Emotional eating is eating to feed your emotional needs instead of eating to fuel your body. You may feel comforted in the moment, but in the end food can't solve your underlying emotional needs. Recognize that emotional eating tends to be automatic and very mindless. It can happen before you even realize what you're doing. Read on to learn more about emotional eating, how it is driven by emotional hunger, and what you can do to manage it.
Take a moment to pause and reflect when you are hit with a craving. Give yourself the opportunity to make a different decision if needed.
Can you put off eating for 5 minutes, or perhaps start with 1 minute? While you are waiting, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What is going on emotionally? If the craving hasn't passed, decide whether or not you’d like to give in or choose an alternative snack or activity.
Repeat this exercise as often as necessary to build an awareness around your emotional eating.
Note: It's always a good idea to make an appointment with a healthcare provider (e.g. Psychologist or Psychiatrist) if your symptoms become unmanageable. Contact Work/Life Connections for support in finding a therapist.
- van Strien T. Causes of Emotional Eating and Matched Treatment of Obesity. Curr Diab Rep. 2018;18(6). doi:10.1007/s11892-018-1000-x
- Lifestyle and Managing Stress. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/preventing-illness/lifestyle-and-managing-stress
- Eating Is Emotional. National Eating Disorders Association. Published February 28, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/eating-emotional
- Hippie Chocolate Bark - Taste Love and Nourish. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.tasteloveandnourish.com/hippie-chocolate-bark/
- Turmeric latte recipe | BBC Good Food. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/turmeric-latte