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Emotional Overeating Awareness Month - How In Control Are You?


With the arrival of April, we also welcome the arrival of Emotional Overeating Awareness Month. This is a topic of personal significance for the majority of us, but yet is something that many of us don’t confront or overcome.

In order to achieve and retain weight loss and truly enjoy your food, it is crucial to understand why, what and when you are emotionally overeating.


What is emotional eating?

This means that you use eating as a way of coping with emotions, whether they are positive or negative, which can all too often become a vicious cycle. For example, you are stressed and busy, so begin to comfort eat once given the chance, and because of this you experience guilt and regret, and suddenly you are comfort eating for an entirely different set of emotions! Combined with this, society also highlights the importance of food for happy and social occasions – there really is no let up!


Are you an emotional eater?

If any of these points apply to you, you are an emotional eater. 

  • You eat more when you’re feeling stressed
  • You eat when you’re not hungry
  • You eat when you’re full
  • You eat to soothe negative feelings
  • You regularly reward yourself with food
  • You regularly eat to the point of discomfort
  • You feel powerless around food



But how can you begin to make positive changes?

4 strategies to overcome emotional overeating:


1. Feed emotions through alternative methods

  • Anxious? Instead, go for a brisk walk in the fresh air
  • Depressed? Try organising a meet-up with a friend
  • Bored? Immerse yourself in a good book or watch your favourite film
  • Tired? Run yourself a hot bath and get an early night


2. Keep a food diary

  • Keep track of everything you eat and drink
  • Statistically, we underestimate 20% of what we eat every day
  • Note down your mood as you eat to see a possible correlation


3. 5 minute distraction

  • Emotional overeating can be a simple as a bad habit
  • When your next craving hits, distract yourself for 5 minutes and then reassess the situation
  • This makes you mindful and gives you the opportunity to question and perhaps make a different decision
  • This gives you the control back


4. Build healthy habits

  • You time. This reminds you of your importance, boosting your self-worth and making the likelihood of emotionally overeating smaller.
  • Daily exercise. From a 10 minute walk to a full hour long class, consistent exercise will help not just physically, but mentally too.
  • Spend time with loved ones. Connecting with those around you will have a positive impact on your emotions, leaving you less likely to overeat.


We are all emotional eaters at one point or another and most of us have our own triggers but there is nothing wrong with treating yourself occasionally if you have achieved a goal or if you are celebrating a big occasion – the damage is done when emotional overeating becomes a daily habit and begins to encroach on the feelings you have about your mental and physical wellness.

What is most important when overcoming emotional overeating is finding that driving force behind your behaviour and creating tools and strategies to combat against them.


For more about healthy eating please click on the boxes below.  

Are you thinking about adding something to your health and wellbeing programme? Call Anna on 07778 218009 to discuss how our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Workplace Wellbeing Series may be of use to you. Alternatively email Anna here.

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