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Tips for Coping with Emotional Eating

Stress, anxiety and depression can all trigger hungry that is not based in physical needs but in your emotional state. Here are few ways to help you manage emotional eating:

  • Make a list of activities that you enjoy doing (other than eating!), such as walking, reading, gardening, etc. Keep this list handy and refer to it when you get the urge to eat. 
  • Call up a friend or family member who can take your mind off of eating.
  • Try waiting out the urge. Give yourself 10 minutes. Then, after 10 minutes, if you really want to eat, have a small portion.
  • Drink a glass of water or cup of tea. Hunger can be mistaken for thirst.
  • Keep healthy snacks around, such as baby carrots, low fat crackers or cut up fruit, rather than high-fat, high-calorie treats. 
  • Don’t deprive yourself. It’s not uncommon for people trying to lose weight to completely cut out all favorite foods, but then end up bingeing on them later. Allow yourself to have a treat on occasion. 
  • If you think your eating is due to depression, anxiety or stress, seek out help from a mental health professional.

Page last updated: August 27, 2014