Emotional eating is experienced by 27% adults in their lifetime. 30% decide to skip a meal. Either way emotional eating or not eating is a way of handling emotions as an adult. And learning how to stop emotional eating a big question.

A lot of you went to school and learnt good manners, some exercises, mathematics, arts and sciences. But you never learned how to handle your emotions. Do not cry. Do not laugh loud.

Do not express how you feel to others. Keep your feelings to yourself. You are too sensitive. You have heard a lot of these ways of handling emotions in your life. I can tell, it has not helped you.

Adulthood and in some cases teenage struck and you realized life threw you a lot of curve-balls. You were not sure how to handle those. You looked forward to eating the bowl of ice-cream with your favorite TV show and decided to numb yourself.

Maybe you decided you feel more warmth in the food you loved than sharing feelings with people who cared about you. You were tired of their judgement.

My wake-up call

In my case, I realized this a little later. I was naturally thin looking and I never really knew that I was binge eating and it was affecting me. Until I found myself in an emergency room with an unexpected gall bladder attack.

They told me a person who undergoes gall bladder surgery is never so small as I was. They were shocked. I was apparently skinny FAT.

The trauma of the attack, the removal surgery led me to a new path of looking at food in a whole new way. It was not immediately that I have curbed emotional eating.

It took me years since then to become aware through a series of processes about how I handle my emotions and use food to self-sabotage my body and my health.

My certification journey in Mindfulness and Neuro-Linguistics Programming, as well as my weight loss and mindfulness and intentional intuitive eating journey, helped me understand how to handle emotions effectively and how to become more aware of the emotional triggers I had and also how to deal with them more maturely.

In this guide, I am sharing with you tips and tricks to get started on your own journey from Emotional Eating To Emotional Health, Mindful and Intentional Intuitive Eating.

What is Emotional Eating?

Emotional eating is eating in response to stressful, difficult feelings when not experiencing physical hunger. It shows up as a craving for high sugar, high carbs, high-calorie foods.

Furthermore, people who eat emotionally tend to eat food to fill an emotional void. They also are known to connect food with their feelings, positive or negative.

If you eat emotionally, you might constantly choose junk food over healthy food.

How to stop emotional eating?

  1. The first step to stop emotional eating is to become aware of your tendencies in emotional eating. Do you constantly find yourself reaching for sugary cookies? Do you tend to eat fast food a lot? Are you currently stressed?
  2. It is always a good idea to use your health care provider as well to make sure you are not diagnosed with depression, bulimia or any other distinctive mental health disorders. In those cases, you may need extra help and only using my advice will not work. Please always ask your healthcare provider before following any advice on the internet.
  3. Awareness is key to solve any issue, especially emotional. Getting to know the triggers that cause you to pick the high-calorie food is essential next step. Look at this post that mentions common triggers that cause emotional eating.  Once you are aware of your emotional triggers and emotional issues, there are 3 more steps involved in helping yourself stop emotional eating.
  4. Learning how to handle your emotions and process them is essential. As I mentioned earlier, we are not taught this normally in any school, house or social set up. We have learned this by observing. And if we have not seen parents or our caretakers cope their emotions healthily, it is a great chance we do not know how. In my 1:1 and group coaching program, I teach my clients healthy ways to cope with the difficult emotions that they can use by themselves at home and also teach their kids and family.
  5. To find healthy substitutes to your cravings and detoxing your body from all the unhealthy substances that you have consumed.

It is always a good idea to use your health care provider as well to make sure you are not diagnosed with depression, bulimia or any other distinctive mental health disorders. In those cases, you may need extra help and only using my advice will not work.

Please always ask your healthcare provider before following any advice on the internet. This guide is a general guideline that has worked for me effectively to curb my cravings and emotional eating.

I am not a doctor, nutritionist or a therapist so please do not consider my advice as medical or legal advice. For people who need extra help medically should use this guide only as an add-on to your existing help.

Tips for Success in Curbing Emotional Eating

  • Accountability is key when it comes to finding success in curbing emotional eating. A coach like me, an accountability partner or your friends or family who know how to help you will be all great to help you feel accountable to manage your emotions better and keep away from stuffing your emotions with food.
  • Keeping the right company helps when you are trying to do anything healthy. If you have friends or family members that themselves have emotional eating problems or cannot help themselves with their emotions, it is quite possible that you will not be able to receive the help you need from them.
  • Finding your bigger why helps. Finding the main reason behind why you want to stop your unhealthy eating patterns, help your emotions will help you find the inner accountability and motivation to create new habits that take time to develop and stick.

Common Questions/FAQ About Curbing Emotional Eating

  • How to stop emotional eating from stress?

Become aware of triggers and creating new ways instead of eating as a response to stress.

Become pro-active in planning responses and practicing their uses

Change connection to food as a source of nourishment and not as a source of enjoyment or activity during boredom

  • What activities can replace emotional eating?
  • Healthy Foods in Limited Quantities
  • Exercising
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Reiki
  • Fun activities of your choice
  • Emotional Healing Coaching and possible therapy
  • What are some common emotional eating triggers?
  • Discomfort
  • Happiness and Joy
  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • Habit

Learn more about 7 Emotional Triggers That Make You Eat And What To Do Instead Here.

  • How can you tell true hunger from emotional hunger? Sometimes when people are too involved into emotional eating it is hard to recognize emotional hunger vs true hunger. Ask yourself if you could eat a broccoli right now? If you answer is yes, it is true hunger. If not, it is emotional.
  • Sometimes thirst is mistaken as hunger as well. Make sure to keep drinking recommended 8 glasses of water daily. It is also a good practice to listen to your body. Is your stomach growling. Do you feel an emptiness in your stomach? Do you feel like you have a headache? Our feelings can definitely act as our guides in this journey.
  • How to avoid eating when bored or extremely tired?

If you are watching TV or doing nothing, find an activity to complete.

People are highly sleep deprived lately. Give yourself permission to lie down and nap or go to sleep.

If you cannot get your mind off of something, find a good book to read. Maybe journal your thoughts or start a blog. Eating at regular times daily helps you to build a habit and helps you feel full. This will help you avoid snacking.

Calling your friend on phone, speaking to your coach, going for a walk, playing with your child or pet, are all good ideas.

  • What are most common foods people eat when emotional?
  • Salty Foods
  • Sugary Foods
  • Fatty Foods
  • High-Carb, High Calorie Foods
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Sodas and Carbonated Drinks
  • Caffeinated Drinks
  • Snack Foods Like Chips, Chocolate

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The Last Thing You Need to Know about Curbing Emotional Eating

Learning to curb your emotional eating is less about losing weight and more about loving your body and learning mature ways to handle your stress and your emotions.

Besides, it is a process that takes self-care, accountability and a lot of love and patience from you towards you. It is easy to get started but you need to bring yourself all in to get invested in this process for your own benefit.

In fact, weight loss could be a healthy side effect of curbing emotional eating but you being able to process those worries, emotions, and anxiety that always hang around is a bigger plus.