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EMOTIONAL EATING: 5 ways to stop

Emotional eating can lead to us feeding our feelings, not our hunger. Body image and emotional eating expert Jacqueline Hurst reveals her top tips to help stop it in its tracks and get in touch with real hunger and fullness

Good eating is not defined by what or how you eat but by how you think and feel about yourself.  Whether it’s overeating, starving or a combination of both, emotional eaters use food for reasons other than hunger, often to cope with stress, stifle anger, relax or even celebrate.  And they’re common. If this is you, here are a few tips to help.

1. Get off the ‘diet’ Diets detach you from yourself. Eating normally means you learn to listen to your body which is the only thing you need to listen to.  No diet sheet, pill or potion will help you re-connect with you to start the journey of connection and understanding to your hunger and fullness.

Closeup of woman eating chocolate cupcake

2. Change your ‘wagon’ thinking Going on the wagon, being really ‘good’ ultimately and inevitably means you are going to come off the ‘wagon’ and be really ‘bad’ but ‘badder, faster and harder’ than the last time.  Coming off the wagon once and for all means its all acceptable and allowable.  It sounds a scary but it’s the only way to total freedom.  No. More. Wagon.

3. Allowance is the key.  Telling yourself you are not ‘allowed’ a certain food will only make you want it more. You know this. Allowing, like really, really allowing any food means you take the power away from the food and back to yourself.  Yes, you may well eat croissants for four mornings in a row for the whole week but, and this is a definite, by week two, croissants just don’t look that sexy any more and actually that green juice just looks so much more appealing. Yes, this happens.


4. Remove your judgements Judging yourself is mean. When you judge yourself for your behaviour you are missing your lessons. Taking away the judgement means you LEARN so much more. Exploring why you did what you did and asking yourself kind questions speeds up the process of understanding yourself and therefore changing behaviour. Be kind.

Green Retro Fridge copy5. Talk to Yourself I know this sounds weird but I use this with my clients a lot. The next time you are standing at the fridge with the door open using a teaspoon to get to that last bit of Nutella at the bottom of the jar ask yourself this question ‘If I didn’t care about this Nutella right now, what else would be going on for me?’  The answers will amaze you. I hate my job, my boyfriend doesn’t understand me etc etc. Once you have some real answers you can start to look at the real stuff going on. It’s never about the Nutella.



jacqueline hurstJacqueline Hurst is a body image and emotional eating expert, helping women stop eating emotionally. Find her at Follow her on Twitter at @jhurstnlp



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