How do I stop emotional eating?

Keeping to a diet is something that can require a lot of mental strength, whether it be through keeping hunger cravings away, avoiding unnecessary snacking or sticking to your diet when eating out with friends. Because of this we sometimes turn to eating unhealthy comfort foods in times of mental weakness or even when we’re just bored, which can sabotage our weight loss goals. Below are just a few tips to take into account to avoid emotional eating.



  • Conquer Stress: You might find that your unhealthy eating habits are most prominent in times of stress. There are many stress countermeasures out there that can help you to deal with stress, such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing. If there is an external factor causing you stress (like a stressful job or a financial difficulty), then dealing with these issues will not only help with your diet, but also your general well-being.


  1. Keep a Food Diary: By simply writing down what you eat and when, you may notice patterns and correlations between your mood and food. You could also use a food diary to plan out what you’re going to eat; as reinforcing your diet plan into something written down and tangible can make it easier to stick to.
  2. Stop Eating when Bored: We often snack when we’re bored, sometimes just for the sake of doing something rather than actually being hungry. When bored, try to occupy your mind with something else other than the thought of all the junk food waiting in your fridge. 
  3. Take Away Temptation: Let’s make it impossible for you to snack badly! If there are no unhealthy snacks near you at work or at home it’s quite literally impossible to eat unhealthily in moments of weakness You’ll possibly even realise after a while that you’re not actually hungry at all!
  4. Snack Healthy: If you find it too difficult to let go of the allure of snacks, then replace all of your usual snacks with healthy alternatives. The next time you’re feeling weak between meals, have a handful of unsalted nuts, seeds, popcorn, or maybe some vegetables with hummus. You can turn your unhealthy snack habit into an advantage by replacing the usual suspects with healthy foods that fill you up.
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself: Is it possible that your diet is too strict? It’s ok to have small treats in moderation, and you might find that your current diet needs reevaluating so that you’re not always craving for foods you actually enjoy eating.


You can see that there can be multiple reasons behind emotional eating, such as the presence of tempting, unhealthy foods and even just boredom. Addressing these issues should help you to cut out the emotional heating and be healthier. For more in-depth advice on how you can address bad habits like emotional eating, you can always register with us for free to see how we can help you.


How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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