How to Control Your Emotional Eating


Everyone deals with their emotions in different ways. Some people just let them all out, some go shopping, some hold it all in until they explode. Sadly, some turn to alcohol, drugs, or other dangerous vices.

Although, emotional eating isn’t as dangerous as those in the last sentence, it can turn into an unhealthy problem and for those who are trying to lose weight, it can be the one wall that stops them in their tracks.

Whether you are eating out of boredom, to fill a void, or to make yourself feel better, we usually don’t head for the produce in our refridgerator. Our emotional eating is the most unhealthy eating possible. I’m talking cakes, cookies, chips, donuts, double chili cheese corn dogs, and deep fried cheese sticks. These foods are so high in calories that we can often eat our daily allowed calories in one sitting.

Tips to Overcome Emotional Eating

  • Distract Yourself– When we are reaching for a yummy chocolate brownie, we are trying to distract ourselves from the bad emotions we are experiencing. So, try to find something else to distract you instead, something that will keep your hands busy and keep your mind occupied. Knitting, gardening, painting, and model cars are great ideas to use.
  • Find an Outlet– Emotions are like volcanoes, they can errupt without notice. When we have ways to let out our emotions on a regular basis, erruptions happen less often, and we are more in control. Examples of emotional outlets include journaling, singing, art, music, poetry, group therapy, or maybe even regular visits with a good friend that knows how to listen. Society can be hard on those trying to share their emotions but suppressing them will only turn you into something you are ashamed of.
  • Find Inner Peace– Stress is a major contributing factor to emotional eating. Treat yourself to some ubber relaxing moments to help relieve stress without the use of food. Candlelight bubble baths, aromatherapy, yoga, massage, meditation, relaxation music; these are all wonderful ways to let loose and unwind.
  • Nighty Night!- Emotional and binge eating can be at its peak when our body is lacking energy because we aren’t caught up on our sleep. Making sure you get enough sleep can not only give you more energy throughout the day, but it will also help you to resist that extra doughnut at work and order a salad instead of a cheeseburger at lunch.
  • Allow for Occasional Treats– Sometimes our emotional eating comes from the fact that we are depriving ourselves of foods that we love and our minds are constantly wanting what we can’t have. Allowing for an occasional treat will help to keep you from binge eating and make you feel less deprived.
  • Fat Proof Your House– When you are trying to eat healthy, don’t stock your cupboards with foods that will counteract your intentions. Don’t let temptations get the best of you, keep them away from you! “Out of sight and out of mind” fits very well into this situation.
  • Get Help- Sometimes our emotional eating problem is bigger than we think. We may have some deep routed emotional issues to deal with. Don’t be ashamed of conquering those with the help of a professional.
Crystal is our new weight loss expert and we're excited to have her on board! She offers her perspective in a new regular opinion column. Crystal is a professional health and fitness writer with expertise in the diet, weight loss, nutrition, fitness, and health related fields. She is also a certified personal trainer, former owner of HotMommas Fitness Bootcamp in NW Washington, and a mother of five.