Most people eat when they are emotionally distressed. Some people use food as a way to comfort themselves from every day stress or to reward themselves after experiencing some kind of emotional trauma. Unfortunately for them, this is not the right way to handle emotional issues. In fact, it makes the problem worse. The issue is still going to be there after you finish eating and you may feel guilty about eating too much. To solve this issue, you may have to learn how to identify the triggers that cause emotional eating. It is time to break free of compulsive and emotional food cravings and change those habits once and for all.

Identifying emotional eating

Have you ever eaten a meal at a restaurant and even after you know that you are full, you still order dessert? That is what we call emotional eating. You are living in the moment and your feelings take over. All you are interested in at the moment is eating lots of food while you are in good company. You have no control over your stomach at that point. If you can discipline yourself to stop eating when you are full, you will be able to identify when you do otherwise.

Celebrating with food

You shouldn’t use food to celebrate an occasion. This is true for many cultures. People gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties and reunions. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to overeat during those occasions. You can still stick to your healthy way of eating, even when there is a lot of food on the table.

Emotional hunger

Many people will eat when they feel tired, bored, lonely or upset. So every time that they have these feelings, they will go right to the refrigerator – therefore, creating an unhealthy eating habit. You may feel good while you are eating, but that doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to ‘pig out.’ When you eat like that, then you are not open to the healthier way of eating. You cannot allow your emotions to rule the way that you eat. You are not going to feel any better after eating emotionally. You will only pack on more calories and still have to deal with your problems.

Questions to ask

  • Am I eating emotionally?
  • Do you eat when you are most stressed?
  • Are you eating because you are hungry?
  • Do you eat even when you feel full?
  • Does eating have a calming effect for you?
  • Do you give yourself a reward with food?
  • Do you eat until you feel uncomfortable?
  • Do you feel safer when you eat more?
  • Is food a friend to you because of your loneliness?
  • Do you feel out of control when it comes to food?
  • Can you identify your comfort foods?


Most people who eat emotionally will usually be able to identify specific foods that get them to over eat. If you know those foods, you will be able to stay away from them. The most important thing, however, to do is to get help for your emotional issues. Seek professional help if you are unable to discipline yourself from emotional eating. Let us hear your thoughts by leaving your comments below.