What Is Emotional Eating And How To Stop It?

Do you look forward to certain foods when you’re stressed or upset? If yes, you are not alone. It’s called emotional eating, and everyone does it sometimes.

Emotional eating is when you eat in response to stress or other emotions. Although common, regular exercise can lead to eating disorders and affect both mental and physical health.


What Causes Emotional Eating?

Work stress can lead to eating disorders. (Photo via Pexels/energepic.com)
Work stress can lead to eating disorders. (Photo via Pexels/energepic.com)

Anything can lead to food cravings, but some common reasons include:

  • Work or personal life stress
  • health problems
  • social influence
  • boredom
  • childhood habits
  • feelings of emptiness
  • financial problems
  • emotional dysregulation
  • alexithymia

How to stop emotional eating

Although breaking the habit can be difficult, there are ways that can help you. Below are some effective tips to help you deal with emotional eating:

1) Keep a food diary

Keeping a food journal is an effective way to cope with emotional eating. Write down everything you eat throughout the day along with when and where to track your eating habits and habits.

A food journal can help you identify your eating habits and can also help you determine your fitness goals.

2) Don’t get bogged down in counting calories

If you are trying to change a lifestyle habit, such as B. Stress eating, don’t get bogged down in calories, dieting, or menu planning as these can distract you from achieving your changes. Studies have shown that getting too involved in dieting or counting calories can lead to more cravings.

Also Read: Top 5 Heart Healthy Foods to Include in Your Diet.


3) Keep away from snacking and binge eating

Stay away from snacks and unhealthy foods. (Photo via Pexels/Craig Adderley)
Stay away from snacks and unhealthy foods. (Photo via Pexels/Craig Adderley)

Make a strict shopping list and follow it wholeheartedly. Remove all binge eating items from your environment and stick to a healthy diet. While this may be difficult, it will surely stop your urge to eat unhealthy things.


4) Move your body

A good sweaty workout is sure to help you overcome emotional eating. Exercise is an effective way to manage anxiety and reduce stress hormones in the body. In addition, it releases endorphins and gives your mood a boost of energy while managing the underlying triggers of emotional eating.


5) Meditation can help

If the urge for emotional eating throws you off, start meditating and try to distract your mind. Studies show that meditation can help fight the urges that trigger eating disorders and also reduce stress. Just focus on your breathing and relax your mind.


6) Communicate with loved ones or your therapist

Communication can relieve stress and anxiety. (Photo via Pexels/Alex Green)
Communication can relieve stress and anxiety. (Photo via Pexels/Alex Green)

Don’t be afraid to discuss your eating habits with loved ones or a therapist.

They may be able to help you identify what exactly is causing the stress and also help you overcome it. Health professionals may be able to offer therapy and life lessons on how to manage anxiety and stress.


Eating may feel like the best way to conquer your emotions, but remember that if not stopped at the right time, it can become an eating disorder. Practice meditation; exercise regularly and seek professional help if you are not getting on with your habits.

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