How To Stop Emotional Eating

     If you know how to stop emotional eating you will remove your biggest barrier to weight loss.   At least that is what  licensed clinical psychologist and author Jennifer Taitz, Psy.D. is saying in her book,  End Emotional Eating.   This may be a far bigger issue for people than generally realized.

      Do you eat to celebrate, when you're stressed, bored or frustrated?  Come to think of it we do call it comfort food!     I think most people think of good food as one of life's great pleasures.    Strong emotions however, can lead to over eating and/or eating when you're not hungry.  

      Often we use food as a reward for hard, tedious work or to soothe ourselves after a challenging day.   If you're hungry,  well then it makes sense. 

     But once you start using food to fill an unmet emotional need,  not because you're hungry and need nourishment,  you've created a huge obstacle to losing weight.   If you chow down on junk food when you're sad, lonely or depressed, that's a problem. 

     Gaining control over your emotions and breaking this habit is not as hard as you might think.  It's possible when you adopt a simple behavior  plan and follow some specific steps.

     For some of us stress and unhappiness just cause a temporary lapse in control but it's useful to go through this exercise anyway because you may find that emotional eating happens more often than you think!   Once it becomes a habit, you may not even be conscious you're doing it or  what your emotional triggers are.   Becoming aware of not only what you eat but why you eat can be liberating.     So here is a plan for how to stop emotional eating:  

A Behavior Plan for Emotional Eating

     Changing your behavior will boost your self esteem and help you to develop tremendous will power over time.   How to stop emotional eating is how to have control over your emotions which leads to self empowerment.     

     When you become aware in the moment when you are eating for emotional reasons, that is out of boredom, stress, anger, sadness, or depression then you are ripe for changing this behavior!   This requires self monitoring and it starts with observing.  Once you have caught yourself before you indulge, even once,  you have begun the process.  

Step 1.  Keep a food journal.  When you're tracking your food intake,  notice whether you are truly hungry or if you are turning to food to try to soothe strong feelings.  Are you upset, lonely, frustrated or eating out of boredom?       

Step 2.  Controlling your environment.   You have to carefully prepare yourself for success.

Step 3.   Bring awareness.   If you notice that you are about to eat something out of an emotional experience and not because you're hungry, stop and take three deep, conscious breaths.   Then pay attention to what this compulsive urge feels like.   Breathe deeply a few more times and you may feel  it go away.   Whether it does or not move on to the next step.

Step 4.  Substitute a new behavior for the emotional eating.   When the emotional trigger occurs you have be "awake to it"  so you can respond with physical activity.   Choose an activity that's super convenient that you enjoy.    For this plan for myself,  for example,  I choose a 2 mile walk.  Your plan can be jumping jacks, push ups, doing extensions and stretches, exercising to a tape,walking on a treadmill, a run, whatever is possible to do in the moment without any preparation or planning.

     Whenever your emotions send you to the refrigerator you are going to stop, turn around and head for your walking/training/work out shoes, a sure fire response for how to stop emotional eating in it's tracks.

     Then you are going to walk out the door and "walk it off" for an hour.  Or do the work out, take the run, whatever your chosen activity is. 

     That's it.   There's something about the physical movement that relieves emotional tension.  However, if you cannot for whatever reason get into physical activity in that moment, be sure to have in mind another substitute behavior you can do.  It could be calling a friend, taking a bubble bath, playing with your dog.  It needs to be something you enjoy that is emotionally satisfying. 

     It sounds so simple but this awareness of why you are eating and then choosing to do something else that is positive,  is an incredibly powerful habit to incorporate.    It will be the hardest the first time.  Once you've done it 3 times you're on your way.  It takes 30 days for a new habit to take hold.  How to stop emotional eating is with an effective behavior plan.

*  If your emotional distress is serious and chronic be sure to consult with a therapist about how to stop emotional eating.     You may have conscious or unconscious unresolved emotional issues that are preventing you from having a healthier lifestyle.   A licensed mental health practitioner who specializes in eating disorders can help you change deep seated compulsions.   If you are binging or have bulimia you need to tell your doctor and get a referral for a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.

Emotional Freedom Technique

     What if you can't let go of the emotion that comes up for you?  EFT could help you to "move on," and thus support your behavior plan to stop emotional eating.    Do both. 

     If you need more help with your emotions EMT may be the extra boost to let them go.  Emotional Freedom Technique is a practice that enables you to release the emotions that are blocking you, physically and energetically with acupressure.   Then the practitioner guides you to mentally align with your goals in a powerful way.

      How does EFT assist you  with weight loss? 

     With EFT a person can release the blocks that get in the way of losing weight or emotions that trigger stress eating.    According to the EFT website EFT has shown in clinical studies to help you:

  • dissolve away junk food cravings
  • quickly release the mental blocks that are sabotaging weight loss success
  • end emotional eating
  • re-pattern your mind to succeed and create new, more empowered habits that support you
  • make peace with your body in the present while you continue to move forward in the process

      It is based on the work of Dr. Roger Callahan, a therapist who 31 years ago discovered that by working with the meridian system used in Chinese medicine (as used in acupressure,) a person could get very quick relief from distressing emotions.  It's a  system of healing emotional and physical issues by tapping on the energy meridians in specific sequences.

     It was further developed by EFT founder Gary Craig who simplified it and brought it to the world. The Chinese have been working with the science of managing the energy flow of meridians for over 5000 years with great success. It is the science of guiding the body’s energy system.

      By tapping on specific points on the body, people are relieved of all kinds of anxieties, traumatic memories, fears, phobias, self-rejection issues, and countless physical maladies often fade away also. This is a concrete pathway for how to stop emotional eating and the stress that may be contributing to your weight gain.

      The practitioner I recommend and have experience with is Brian Guzman. He has over 10 years of experience in the field of personal training and fitness and 4 years of practice in EFT and he has worked with hundreds of people. His methodology is to produce concrete and measurable results in releasing the blocks that get in the way of reaching your weight loss goals.

      Brian is certified by founder of EFT Gary Craig and also holds certification with EFT Universe.    He works with a person to not only to release the emotions behind over eating but also for support in achieving weight goals and a positive self image. I found Brian to be  understanding, intuitive and supportive.   He is available for follow up,  support and to answer your questions.

     Sessions may be done in person or by phone. The telephone sessions are highly effective and enable the client to be helped in the convenience of their own home. It is very common to do EFT over the telephone as many practitioners work with people all over the world.

     Although Brian charges $85 for an hour of his EFT work he will also do a FREE introductory session for 30 minutes with you so you can experience for yourself the results he promises. As he says it will be a real session not a sales pitch. In this free session to help you stop emotional eating  often people experience immediate results.

     Fill out this form to schedule an appointment for your FREE EFT session.

* For more information on EFT visit or Brian's website

Note: Please be advised that EFT is not a substitute for medical or mental health treatment. See your physician or licensed mental health practitioner for serious mental or medical issues.

For more help with losing fat permanently check out the articles below:

Weight Loss Coach

This is a complete analysis of your weight management challenges and a lifetime fat loss plan to go forward with 3 months of coaching to make sure you're on track.

Weight Loss Survey

Fill out this survey to get your consultation scheduled.

Stress and Weight Gain

Change your thinking and you will change your life and lose fat for a lifetime! Nine ways to de-stress and create new, healthy habits.

Breaking Free From Emotional Eating

Fill out this form and you will get a FREE one on one phone consultation with a certified EFT instructor. 

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