How to Stop Emotional Eating: 3 Triggers to Avoid
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It’s easy to say “I want to stop emotional eating” the problem comes when you actually are facing the emotions that make you want to eat. One of the hardest times I ever had to challenge my will to stop emotional eating was when my good friend committed suicide. I had two weeks of hell when it came to eating. I had been on a Keto diet for over a year and all I wanted to do was shove a milkshake and french fries down my throat.
Somehow, you feel like the food is going to fit in the gaping hole in your heart or distract you from the stress you are living in, but it just makes things worse.
So, how do you really stop emotional eating?
If you are just starting to learn how to stop emotional eating, then you may already know a few issues causing it. For example, you may know that stress can trigger emotional eating responses. What you may not know is that there are several common triggers to emotional eating that you may not be aware of in your own life. Here are a few of them, what you should know about reducing each one, and how you can avoid them in the future to help reduce emotional eating.
Emotional Eating Trigger #1: Toxic Relationships
This is a tricky one. Sometimes you think someone is a friend to you, but they turn out to be triggering stress or dissatisfaction. The reality is, everyone has someone in their life. It could be a co-worker or even friend, that causes ongoing stress. Either way, they bring a toxic environment to your life by causing constant emotional stress. Ideally, you would want to simply move these people out of your life. Unfortunately, you may not be able to remove them completely, leaving them still evident in your life as a trigger. In this case, acknowledging they are a toxic person in your life will help. Once you acknowledge this, you can remove your emotions from them. By not giving them the power to hurt or stress you, you can slowly remove them as a trigger from your day.
Emotional Eating Trigger #2: Overloading Your Schedule
One of the more common emotional eating triggers an overloaded schedule. You say yes to the parent-teacher party, the church social, and working extra to make extra money for the holidays. When you add on too much to your schedule, you may begin to overlook the fact saying yes to everything is unhealthy. I used to be a chronic “Yes” woman. It lead to depression, being overwhelmed, and somewhere about 80+lbs that needed to come off.
When you live with too many yeses, everything begins to feel like something you have to do instead of something you wanted to do. To avoid this trigger, sit down and look at your schedule. Fill in your day with your sleep hours and work first. Then start adding things in according to priority, making sure you leave at least an hour at the start and end of each day for quiet downtime. Stick to that schedule. If something you want to do fits in, then add it. If not, then learn to say no.
This video below is a great example of a very productive but manageable time blocked calendar.
Emotional Eating Trigger #3: Negative Thoughts and Emotions
There are certain situations in life that cause negative thoughts and emotions. That is just part of life! In most cases, you likely deal with these by simply letting them run through your mind and thinking they will not affect your eating. A few minutes to a few hours later, you are in the middle of an emotional eating binge. Trust me, girl, I have been there. Instead of letting the thoughts run through your mind, start writing them down. You don’t have to journal about them. Simply write them down. Go back to them and listen to or read what you noted. Now, look for what triggered those thoughts. Once you recognize the thoughts and emotions, then trace them to the trigger, you can remove the thoughts and replace them with something positive.
If you are looking for positive thoughts to say instead, check out my positive thoughts download below and snag these daily affirmations. They will help you stop emotional eating and keep you focused on the positive things in life.
My best tip for how to stop emotional eating…
Remember: focus on YOU first. Even if you are a mother, friend, or caregiver you should make sure you are taking care of yourself first. Do what is best for you, so you can be the best for others. To do this, start with avoiding these common triggers and redirecting them out of your life or to more positive directions.
Save this post for later, when you are fending off oreo addictions! 😉 (I get it, we have all been there)