One of the most common sign of stress and anxiety is a change in a person’s weight.
While some people experience loss of appetite and lose weight as they worry about their troubles, some find it hard to resist eating and gaining weight instead.
Emotional eating is the term for this condition and if anxiety and stress is not address soon, a person with emotional eating disorder could become overweight and become prone to illnesses and health conditions related to poor eating habits.
If you are looking to stop emotional eating, below is a list of 51 ideas that can be useful.
Browse by Category: Click any of the links below to jump to each category.
Taking care of anxiety and stress
Healthy snack alternatives
Support from peers and colleagues
Taking care of anxiety and stress
1. Embed positive suggestions into your subconscious mind
This may sound new to some people but many celebrities actually use hypnotherapy to make healthy eating their second nature rather than an effort.
It works with introducing permanent behavioral changes in your diet and exercise regime.
2. Engage in sports
Dealing with anxiety is difficult BUT you can take all your worries aside and take up sports instead!
Pick a sport that you liked to do before or take up a new one instead!
3. A hobby would do
Instead of reaching for a snack, try a new hobby such as collecting things, arts and crafts, playing musical instruments or may be gardening where you can get some fresh air too!
4. Play games
Take your mind off your stress by playing a game. You may try single player games online, on a console or a portable game on your smartphone.
This is a great way to relax, have fun and challenge yourself.
5. Have fresh air
Sometimes all you need to stop emotional eating is to have some fresh air. So instead of heading to your refrigerator, go out and take a walk.
6. Pets are great
Control your stress by reducing your blood pressure just by simply interacting with your pet.
Stroke him, feed him, take him out for a walk or play with your pet.
7. Create a blog
Document how you feel by starting a blog. When you write about how you feel, chances are you will become more aware of your responses and would try to correct your emotional eating in a more efficient manner.
You may also help other people as you blog about your success.
8. Take to social media
Help others just like you who suffer from emotional eating through the power of social media.
Create a page or a site where you can vent out your frustrations, ask for opinions, invite other people with similar conditions and help people too.
This method will help you reach out to more people too.
9. Read a book
Divert your emotions by reading a favorite book, a novel or even a magazine. Sometimes you just need a simple diversion like a good read to take your mind off food.
10. Volunteer work
Help people that are in the same situation as you in an actual basis.
Your community center may be able to help you organize a group or find a group that you can join.
11. Overhaul the contents of your fridge
Take a good look at the food you have and throw away unhealthy ones. This includes your cupboard and pantry too.
12. Remove all junk food
To avoid temptation, simply REMOVE all junk food and stock up on healthy alternatives instead.
13. Place warning posters
Place a photo of an overweight person on your fridge or anywhere you keep your food to completely steer you away from eating.
14. Take a photo of your current self
So you think you are fat? Take a full body selfie and instead of a picture of an overweight person, place that selfie on your fridge door to derail emotional eating for good!
15. Ask a family member to help you
If you think you cannot handle yourself then you should ask someone to help you steer away from food.
Let him do all he can to distract you.
16. Attack your anxiety
Stop beating around the bush and get rid of anxiety at once. Go out, have fun or talk to a personal adviser.
Do all you can to improve your mood to avoid eating uncontrollably.
17. Do sit ups or jog around
Divert yourself easily by jogging, running or doing strenuous activities such as doing sit ups just to keep your mind off food or eating.
18. Open a window and get some fresh air
Take a deep breath of fresh air. Get out of your stuffy kitchen, remove the tempting kitchen smell and move on with your life instead of getting stressed over it.
19. Step away from the kitchen
Stay out of the kitchen! Divert your attention to arranging your home, cleaning and doing other chores instead of staying in the kitchen and eating.
20. Brush your teeth
The taste of minty toothpaste makes you think that you have finished eating a meal and will prevent you from snacking and possibly eating emotionally.
Healthy snack alternatives
21. Stock up on fruits and veggies
To avoid snacking on junk food, reach for a fruit or crunchy vegetables. These are rich in vitamins and minerals and will also keep you full for a long time.
22. Snack on nuts instead
Cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts and almonds are superfoods and will not just keep you off junk food but will keep you healthy too.
23. Drink natural juices
Remove sodas and commercially-prepared juice and prepare natural or freshly-squeezed juice. Keep them in the fridge so you can easily take a sip.
24. Try air-popped popcorn
If eating something crunchy is what you are looking for try low calorie air-popped popcorn with a little salt. Avoid adding butter, melted cheese or any condiment that only has hidden calories.
25. Light yoghurt instead of regular ice cream
If you are looking for something sweet to snack on then be sure to have a few cups of light yoghurt instead of your usual fatting ice cream dessert.
26. Granola bars
These bars will not just be perfect for snacks but will also provide you with energy to last for hours.
27. Cheddar slices
Low-fat cheddar cheese would be perfect as a snack. Slice them in small strips and eat only about four to five sticks whenever you crave for a snack.
28. Baked potato wedges
Instead of frying potatoes, slice them in wedges, season these lightly and bake them. Will definitely replace a bag of chips all the time!
29. Boiled eggs
Asmall hard-boiled egg has only a few calories and is very filling. Simply eat the egg as it is or with a little salt.
30. Fruit shakes
Instead of gulping down containers of soda or commercially-prepared juice, make fruit shakes from ice, fruit of your choice and some sugar and milk. You will feel better, feel full longer and stress-free which will help you curb emotional eating.
Support from peers and colleagues
31. Hit the gym with your friends
Exercise is known to release serotonin, a natural chemical that improves mood. So hit the gym and exercise with your friends and you will surely feel better and look better too.
32. Take a stroll with a pal
As soon as you feel you want to eat again, take a stroll outside with a friend. As you stroll, talk about your day or vent out.
You will surely feel better and be ready to face anything afterwards.
33. Call anyone on the phone
Instead of texting or emailing a friend, call them. Hearing someone at the other end is definitely more comforting than feeling unsure when your message will be read.
34. Visit a friend in need
Stop moping and see how you are better off than other people. Instead of eating emotionally visit a friend instead.
Take your time to help at any cost and you will surely be able to get your mind off food.
35. Have a diet partner
Look for anyone that has the same goal as yours and workout with him or her or do any activity related to losing weight or dieting.
Sharing your plans with someone who understands you makes working out better and definitely more fun.
36. Get in touch with a friend from high school
Why not check out your former classmates and friends? This might be a very overwhelming strategy but just by thinking that you would meet people that knew you before will inspire you to stop eating emotionally.
37. Check out community help
Get help for your emotional eating from your community center. There are classes, group sharing and special one-on-one sessions conducted by professionals that you could attend.
38. Talk to a dietician or nutritionist
Seek the help of professionals that understand your condition. Ask the best snack alternatives, healthy eating and cooking healthy too so you can substitute junk food with healthy meals.
39. Hire a personal trainer
A professional trainer will help you learn techniques to curb emotional eating.
You will also be able to learn tips and tricks to make you healthier, fitter and have more energy every day.
40. Chat with anyone online
If you just can’t find anyone to call or to talk to then by all means chat online. This will not just divert your attention but will also help you learn more creative techniques.
Strengthen your core and help your mind and body stay focused on your goals. Yoga will make you more relaxed too with the different movements and positions for meditation.
Find a quiet place and meditate to remove stress and anxiety. Use positive suggestions to calm yourself and stop emotional eating for good.
43. Music therapy
Create a lively track of songs that you could dance to or sing to. Play these tracks when you feel stressed or anxious.
44. Deep breathing
Practice deep breathing to allow you to meditate and maintain your focus. Deep breathing allows you to fill your body with fresh oxygen which makes you feel livelier and more focused.
Deep breathing is also a pillar of most alternative remedies such as meditation and yoga.
Use the power of smell to induce peace and wellness. Use oils, lotions, potions, sprays and teas.
Bring a small bottle of aromatherapy oil to help you cope with stress and anxiety on the go.
46. Massage to reduce stress
Whether it is a self-massage or from a professional masseuse, you will SURELY feel relaxed and stress-free afterwards and thus reducing the likelihood of emotional eating.
47. Dance classes
Enroll in a dance class, not only will you learn something new but you will also curb stress and anxiety and solve emotional eating as well.
48. Aerobics classes
Workout FUN! Enroll in an aerobics class and you will surely feel better and stress-free.
49. Nature therapy
Get out and take a walk in your garden or to the park. You will get fresh air and admire nature to help you reduce stress.
50. Social therapy
Go out and socialize instead of dwelling on your troubles. Attend parties, meet relatives, play bingo, go bowling, etc.
51. Spiritual therapy
Enrich yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually. Visit your church or your congregation and talk to your pastor or parish priest.
Take part in ceremonies and pray for more patience and freedom from anxiety.
You don’t have to follow all the tips. You can concentrate on the ones that most directly address your biggest areas of weakness, or ones that works for you.
So what ideas are you using to stop your emotional eating? If we’ve missed an awesome idea let us know in the comments below.