Alex Saxton

Understanding Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is a widespread occurrence that many people go through in their lifetimes. Rather than eating to satiate physical hunger, it refers to the habit of using food as a coping mechanism or emotional soother. Anxiety, boredom, stress, depression, or even happiness can make you feel the need to eat to relieve your discomfort. While the odd indulgence is acceptable, using food as a coping mechanism for emotional distress regularly can result in weight gain, poor nutrition, and detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. In this blog, I will explain how to stop your emotional eating and strategies on how to manage emotional eating.

Recognising Emotional Eating

Identifying the symptoms and patterns of emotional eating is the first step towards treating it. Typical signs of emotional eating include the following:

  1. Unexpected cravings for particular comfort foods: Having a strong yearning for foods like chocolate, ice cream, or chips that are heavy in fat, sugar, and salt.
  1. Eating while not physically hungry: Eating when the body does not need to be fed, usually in reaction to cues or triggers related to emotions.
  1. Eating to numb feelings: Suppressing unpleasant feelings like tension, grief, or anxiety with food or as a diversion.
  1. Mindless eating is the practice of consuming food without consciousness or focus, frequently while working or watching TV.

How To Stop Emotional Eating Tips

  1. Recognise your feelings and the circumstances that frequently result in emotional eating to identify triggers. You can find trends and understand the triggers behind your emotional eating episodes by keeping a food and mood journal.
  1. Look for substitute coping strategies: Create a toolkit of substitute activities to take the place of emotional eating. Healthy ways to divert attention and control emotions include taking up hobbies, walking, talking to a friend, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
  1. Eat mindfully by being present and involved in the process. Enjoy every bite, eat slowly, and pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. By eating with awareness, you can develop a closer relationship with your body’s requirements and lessen impulsive impulses to eat more food once full.
  1. Handle stress by incorporating things that help you decompress into your everyday schedule. Stress can be reduced and the risk of turning to food for consolation can be decreased with regular exercise, yoga, writing, or time spent in nature.
  1. Establish a nurturing atmosphere by limiting or eliminating the presence of highly processed and enticing comfort foods and filling your house with wholesome items. Be in the company of people who inspire you to follow a healthy diet and who will support your aims.
  1. If you get a craving for food, first check if you are genuinely hungry, if not then it’s emotional eating in play. Then check what emotion is driving this need – is it sadness, stress, or something else? Once you find out what emotion it is, self-soothe yourself with a food-free activity, checkpoint 2 for some ideas.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are unable to control your emotional eating, consulting a qualified dietician or other healthcare provider may be beneficial. They are able to provide direction and customised plans based on your unique requirements and situation. In addition, contact a hypnotherapist who can help remove the emotional eating habit from your subconscious mind and replace it with more healthier eating habits instead, whilst helping go resolve any underlying emotional problems that might be causing your emotional eating habits.

Last words..

Although emotional eating can be a difficult habit to break, a better relationship with food and emotions can be achieved by raising awareness of the issue and putting various techniques into practice. People can progressively lessen episodes of emotional eating and nourish their bodies and brains in a more balanced manner by identifying the warning signals of emotional eating, identifying alternate coping methods, engaging in mindful eating, controlling stress, and, if necessary, getting professional help from a nutritionist or hypnotherapist. Remember that during this process of growth and change, patience and self-compassion are essential.

If you are struggling with unwanted snacking when stressed or bored or struggle to break the habit of snacking at night in front of the TV, I recommend you get in touch with me to hear about my hypnosis services designed to help you overcome the unwanted emotional eating in a short a time frame as possible – without having to rely on will power alone. 

If you want to learn more, check out my “Hypnosis for Healthy Eating”  hypnotherapy service, where I can help you eradicate emotional eating behaviours and build healthier eating habits instead. To find out more, follow this link – Hypnosis for Healthy Eating

I am a clinical hypnotherapist with over 15 years of expertise, and to far, I have assisted over 100 people from Poole, Bournemouth, Southampton, Bath, London, Bristol, the United States, and even New Zealand. Regardless of where you live, I am completely qualified to serve you in the same manner, so do contact me if you require my hypnosis services as well. Here’s the connection to my website, , and here’s the link to my calendar,, if you would like to book a free consultation with me.