Luke Stanaway

Registered Nutritionist

5 Strategies To Stop Emotional Eating And Take Control Of Your Food Choices 

5 Strategies To Stop Emotional Eating And Take Control Of Your Food Choices 

5 Strategies To Stop Emotional Eating And Take Control Of Your Food Choices 

Key Takeways

  • Face your feelings: Address underlying emotions and stressors instead of using food to cope.

  • Consider therapy and counseling for deep-seated emotions.

  • Check-in with emotions: Take time to reflect on emotions and be mindful of the reasons for eating.

  • Find healthy coping mechanisms: Replace emotional eating with other activities such as exercise, journaling, or talking to a friend.

  • Make a plan: Prepare healthy meals and snacks ahead of time to reduce the temptation to reach for unhealthy options during stressful times.

Have you ever reached for a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream after a long day, even though you're not hungry? Emotional eating occurs when we eat to cope with our emotions rather than to satisfy hunger, and it can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. But don't despair; there are ways to break the cycle! Here are some suggestions for reducing emotional eating: 

  1. Face your feelings head-on.

Emotional eating frequently occurs when we do not address our emotions or stressors. If you're feeling stressed out at work, try finding healthy ways to cope. If you are dealing with deep-seated emotions, therapy and counselling can be beneficial. 

  1. Incorporate intentional emotion check-ins.

Make time every day to reflect on your emotions and ask yourself how you're feeling. This awareness can help you stop reaching for food mindlessly. 

  1. Reconnect with your hunger and satiety cues.

Our bodies have cues that tell us when we're hungry and when we're full, but if we don't recognise them, it's easy to eat emotionally when we're not hungry. To better understand your body's cues, pay attention to your hunger and fullness before and after meals. 

  1. Find healthy coping mechanisms for your emotions.

Instead of turning to food to deal with your emotions, try going for a walk, writing in a journal, or talking to a friend. 

  1. Make a plan.

If you know you're going to have a difficult day, plan healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so you're less likely to reach for unhealthy options. 

Remember that it's fine to eat comfort foods or allow emotions to influence your food choices as long as you do so mindfully and in the presence of hunger. By following these guidelines, you can develop a healthy, balanced relationship with food and avoid emotional eating.