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Exploring Emotional Eating.

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Do you eat when you are anxious, nervous, or fearful?  Depending on your emotion it can be either sweet or savoury cravings.

Everyone eats emotionally, you may say not me I don’t well let’s think about this.

  1. What do you do when you want to celebrate something?

  2. What do you do when you are consoling someone?

  3. What do you do when you feel sad?

  4. What do you do when you feel happy?

When we got good grades at school or won a trophy our parents would take us for ice cream or pizza.   When we lost and did not get a trophy our parents would take us for ice cream or pizza.

Emotional Eating

When we have a disappointment as adults we meet friends and drink wine and eat, when we get a promotion or some great news we meet friends drink wine and eat.

Therefore we all eat emotionally!

The trick is to recognize when we are doing it alone and using it as a drug or crutch, so recognizing the trigger that starts the emotional eating cycle is key.

Some triggers to think about:

  1. Boredom

  2. Sadness

  3. Anxiety

  4. Stress/Worry

  5. Not feeling food enough

  6. Disappointment

  7. Guilt

  8. Rejection

  9. Control

  10. Grief

There are several more and I am sure you can add to the list, however, when I was researching and interviewing clients about this subject there was a theme that came to the surface.  CONTROL.

You can find some of the research I did on emotional eating in my book Tapping for Emotional Eating.

Control is a big one, lack of control, feeling out of control someone or something controlling you.

Here are some tips that may help with emotional eating:

Re-direct:  When you feel the need to eat (which is not a meal) take yourself away from the situation and ask yourself What is the reason for me to eat right now.  Once you determine what that is you are now in control and it is now your choice whether to eat or not and not your unconscious trigger, therefore you are making the choice.

Do something else:   When you find yourself having the need to eat choose to do something else, go for a walk, call a friend, read, garden, even if you are at work you can get up from your seat and go for a walk.  Changing your physiology changes the brain and the need to eat will be less.


Take your power back from whatever it is that is causing you to emotionally eat, do not let this have that much power over you.

No matter how old you are Emotional Eating is part of your lifestyle. I have had clients as young as 4 and as old as 87 nobody is immune to this habit which we have all grown up with no matter our origin of birth.

So….what are you going to do now when you feel anxious, stressed, sad, or happy?



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