How to End Emotional Eating: 4 Tips to Stop Emotional Eating for Good!
Do you struggle with emotional eating? If you do, you are NOT alone!!!
This is probably the #1 thing I hear about when ladies are struggling with their weight loss. If you DO struggle with emotional eating, I wanted to give you a few tips to help you end emotional eating for good!
First of all, what IS emotional eating? Let’s distinguish physical hunger from emotional eating.
Physical hunger is having a great need for food and/or a severe lack of food. It’s an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach caused by the need for food, which causes a strong desire to eat something. It’s important to note that hunger does not have a palette, meaning when you’re physically hungry, ANY food will do.
Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better. In this case, you’re eating to fill emotional needs rather than fill an empty stomach. It’s important to note that emotional eating fills up a DIFFERENT kind of empty. Ways that people eat emotionally might be using food as a reward, to celebrate, when you’re upset, lonely, stressed, angry, exhausted, or bored.
So before you eat something, it’s important that you stop and ask yourself if you’re truly hungry? Or are you engaging in emotional eating?
How can you tell if you’re emotionally eating?
- It’s hard to find food that satisfied you, so you don’t stop eating when you’re full. You may find yourself eating foods you don’t’ even like.
- Cravings are triggered by an emotion, like boredom, anger, or anxiety
- You eat when you aren’t physically hungry. Check in with yourself—when was the last time you ate? Was it at least 3 hours ago? Is your tummy grumbling?
- Emotional eating typically leads to mindless eating. Have you ever sat down to eat with a bag of chips and ate the entire thing without really paying attention to it or even enjoying it?
- Emotional eating often leads to guilt, shame, or regret. When you eat to satisfy physical hunger, you’re unlikely to feel guilty or ashamed because you’re just giving your body what it needs. So if you do feel guilty after you eat, it’s likely because you know that you’re not eating because your body physically needs food.
So if you eat emotionally, how do you CHANGE your behavior?
Here are some tips on How To End Emotional Eating:
There are a lot of different ways, but let’s start with a few tips that you can implement TODAY.
Step 1 to End Emotional Eating: Be aware of the emotion you’re experiencing.
Identify the trigger. What happened just before you noticed your sudden cravings? What were you thinking about? Identify the feeling/emotion. What were you feeling?
Replace the food with an alternate comfort source. What else can you use to self-soothe or comfort to counter and acknowledge the feelings you’re experiencing while waiting? Engage in a healthier behavior that makes you feel amazing, knowing that two hours from now you can go back and have that food.
“Oftentimes emotional eaters have no sense of when they’re hungry for full,” says Danielle Shelov, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in eating issues. “The best way to stop feeding our feelings is to let ourselves feel them.”
Step 2 to End Emotional Eating: Reschedule your eating
Rescheduling is the technique we are going to discuss today because there are a lot of things we CAN reschedule. We give ourselves permission to put off things until a later time. When we do this, we are reminded that we have CHOICES and we feel EMPOWERED in the process, rather than deprived, like we feel in most diets.
If you knew that you could reschedule something and come back to it later, and not lose anything in doing so, would you feel relieved? When we reschedule something we understand that it means we don’t need to do it right now, but we CAN do it later without experiencing a loss.
Having the reminder that we have choices without a consequence lowers the worry, fear, anxiety, and the feelings and emotions that cause us to impulsively eat in the first place.
The goal is to avoid feeling punished in the process. Because eating healthy and treating your body right is a treat—diets are punishment.
So let’s start rescheduling moments in which you feel the need to eat emotionally. No one is going to take away your chocolate or chips. I just want to give you a sense of experiencing the reward that comes with waiting and still receiving what you need, which will give you that sense of control that you’re seeking in this process of change.
You’ve rescheduled your appointment to eat and when the two hours is over, ask yourself if you truly still want it. And if the need to indulge in the same way is still there, give yourself permission to do so.
Step 3 to End Emotional Eating: Watch your Language
Let’s talk about mindset and the words that we speak over ourselves. I truly believe that words have power! What you speak about yourself ends up becoming your reality!
Do you tell yourself that you’re an emotional eater? Or that that’s behavior that you’d never engage in?
Let me tell you—I definitely was an emotional eater, but I just changed my mindset. I started telling myself that I can’t eat when I’m stressed out, or I lose my appetite when I’m anxious.
Guess what? That’s legit what happened. When Hurricane Irma came, I was way too anxious to eat (insane) because that’s what I told myself, which ended up becoming my reality.
Try this: Next time you speak negative words over yourself, catch it! Switch it to something positive!!
Example: I always eat when I’m anxious -> When I’m anxious I lose my appetite.
Step 4 to End Emotional Eating: Practice Self Care
A lot of times we experience anxious or stressed out emotions because we just don’t take time for ourselves! Make it a habit to practice some self-care. I know you’re busy, but by taking care of you, you’ll be able to give more to others. Kind of like putting your oxygen mask on first when you’re on an airplane.
- Start a morning routine. I go over what I do in this post.
- Meditate. I love Tony Robbins Priming Exercise, or the apps Calm or Headspace
- Stop and actually breathe!!! When was the last time you took a deep breath? Set reminders on your phone throughout the day to stop and take 10 deep breaths.
- Read a good book.
- Go for a walk.
- Call a friend.
- Take a bath.
- Drink some tea or a cappuccino (ok you can have a glass of wine too lol)
- Get a mani/massage
- Put on some makeup and get dressed up
- Try some yoga
- Exercise!!! The ultimate self-care! Get moving!
- Play with a puppy. Puppies help everything lol!!!
If you know you struggle with emotional eating and you are ready to dive deep into breaking the chains and achieving total food freedom, The Food Freedom Project is launching September 28th!
You’ll get the tools you need to reach your goals and MORE. The wait list is filling up so make sure you get on. NO MORE DIETS—we are here to help you be lean and healthy for life!!
Get on the waitlist here.
Comment below: Do you struggle with emotional eating? Will you try one of these techniques?
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” Tony Robbins
PS. Be sure to join my free healthy online community! Join here.
Wonderful article…spot on…thank you
you’re welcome!! =)