craving and it turns into a cycle of bad habits.

Try to eliminate the extra stress in your life if you can.

If not, find a healthy way to blow off extra stress.

There are many ways you can do this!

Yoga or mediation is a great option for some.

Or maybe you need that higher intensity to blow off steam. Strength training or a HIIT session is my go to when I have more stress than normal.

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5 – Healthier Versions

If you find yourself reaching for unhealthy things often try switching them out for healthier options instead.

For a sweet craving try fruits with Tropical Pineapple Dip or dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

If it is salty foods you are craving try having some popcorn or nuts.

There are many lower calorie options of your favorite foods out there.


6 – Look For Support

We all need a good support system for certain aspects of our lives.

Fine your tribe.

When you have the support of friends or family it is easier to stop emotional eating habits.


7 – Seek Professional Help

If all else fails turn to professional help.

Many people do not take this route because they might feel ashamed.

Don’t! Your mental health is very important!

There are professionals out there for a reason.

Therapy or support groups can help you understand why you are emotionally eating and help you develop the right coping skills to overcome it.

Emotional eating often comes from another underlying problem that a professional therapist can help you figure out.

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You can manage your emotional eating habits and beat food cravings with a few tricks to regain control. 7 tips to help you stop emotional eating habits.

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