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How to Stop Emotional Eating

Do you ever feel the need to eat when you are stressed out? At one time or another, people may experience emotional eating. Emotional eating is a pattern of eating when people use food to cope with stressful situations. Whether you’re having a bad day at the office or are about to take a test at school, some people turn to “comfort” foods to help alleviate the stress. While indulging yourself occasionally when under stress is normal, overeating regularly is not. Overeating leads to weight gain and other physical and mental health issues.


Emotional eating may simply occur out of habit or it may have inconspicuous triggers such as boredom, fatigue, and certain social situations. If you notice yourself reaching for a snack for any of these reasons when you are not physically hungry, you could be emotional eating.


It can be difficult to stop eating when you are under stress, but there are many methods available to help you recognize when you are emotional eating and how to stop. To help you stop stress eating, try the following tips:


  • Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat and how you feel when you are eating it. This way, you can see how many times you are eating because of stress.
  • Tame your stress. When you experience negative emotions that trigger emotional eating, try to calm down through yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.
  • Give your hunger a reality check. When you feel the need to eat, stop and think. Are you truly hungry or do you just want to eat?
  • Get support. When you are feeling stressed, talk it out with family or friends. This can help you feel better and you will not have the need to eat.
  • Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you are bored, try a different activity. You can go for a walk, call a friend, play with your pet, or watch a movie to name a few. This will take your mind off food and make you feel better.
  • Avoid temptation. Do not keep hard-to-resist foods in the house and do not go grocery shopping when you feel the need to eat; you will end up buying foods high in fat and calories.


By following these steps, you can break the habit of emotional eating and get back on track with your daily life. Do not forget to reach out to family and friends for help. With the right tools and support you can conquer stress eating and enjoy your life!