Dealing with Emotional Eating for Weight Loss Success

emotional eating

emotional eating

Emotional eating refers to the times whenever people eat based on how they are particularly feeling. Emotions that can trigger emotional eating might be sadness leading to depression, happiness, anger, regret, shame, eagerness, anxiety, stress, worry, or many others. See different types of people and their weight loss success stories.

Each person is different and will have a different emotion that will lead to them using food as their escape or response. Many times when there is a big event or tragedy in one’s life, it can either cause someone to overeat or under eat. For example, when someone is going through a breakup, it is typical to find a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream around them until they get over it.

On the other hand, when someone perhaps gets a raise and starts making more money they might splurge and start to eat out of happiness or excitement. When someone resorts to overeating, obviously their weight will drastically increase if it extends for a long enough time. Gaining too much weight can be detrimental to one’s overall health.

Finding out what’s bothering us and fixing it is necessary to realize that it could be emotion that leads us to wanting more food, because we feel good after eating certain types of foods. If you eat more than your normal intake after an event or change in your life and feel better after doing it and now is your norm, there are ways that you can do to revert back to your original eating habits. Once overeating stops, losing weight begins.

Tips for Dealing with Emotional Eating

Nichole Nichols, a Health Educator said the following helpful statement in regards to emotional eating:“It may be cliché, but the first step is awareness, recognizing that you do eat emotionally—and WHY. Each time you reach for foods (or even feel a craving come on), ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or am I just responding to something else that is happening?””

1. Realize that you have an issue. It is okay to admit! The first step is to recognize your problem before you can solve it.
2. Find another alternative to dealing with your emotions. If times are hard, perhaps try these alternatives to eating:

  • Exercise- An article in The Huffington Post stated that “researchers from the Penn State University found in their study that the more physically active people reported greater general feelings of excitement and enthusiasm, compared with the less physically active people.” Try taking a walk, going for a jog or a hike. This type of cardiac exercise has been proven to give us happier feelings. Plus, this is the exact alternative to emotional eating that you need if weight loss is your goal!
  • Spend time with friends or family.
  • Get a hobby! (Besides eating.) Maybe you could collect stamps, collect coupons, write, read, etc. There are many ways to keep your mind engaged.

3. Every time you start feeling the need to eat, based on emotions rather than hunger, simply channel into your alternative choice. Habits are hard to break, easier to form. Try removing your old habit of emotional eating to emotional exercise, emotional word games, emotional cleaning, or emotional couponing.


You can do it! Look deep inside and admit to yourself what’s going on, then control your emotions, and don’t let your control you!


Reference Citations:

Chan, Amanda L. “Exercise Makes Us Happy — It’s Science.”, 09 Feb. 2012.

Nichols, Nicole. “Stop Emotional Eating Before It Starts.” SparkPeople, Inc., Sept.-Oct. 2009.


More Info and Resources on Emotional Eating for Weight Loss

Weight Loss: Gain control of emotional eating –

Emotional eating and weight loss –