emotional eating

Emotional Eating and 8 Easy Ways to Manage It

If you’re reading this, you likely want to know more about emotional eating. And that’s totally understandable–emotional eating can be really harmful, both physically and mentally. But first, what is emotional eating? Emotional eating is when you consume foods or drinks to comfort or soothe yourself.

But why is emotional eating so harmful?

Well, for starters, emotional eating is often associated with weight gain and obesity. In fact, research has shown that people who emotionally overeat often have a higher BMI than those who don’t overeat emotionally.

It is also linked to several other health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even anxiety and panic disorders.

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What are the Different Types of Emotional Eating?

There are three different types of emotional eating related to:




Stress is a common cause of emotional eating. When we are under stress, it’s difficult to regulate our emotions. This can lead to increased levels of stress hormones, which can trigger cravings for comfort foods.

In addition, when we are bored or stressed, we may turn to comfort foods to escape our feelings. Emotional eating may also be associated with feelings like sadness or anger. When these emotions are not well-regulated, they can lead to cravings for unhealthy foods and behaviors. 

So how can you tell if you’re an emotional eater?

Sad young lady emotionally eating

What are the Signs That I’m Emotional Eating?

If you struggle with any of the following, it may be a sign that you’re an emotional eater:

  • You’re eating because you’re emotional or upset or angry
  • You’re eating because you’re bored or feeling lonely
  • You’re eating to comfort yourself 
  • You’re eating foods high in calories and unhealthy because they make you feel good emotionally
  • You’re eating to feel better emotionally rather than physically
  • You binge or overeat when you’re emotional and have no appetite for other food
  • You eat to calm yourself down after an emotional episode

When you’re struggling to control your eating, it’s helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor. These professionals can help you learn how to deal with your emotions and address any underlying issues. 

If you feel you need to speak with or receive the services of a professional therapist, give my friends at Online Therapy a try.

Check out my video review about remote therapy here.

What can you do if you want to stop emotional eating?

How Can I Stop Emotional Eating?

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There are ways to stop emotional eating and start living a healthier life. Here are a few tips:

1. Identify your triggers. 

There are certain things in your life that can set off a binge eating spree. If you know what causes you to turn to food for comfort, you’re halfway there to overcoming the habit. Keep track of the things that make you feel bad and see if any of them correspond with particular foods or drinks.

2. Watch what you say to yourself about food.

When you’re emotional eating, it’s easy to justify your food choices with negative thoughts. For example, you might think “this doesn’t count as eating because I’m only eating half of it” or “I deserve this because I worked so hard today.” These kinds of thoughts are unhelpful and only make things worse.

3. Pay attention to what you’re eating. 

When you eat for emotional reasons, you often eat foods and drinks that don’t actually make you feel good. Instead, these foods and drinks chase away your negative emotions and fill up your stomach. So, you often end up eating more than you should. 

4. Talk to a friend or family member. 

Talking about how you’re feeling can be really helpful in breaking the cycle of emotional eating. Talking to a friend or family member about your struggles is one of the best ways to stop binge eating. They might offer you some helpful advice, or they might just be supportive.

5. Keep a food diary to track what you eat and how it makes you feel. 

Keeping a food diary can be helpful in identifying unhealthy patterns and making changes accordingly. By tracking what you eat and how it makes you feel, you can learn more about your eating habits and change them for your own good.

6. Seek professional help if emotional eating is becoming a problem. 

If emotional eating is becoming a problem, professional help may be the answer. A therapist can teach you how to manage your emotions and reduce your consumption of food and drink. Just be sure to find someone who is trained in emotional eating therapy, so you get the most effective help.

7. Set realistic goals for yourself.

If you’re trying to stop emotional eating, it’s important to set realistic goals. Don’t expect to completely eliminate all food cravings overnight–that’s just not possible. Instead, start by making a goal of eliminating one or two particular types of food from your diet. If you can accomplish that, great! If not, continue working on your goals and take one step forward every day.

8. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

It’s important to take care of both your body and your mind if you want to overcome emotional eating habits. Get enough exercise, eat a balanced diet, and avoid stressors in your life when possible. Set healthy boundaries, and stick to them!


If you want to stop emotional eating and improve your overall health, these are the steps you need to take. Remember, it takes time and effort, but it’s definitely possible. Want to learn more? Sign up for my FREE Ecourse on emotional eating. But hurry! Only the first 200 people who respond get the class for FREE!


About Dr. Suweeyah Salih

Author and life coach helping you become your best and most authentic self.

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