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What To Do About Emotional Eating


How do you know if emotional eating is an issue for you? It is if you live with perpetual stress and often eat out of boredom. Some digestive symptoms, including persistent bloating, weight gain, daytime tiredness, brain fog, and overthinking, could indicate that you are struggling with emotional eating.


And if you are, what can you do about it?


You can start tracking your digestive symptoms and become mindful of your “cue-reward” loop around eating. And you can start one or more of these practices.

1. Join a support group

Accountability is the name of the game. By involving others in your goal, you will put more skin in the game and will be more likely to keep your word.


Besides helping you with accountability, groups can be a source of support. It is highly likely that other members have had experiences similar to yours. Knowing this can help you feel less alone in your struggles.


Groups and communities can be a source of all sorts of support that will keep you motivated.

2. Take the mindful approach

Mindful eating is a great technique to help you overcome emotional eating. There is also a way to mindfully observe yourself during your cue-reward loops that is both quick and effective. This technique can help you get to the root of your problems and come up with solutions to cure them.


Observe yourself during your cue-reward loops:

  1. Observe what drew you to whatever you ended up eating.

  2. Was it a planned meal or snack break?

  3. What were you doing or feeling when you felt hungry?

  4. Did you feel satiated after eating?

  5. Did you have guilt related to what or how much you ate afterward?

First, you want to see yourself as a spectator, and next as a researcher.


For a few days, do nothing but observe yourself within your loop. You don’t want to write anything down, make any judgments, or do anything but be an observer.


Next, you want to take some notes. In research terms, you will be tracking data. Use a journal or food tracker to write down what you observe about a number of things you want to track.


If this mindful exercise helps you to acknowledge what you get (or hope to get) from the foods you eat, it will be a success. The point of doing this is not to fix the issue of emotional eating but to give you the motivation to do so

3. Work on your shit (err problems)

We know that our environment affects our behavior. How about changing where you eat? To help you control emotional eating, make it a habit to have dinner at the table, and when you can, eat lunch away from your desk.


Eating in a new environment, especially in a space dedicated to eating, creates food discipline and over time, makes it easier to manage emotional eating.

4. Care for yourself

If we learned one thing during the Covid-19 lockdown, it is that being stuck in the house for a long time makes us eat more, leading to weight gain.


Make a habit of getting out of the house most days. Even if it’s just going for a walk to the park, or taking a ride to your friend's house. Try to do something active as well as to counter the effects of too much sitting.

5. Get out of the house

Whenever your mind is busy and focused on something that you like, you won’t have those emotional cravings that are so bad for you in the long term. You can be sure of that. Knitting, decorating, gardening, writing, or vlogging are home-based hobbies that will keep your mind and hands occupied.


Who knows? Maybe you can turn your hobby into a second income stream as so many people are doing.

6. Get a home-based hobby

Whenever your mind is busy and focused on something that you like, you won’t have those emotional cravings that are so bad for you in the long term. You can be sure of that.

Knitting, decorating, gardening, writing, or vlogging are home-based hobbies that keep your mind and hands occupied.

Who knows? Maybe you can turn your hobby into a second income stream as so many people are doing.

7. Tame your stress

Have a daily stress management practice. Yoga, meditation, tai chi, and reading are some good options. Since stress is the number one trigger for emotional eating, these practices will release stress and satisfy physiological needs we often confuse with hunger.


A daily stress management practice will help you to fight stress buildup.

9. Fight boredom

There are so many things you can do to not let boredom take up space in your life. As one of the most common reasons for emotional eating, boredom shouldn’t be chronic.


Boredom eating tends to consist of a lot of snacks… a lot of eating on autopilot. Most boredom eaters can't recall what they ate for lunch the day before or any other day of the week.


If boredom is the main trigger for your overeating, you will have to make an effort to get out more.


  1. Get a life.

  2. Use this mindful technique to help you differentiate between feelings of hunger and boredom: Ask yourself “Am I hungry or bored?” before you eat anything.

  3. Line up a few everyday activities that you can reach for instead of food: a home-based hobby, for example.

10. Use a full-length mirror

Do you know about the mirror exercise? To do it, you stare at yourself naked every day for a week. It might feel weird, but this is a great exercise that can help you to connect with your body, which overeaters have a tendency to hide.


This exercise can train you to care for and enjoy your body, instead of hiding from it and hating it. Because you’re looking at your body regularly, you’ll see the weight creeping on sooner.

11. Learn to cook 2-3 quick and healthy dishes

If you don’t know how to cook healthy meals, you’ll always go for what’s quick and easy, and all too often, not good for you.


Take the time to learn at least a couple of healthy dishes that are quick and easy to make and tasty to eat. Once you see how great these foods taste, you might lose your appetite for junk food.

12. Follow healthy eating influencers

Seeing how other people live healthy lives can be a great motivator. Find 2 or 3 influencers in the healthy eating niche and follow them to see how they eat and snack. The food choices they make can be your daily reminder that healthy eating can be fun… and make you look better.

We hope these tips help you begin to work on your emotional eating and try to remove it from your life.


If there’s anything you’d like to know, leave a comment down below, and share this post with someone that needs to read it.


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