Weight Loss Help: How to Stop Emotional Eating

Weight Loss Help: How to Stop Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is eating in the absence of hunger because of emotions. Use these descriptions to decide if your hunger is emotional or physical when hunger strikes.

Physical Hunger Signs

Hunger comes on gradually

Do not crave specific foods but may prefer a certain food

Feel like your hunger can wait

You stop eating when you feel full

Emotional Hunger Signs:

Hunger comes on quickly

Crave specific foods

Feel like you must eat immediatly

You continue to eat even after you know you are full or should be full based on the amount of food eaten. 

How to Regain Control Over Your Eating Habits

Eat meals at the same times every day
Eat breakfast at least 1-2 hours after waking up in the morning and plan meals every 4-5 hours with snacks in between if there is physical hunger.

Aim to follow the Eat Well Plate Method.
To keep full eat a fiber-rich meal that emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits and pulses.

Replace your emotional eating habit.
When emotional hunger strikes have a different activity to do instead of eating. Examples include making a cup of hot herbal tea, getting ice water, going for a quick walk, deep breathing or visualization techniques. Research suggests that emotional eating is triggered by visualization of certain foods. Try visualizing something other than food when emotional hunger strikes like a pet, your children or a favorite relaxing environment.

Exercise regularly and get adequate rest.
Your mood is more manageable and your body an more effectively fight stress when it’s fit and well rested. Not getting enough restchanges our hormone levels that control appetite making emotional eating much easier.

If you eat emotionally forgive yourself and move on. Try to learn from the experience and make a plan for how you can prevent it in the future. Focus on the positive changes you’re making in your eating habits and give yourself credit for making changes that ensure better health.

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

Share this article with a friend

Written by a listed nutritionist

Show comments

Related Articles

More articles