Emotional Eating – What is it?

by Vashte on February 28, 2012

These are my personal thoughts and suggestions to beat emotional eating. Emotional eating can affect anyone at any time. If you look around, you will see more and more people resorting to emotional eating to satisfy missing pieces from their lives. Emotional eating can be used as a crutch, a substitute for love, or a way to punish oneself through hate.

Emotional eating is unnecessary eating resulting in weight gain. It is completely illogical however, we as humans, prove time and time again that we are NOT logical creatures. We are emotional creatures driven by our heart. We constantly look for love, and some people find solace in eating.

These suggestions are from me to you. Try them. They work. Bit by bit you CAN and you WILL take control of your life and your eating habits.

Ditch the victim mentality. Put on the SURVIVOR WARRIOR mentality. This is war!!

  • Do you habitual eat?
  • Do you reach for something ‘bad’ and then feel guilty and go in for the kill to eat even more because you have stuffed up?
  • Do you eat when you are bored…for something to do?
  • Do you eat because you feel bad, sad, angry, revengeful, hateful, frustration…
  • Do you eat unconsciously? i.e in front of the TV or watching a movie…
  • Do you eat even when you are NOT hungry?
  • Do you eat past the point of feeling full?

These are all signs of emotional eating; a very common phenomenon in this day and age as resources of high fat, high sugar, cheap, nasty ‘foods’ are readily available. Big corporations believe they have us ‘hooked’.

They don’t. You are not. So breathe a sigh of relief.

If you answered yes to one or ALL of the above questions; do not fear. There is HOPE and it is simple. It will take practise and discipline but so did learning to walk.

You didn’t quit as a baby learning to walk, so you won’t quit here either.

Becoming aware and conscious of the foods we eat, when we eat them and the mood we are in when we eat can DRAMATICALLY change the type of food you choose and how you digest that food.

YOU are in control of YOUR body not your body is in control of YOU.

Do you ‘habitual’ eat?

Plan your meals by actually writing them down in table form for an entire week. Sound boring and difficult? Well, how is your current weight loss programme working out for you now? Be honest.

By planning your meals, YOU are taking control of WHAT you eat, the QUANTITY you eat, and WHEN you eat. Emotional eating is taken out of the equation as it is not in the schedule. This plan is not fool proof but the thing is…

Do you reach for something ‘bad’ and then feel guilty and go in for the kill to eat even more because you have stuffed up?

…if you fall over and come off your plan, you can quickly and easily get up, dust the dirt off and get back on track.. just like when you learnt to walk as a child. You ARE human and this IS a journey. Go easy on yourself when you make a mistake. Know we ALL make mistakes – that’s what makes us human. The ones who succeed are the ones who realise their mistake, pick up the pieces and move on. Focus on the OUTCOME, NOT the past. Learn from the mistake and get over it. That is it. If you choose to be like a pig in mud and marinate in your own … then so be it. Or you can take a shower, and realign yourself, and quit the negative self talk. MOVE ON!!! Keep your eye on the prize and you will learn to make fewer and fewer booboos!!!

Do you eat when you are bored…for something to do?

Do you eat because you feel bad, sad, angry, revengeful, hateful, frustration…

AVOID at all costs eating when upset, stressed or on the run. These are times when the body is highly acidic and is hard for the body to digest any food in this state. If you are eating when upset I doubt you are munching out on celery sticks either… ditch the high-calorie-chocolate-coated-rubbish-masquerading as a ‘protein bar’ too. They are just expensive fat bars. Let’s get honest. One every now and then is fine but so is having an ice-cream once a week – so just call it what it is – an expensive chocolate bar usually filled with artificial sweeteners which are TOXIC in every way shape and form to the human body.

Do you eat unconsciously? i.e. in front of the TV or watching a movie…


DO NOT eat while watching TV – have a meal with the family at the table instead and turn the TV  off!!! Try it, it’s amazing. Reduce your TV time by half the time you currently watch now. This simple action alone will have you burning more calories. You will have to find SOMETHING ELSE to do!!! Don’t replace it with the computer either.

While watching a movie… replace your high cal foods with raw carrot sticks and a hot herbal tea! You can drink as many herbal teas as you like. ‘Swop it, don’t stop it!’ Just change your habit.

Do you eat even when you are NOT hungry?Do you eat past the point of feeling full?

This issue can be wiped out by simple planning! When you know the time, quantity and type of food you are going to eat…. there is no room for this issue to arise.

Fail to plan = Plan to fail.

Do you label foods as ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’?

By giving foods this label we are setting our bodies up for success or failure. We can re-programme all food to be GOOD -by calling it GOOD.

Ditch the ‘bad’ food concept. Life and death is in the power of the tongue so by labelling something you are about to put in your mouth that you want your body to digest as ‘BAD’, can set you up for failure. It doesn’t matter what that food is, your body is going to have a hard time digesting it; and an even harder time psychologically getting over the ‘bad’ food in your body.

Call all food ‘GOOD’. There is no such thing as BAD food unless it is off, in which case, it wouldn’t even be considered.

Try this exercise:

Don’t think of a purple rhinoceros….


OK- so what are you thinking of RIGHT NOW? Let me guess.. a purple rhinoceros right?

I know I’m right.

This illustration should hammer home the fact that if you say you CAN’T have something, or WON’T do something, you immediately start to think about that thing you CAN’T have or DON’T WANT to do.

The brain has an inconvenient way of circumnavigating negatives in certain situations such as when you say you CAN’T, WON’T, QUIT etc, especially when you are working to change a behaviour for the good. Very inconvenient.


“I don’t want to eat chocolate”.

The brain thinks: ‘I WANT to eat chocolate’, and puts the object -chocolate, in your immediate thought pattern. This is exactly the opposite behaviour to that which you what to achieve.

  • What you have just done is focus ON the problem.
  • You want to focus on the SOLUTION.

Here is how to nail that sucker and change your thinking process!!!:

  • Think about what you CAN have.
  • What are the options for your next meal, or better still what is the PLANNED meal and when?
  • By making the object of your next meal your focus, all other thoughts vanish. You cannot think objectively of more than one thing at a time – so KEEP IT REAL!! Keep it positive.
  • Don’t think about what you can’t have, stay focused on what you CAN have.

Follow these simple rules and you will empower yourself to make strong healthy conscious decisions. Take control of your life. You only have one, so make it COUNT.

Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

There are more important things in life to do xx