5 Ways to Stop Emotional Eating

Oct 18 2023
https://d2gtpjxvvd720b.cloudfront.net/assets/emails/question@2x-a02b76db47a4ac32799e8b19315b3cbf.png Dear Hungry Girl,

I am a total emotional eater. I eat when I'm stressed, sad, angry... You name it! Do you have any advice on how I can stop this habit?

Emo Eater
https://d2gtpjxvvd720b.cloudfront.net/assets/emails/answer@2x-5ee5d524b01e4c5483f379894f2fa825.png Hi Emo Eater,

You're not alone. Emotional eating is extremely common. While I’m not a nutritionist or therapist, I do know what’s worked for me, the Hungry Girl team, and members of the Hungry Girl community. Here are some strategies you may find helpful…

Identify your emotions. First things first: Figure out what feelings are driving you to eat. When you find yourself about to reach for food, ask yourself if you're truly hungry or if you're just looking for comfort. If it's the former, go ahead and eat something healthy and satisfying. If it's the latter, try to identify the feeling that's behind your need to feed. Are you anxious? Lonely? Frustrated?

Pick up a pen. Once you've determined the underlying emotion, put your feelings down on paper (or just grab your phone, and type a note to yourself). It can be cathartic to write about what's bugging you, and it could give you that comfort you're really after. Bonus? If you're annoyed with someone, you can vent about it privately... much smarter than lashing out or eating over it!

Find a better coping mechanism. Once you know what emotions are causing you to crave food when you're not actually hungry, you can figure out tactics to combat them. For example, if you eat when you're lonely, call a pal to talk or grab coffee with. If stress is a trigger, try a calming activity like drawing (I love this rainbow scratch art), or pop in a yoga DVD.

Don't beat yourself up if you do some emotional eating. Be kind to yourself! We all slip up now and then. By being tough on yourself, more negative emotions will boil up, leading you right back to where you started. It's time to end this vicious cycle! Give your inner self a hug, and get right back on track.

Remove temptation. If you know you can eat an entire box of donuts in one sitting, try to keep them out of the house. If crunchy snacks like chips and pretzels are your downfall, skip them altogether or choose better-for-you alternatives. Keep a stash of healthier indulgences, like fresh fruit (when you're craving sweets) and cut veggies with salsa (when you need to crunch). This way, even if your emotions do lead you to eat, you'll be fueling up with nutritious food.

You've got this!

This Week’s Hungry Girl Podcast: The Healthy Skeptic Returns!

Our buddy Robert J. Davis, PhD, (aka The Healthy Skeptic) is back on the Hungry Girl: Chew the Right Thing! podcast. This time, Robert and Lisa tackle health questions like…

⭑ Are all carbs created equal?
⭑ Do certain medications cause weight gain?
⭑ Is naturally occurring sugar just as bad for you as added sugar?

…and much more!

Also available on your phone’s podcast app. Subscribe so you never miss an episode!

Chew on this:

Good news: Today (October 18th) is National Chocolate Cupcake Day! Instead of a cupcake, try this portion-controlled mug cake: It’s our Yum Yum Chocolate Cake Mug!

Share this emotional eating info with people you care about.


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