How To Stop Emotional Eating

I’m teaching a lunch and learn today on Busting Stress & Boosting Happiness, and one of the topics we’re talking about is how to stop emotional eating.

I don’t profess to never have reached for something chocolatey when I feel stressed or tired, but over the last few years have really tried to implement the below strategy and find it works really well.

First of all, it's worth thinking about why are you experiencing the craving in the first place. While cravings can be hugely related to what you’re eating (and I’ve talked about that here), they can also be emotional. Doreen Virtue, PhD, published a book, Constant Cravings, connecting emotions with specific food groups. Take this with a grain of salt, of course, however I think there’s something to it. Do any of them resonate with you?

Image credit: Constant Cravings

Recognizing that your craving is 100% emotional and not real hunger is half the battle. 

Here is my 7 step process for stopping your emotional eating:

  1. Ask yourself if you’re truly hungry
  2. Ask yourself what emotion you’re feeling
  3. Ask yourself how you will feel one hour after eating the food you’re craving
  4. Take some deep breaths (a 10 minute Headspace will totally help!)
  5. Change your scenery (go for a walk or get outside)
  6. Make a cup of herbal tea
  7. Write it down (grab your journal)

For me, asking myself how I’ll feel after indulging in that food often does the trick. Why would I want to eat something that actually leaves me feeling worse afterwards? Grabbing a cup of herbal tea is also effective, because it gives you something to sip on and often tastes a bit fruity/sweet.

Often times, a craving can be a sign of low energy. I've got a series of posts & resources coming up all around energy, so stay tuned for that!

Finally, if you found this useful, please share this post with your friends!

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