Emotional eater trying to change - Weight Loss NHS

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Emotional eater trying to change

Ducky331 stone

Hi I'm new, I weighed myself today and I was absolutely shocked, I have never been this heavy. I know why I am this way, it's been a rough few years and I am a huge emotional eater, but I dont want to be this way anymore.

To get to healthy BMI I need to lose about 5 stone, which seems like a lot, but I'm ready to give it a go.

Practically I know what I have to do, but eating is a really big stress relieverfor me (also my way celebrating and cheering me up when I am sad), so if there are any other emotional eaters out there who have any tips to help with that it would be great.

14 Replies

Losing 5 stones is absolutely viable. The biggest step is the decision that you don't want to be this way anymore.

I'm sure someone will be along with some helpful links before long, but please be reassured that there are many helpful threads as well as supportive people who are starting, part-way and completed with the journey you are embarking upon.

Hi. You’ve just explained me, so I know where you are coming from. I’ve managed three stone loss and it’s transformed me although there are still times I feel like slipping back into the old habit and blaming it on ...... I think the loss has done more for me than the emotional eating. I think to myself do I want to eat this more than lose the pounds. If the answer is yes I eat it. If the honest answer is no, I don’t and feel better for it next day.

Shield-Maiden1st 7lbs in reply to Candle118

Great post Candle118!

Thank you for sharing...I will have to remember that one.

And Ducky...welcome, you are not alone x

BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to Candle118

Hello Candle118, I've only just seen this reply from you. Are you wanting to lose weight and join this forum? If you've reached a weight you're happy with, we have a Maintainers' Club to help you stay there. Just let me know and I'll make sure you know how to find your way around :)


eating and drinking is i think a great stress reliever, but i think the biggest and best stress reliever your ever going to experience is when you lost all of that 5 stone. and you can have that every day.

am going to give it a go, or am going try and give it a go, or even am ready to give it a go, that to me sounds like a half hearted approach.

just know you will do it, because you have to do it.

i only had to lose 10 kilos to get down to a healthy looking feeling good me.

but its just the same for everyone to make that start.

the difference in why some get to the finish line and some don't..is because of the lack of willpower, staying focused and been fully committed.

destructions and temptations and even sometimes really not so nice things come into our lives make it very hard to stay focused.

my way of getting by was to separate my commitment to losing weight from everything else. .

PandQs3st 7lbs in reply to Thehappyman

Hi Happyman, I agree with you about the "try and give it a go". My heart always sinks when I see someone post "I'm going to start on Monday" to me they means they don't really want to make changes and are looking at it as a punishment that needs to be endured. I don't think any of us eating a bar of chocolate in the middle of the road would say "I'll try and get out of the way of that truck, I'll start moving on Monday" 🤣 It's a shame that it's so hard to see that the long term effect of carrying the extra weight can be equally as devastating.

I've been lucky that I took to LCHF like a duck to water and have been enjoying my food ever since, and lost weight as well, otherwise that big truck would still be heading straight for me!


Hi and welcome, Ducky33 :)

I used to think of myself as an emotional eater, until I learned that not all of my food choices were really my choices. When you think of yourself eating emotionally, does that mean eating vast quantities of vegetables, or does it mean eating 'comfort' food, like chocolate, ice-cream, pasta, crisps, etc? All the foods that are high in sugar/carbs. Have a look at this well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013...

There is a lot of reading material around the forum and may I suggest you start with this healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

All of the information you need about the forum can be found in Pinned Posts healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh... and I hope you'll be joining all the Events, Challenges and Clubs that we run, especially a weigh-in and the daily diary.

If you haven't already taken it, here's a tour of the forum healthunlocked.com/?tour=true

We've found active participation to be key to successful weight loss and, of course, it's a good way to get to know people, find inspiration and share support and encouragement.

Wishing you all the best :)

SofaJockeyHost in reply to moreless

I think moreless makes a great point. So much of what we may consider emotional or comfort eating, or weak willpower, is actually simple biochemistry.

When the body's natural hormone production is disturbed by modern processed eating and sugary foods, it's unsurprising that that the body wants you to eat more. By paying attention to the science, that's a viscous cycle that can be calmed.

LondonSue7lbs in reply to SofaJockey

I kind of disagree with this. Biochemistry is part of it, but it's not the whole picture.

Rightly or wrongly in the 21st century food is much more to us than just fuel, it has emotional, nostalgic connotations, it is cultural, celebratory, and can be a source of joy and pleasure, and a source of discomfort and pain.

For many people and I am certain, for many who find their way to this forum, food can have many deeply complex connotations and issues tied to it. As children we may have been rewarded with it, or deprived of it, or forced to eat it when we didn't want to, and these things can have a huge bearing on our relationship to it.

Food can come to be a symbol of control, or an outlet, a safety valve, a way to express feelings or a way to smother them.

Maybe we are aware that we need to optimise our biochemical processes for our better health, but we just cannot ignore, in my opinion, the many other complex emotional issues that exist around food. I think it is vital to acknowledge this.

I sympathise and know just how you feel. Like many people who come on here, I eat for all kinds of reasons which have nothing to do with fuelling my body! It takes a bit of time to change but it can be done, and in time you will find an approach that works for you.

Be kind to yourself along the way and make changes that work for you. Maybe just start by introducing a few new foods and cut down on the things you know won't help you.Don't go mad and change everything overnight, that way you are more likely to make lasting changes.

I think most people have 'healthy' foods that they love so have plenty of those things. Find nice recipes of which there are many. If you can change your habits a bit, you will start to get some new healthier habits and you might surprise yourself. Drink lots of water, find a hobby that occupies you to stop you eating.

Set a small goal and just work towards that for now, when you achieve it, you can set a new mini goal. Every little helps. Good luck, you can do this! :-)

Jack20192020 January

What I have realised for emotional eating is it is ingrained deeply in my psyche and when it appears and calls me to come it is hard to stop. What I do is never shop hungry, I actually talk to myself in the store and reinforce my strength and love of self to not buy whatever tempts me, always snack things, visualise yourself standing on the scale and feel the feelings and take your power back, you can make that number go down; finally when I feel vulnerable my only chance of resisting is to change whatever I'm doing and go away from that environment, the urge usually goes away. It helps to have unprocessed nibbles if you are in fact a little hungry, ie. cheese squares, nuts, apple slices etc. And drink water, it helps.


Hi there,

Well done! It's great that you want to give it ago. It's amazing that you have come this far. You should be v proud.

Firstly, we are all emotional eaters. Everybody indulges when they are happy. Secondly it's not 5 stone that you need to lose. I want you to think about shifting your mindset. That "5 stone" sounds like a chore. Getting to the weight that you desire, shouldn't sound like a chore. A chore creates stress. I want you to enjoy your health and fitness journey and then write a "post" about how fabulous it was encouraging other people to do the same.

You sound as though you've had a difficult time throughout the previous 3 years. I belive you need to show yourself an abundance of self love to drive your confidence and propel your self esteem so that you can feel like the amazing person that you are. Self love starts with you. What do you enjoy? Do this more - as it will decrease those stress levels. It might be seeing friends, family or work colleagues. It maybe spending time outdoors. I believe when you are in a place of completeness, then you will be armoured with the tools necessary to take on anything - including this fitness journey you are about to embark on!!

I find a great way to relive stress is going for walks in my local park. It's also a great way to exercise. Try this - also why not invite the family for their support.

Have a look into the reasons behind why you are feeling sad and not why you are eating when you feel sad. Understand your emotions and what triggers them. Try and minimise emotional stress by removing toxins in your life that may or may not directly impact your emotional state.

Control your emotions and you are half way there in terms of addressing the problem. Hope that makes sense. Eating when you feel sad - is a result of your emotional reaction to the problem. The problem you should address is, "why am I feeling sad"? Deeply address your emotions.

Secondly, if food dictates happiness/sadness limit accessibility. Do not buy in bulk all your favourites treats. The changes will not happen over night. It will take time. But if you slowly develop new positive habits, in replace of the old habits then things will change for the better. It all starts with you. Your weight is not the problem. It starts with your mindset.

Ducky331 stone

Thank you so much for all this wonderful and supportive replies, I felt quite emotional reading them, they have really helped my motivation to be healthier.

And thank you for the tips and advice and links, I have lots of things to disgest.

Today was Day 1 and it has been a good start, and I hope to continue speaking to everyone as I proceed in this healthier lifestyle.

BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to Ducky33

That's good to hear :)

If you join tomorrow's weigh in you'll get a warm welcome, and don't forget to look at the Daily Diary to see what members are planning for their weekend meals - join in when you've made your plans :)

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