Emotional eating

Emotional eating is a real issue for me, I'm working on the feelings that I try to suppress by eating and to be honest I'm not always aware of what I'm trying to suppress with food. It may also be habitual eating but I want to eliminate this because I've gained 4 stone and would like to lose all of it again. I'm 41 so I'm conscious that now is a good time before I get older. Any thoughts?


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21 Replies

  • Now is a good time. Your still young enough. Just give it your all and don't give up is my best advice.

  • Thank you, I appreciate the encouragement 😊

  • Def hear you! I try to cheer myself up or celebrate with food....it can bereallly tough, everything feels food related. I'm 40 and feel I've gotta get this sorted too.

    Though I have treats, I'm trying to stop myself having them at the same point....so if I'm driving past mcd to work and I'm sooo tired and know the day will be stressful....I tell myself I can have one later, maybe lunchtime.....and by then I've forgotten or can't be bothered to make the journey. I've locked my 'desk snacks' in my car boot too....besides fruit/crackers/nuts....so crisps are locked in the boot...but I don't then tempt my way thru a six pack on way home stuck in traffic.

    Don't get me wrong, I do go off track but the disconnection and making myself wait is helping....feels like I'm getting a bit of control back....only a teeny bit tho lol!!😛Just something might be worth trying? You'll feel virtuous after every tiny success :)

    I've sometimes made myself think I'm down just so I can have an excuse to eat lolll! Your gonna do brill, stay positive

  • So glad others can relate! That's a great suggestion to delay the treats and tell yourself you'll have it later. I've done that before and will try it again. I noticed today that certain places I go to, the petrol station, shops etc. I'm so used to grabbing a quick bar of chocolate or chips or both and today I noticed how often I get the urge. I'm going to work on promising myself something later, maybe once a week as a great. I'm trying to take control of my eating the best I can and planning on non-food rewards like clothes, shoes or makeup instead 😊

  • Hi ColeG, I think a lot of us can empathise with this. I think keeping busy and planning ahead so you don't have long gaps with no food. Maybe at first cutting back slowly on comfort foods.Try going out on a jog when your tempted to emotionally eat. Good luck x

  • Hi Honey10, thanks, great suggestions! I had a longish gap between eating today and it made it hard, I'm planning to do a bigger shop tomorrow so that doesn't happen. Jogging is a great tip, appreciate it. x

  • Hi ColeG . This is something I have suffered with too. Try writing a food/emotions diary to try and identify triggers and work from there x

  • Hi Active_43, great tip, I've never tried a food diary before will give it a go. I think I know some triggers but want to look at it more closely, thank you!

  • Dear Cole G

    Just a suggestion . You seem to be aware of your triggers for eating . Could you have a prepared diversion technique e.g. Go for a walk, take a bubble bath, write an email, tidy a drawer , play some loud music and dance about. You'll find the desire to it will recede and then you can just get back on track

    Have a go

  • Dear Pcrw,

    These are great ideas, I hadn't through of all of them, will have a go most certainly!

    Many thanks,


  • Like the previous poster suggests, you have to swap new, better habits for the old ones. Fruit teas instead of milky drinks, sparkling water instead of wine, sweet grapes instead of sweets, rice cakes instead of biscuits, a handful of dried fruit instead of a bar of chocolate... Identify when your weak moments are and plan ahead with some diversionary tactics! It is all do-able and the end results are so worth it. x

  • Thank you DartmoreDumpling, great advice, I picked up some grapes today and will work on other food ideas to start swapping old habits for new. I work in the mornings and a weak moment is when I get home, so tempting to grabs something unhealthy. Planning ahead seems key, will give it a shot!

  • I'm an advocate of finding out what triggers the emotional eating. I the Beyond Chocolate work on tuning in beyondchocolate.co.uk/the-o...

    Also, consider if it might be better to allow yourself to feel some of the more difficult or uncomfortable emotions, even just for a few minutes, rather than eat to ignore them. It sounds daft, but try a few deep breaths, try and release some tension in your body (I find I often tense up my stomach, so i make a conscious effort to relax those muscles when I notice).

    Find other ways that make you feel cared for, so that over time eating is not your first impulse. I haven't done this, but I've heard about an 'emergency box' - a box with e.g. a photo of loved ones, inspirational quotes, a favourite perfume or essential oil, a favourite CD (or have a playlist on your phone), special handcream etc.

  • I suffer from the same problem. I love all of these suggestions and will try one or two. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • Hope the suggestions work well for you! I'll be trying some too 😊

  • I totally agree diamondblock, I'm talking through with a close friend what may be going on underneath (emotionally) - I can step into the emotions to some extent, it seems to be when they rise up suddenly that I'm caught off guard. I used to jog for stress and would love to go back to it. Its 35 degrees C here so I think a gym could be a great option. Other ways to feel cared for is a lovely way to put it and the emergency box sounds like something I'd like to try. I really appreciate the response, thank you!

  • Let me know how you get on, I might get a box together too xx

  • Will do, willing to try anything that may help, I hope you have a great week xx

  • You too :-)

  • Hi ColeG and welcome 😃

    I totally empathise with what you're saying.

    I would have a radical clear out of your food cupboards, so if the 'mindless eating' creeps in again, the food to hand isn't too calorific.

    This is a brilliant forum, where you will find loads of encouragement and advice.

    Best of luck to you for the week ahead. 😀

  • Hi Needtodosomething,

    Thanks for the tips! I started clearing my cupboards today, I'll need to keep away from my husband's cupboard and the kids, but I managed today and I think it's a lot about willpower, I do feel I've had a wake up call with recent wake gain - giving it my best shot. I hope you're week goes great too!

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