How to Avoid Overeating when You Are Emotionally Down

Food isn’t always eaten to satisfy hunger. The term “comfort food” points out that people sometimes eat to soothe themselves. In times of stress, you would probably have some ice cream. Or, after a fight with a friend, a slice of chocolate cake never fails to dissipate your anger. Here are some tips to avoid overeating when you’re down:

Steps to avoid emotional eating

Eating to relieve extreme emotions or regulate our moods is called emotional eating. Most foods associated with emotional eating are often fatty, salty, sweet, creamy, or greasy. As emotional eating becomes a habit, you will overeat more and more of these unhealthy foods, eventually leading to weight gain. In order to avoid emotional eating from becoming a habit , there are a few things one must do.

1. Don’t skip meals. Eat at least three full meals a day, with a few snacks in between. Eating regular meals at a regular schedule will regulate the body’s hunger pangs and ensure enough energy supply for the entire day.

2. Separate eating from other activities. Eating one’s meal should be treated as an activity in itself. It should not be done while doing something else. For example, while watching TV, you will lose track of how many potato chips or popcorn you have popped into your mouth.

3. Don’t binge or grab whatever food is in sight when feeling stressed. Know whether you are genuinely hungry or if your food cravings are just triggered by negative emotions.

emotionally down

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Tips and reminders

As you watch what you eat and know the reasons why, do not go to the other extreme where you deprive yourself from the foods that you love. Treat yourself with your favorite sweet or salty foods when you have the craving for them. The trick is to eat just a small amount, enough to signal your body that the craving is already being satisfied. Remember, you don’t need to eat the whole pint of ice cream. Just a few spoonfuls will do.

Emotional eating associates food with stressful situations and negative emotions. Encouraging this habit will not only lead to weight gain but will also cover up and even aggravate psychological issues.

Related questions:

1. How can you avoid eating during moments of stress?
2. What are the common types of food associated with emotional eating?
3. Why is it important to avoid eating when emotionally down?


  1. whimsical1207 says:

    When one is stressed, one eats. This is not good at all because it is unhealthy. When stressed we tend to binge or eat unhealthy food. When we are under pressure and we feel the need to eat we should focus on the positive things about ourselves and treat ourselves right. We are already stressed out with other things and our bodies should not suffer. We should make sure that we eat healthy meals and avoid sugary and salty food. Instead of going to bars to drink to our misery we should drink fruit juices and water as this is healthier and makes us more clearheaded to face the challenges that are around us. If we have a hard time sleeping then we should minimize our coffee intake and try to get a sound sleep during the night.

  2. When emotionally down, the sweetness of ice cream and chocolate may help alleviate the stress and depression you are feeling. But always keep in mind though, that not everyone, which may include YOU, has the metabolism to burn away hundreds and hundreds of calories you have taken in whilst in the midsts of your depression. And although ice cream and chocolate might help, fat-filled foods such as junk foods, and ones from fast-food chains do nothing to alleviate the stress and can actually help aggravate it, leading to more emotional downfalls. You’d be better off exercising your way out of your depression, than over-eating as this can lead to a chain-reaction in which you would not like the results.

  3. Being emotionally down triggers eating habits that are very hard to control.Sometimes when emotionally down people tend to grab the nearest food on the fridge particularly sweets.eating too much would otherwise result in several bad health hazards that would be harmful to the body.To avoid this one must first consider that being emotionally down is part of life and cannot be avoided.The individual having this feeling should be responsible enough and should try to learn discipline so as to avoid having to eat too much.He should try to learn about other ways of dealing with emotional pain by talking to a close relative or friend or by going out and doing outdoor activities.

  4. To avoid overeating when you’re feeling down, just drink a glass of water and relax for how many minutes. Play computer games, watch TV or anything that will keep you busy. After which, include salad, fruits and vegetables in your meals. These will generate fibers that will brush out the excess food you will ate. It is important to avoid over eating during emotional breakdown because of the threat of the disease called “diabetes”. During emotional breakdown, more people enjoys eating. They don’t realize that they are getting too much calories that will surely create different kinds of diseases. Always remember that 75% of diseases of human came from the food he/she intakes.

  5. Why is it very hard to control eating when you are emotionally down? People, especially women, suffers from overeating when feeling stressed or sad. This is because the hormones tell you to do that. To avoid overeating and beat stress, why not run a hundred meter or two? Exercise is a proven way to ease out stress. Once you are done with some exercise routine, you will feel rejuvenated and light. Your stress will be flushed down along with body toxins and excess fats. So, next time you feel terrible, do not grab that ice cream tub. Instead, grab a water bottle and go for a jog. Make exercise your outlet to release stress. You will feel happier in no time, and getting fit will be a bonus, too!

  6. showerlist says:

    I have been a victim of this for so many times during my life already. But then I got tired of being so unhealthy, weight going up one quarter then going down the next, so i decided to do something about my problem of emotional overeating. I started asking myself, “Am i going to eat because i’m hungry and i want to eat or is it because of something else?” whenever i felt like eating. Doing that helped me segregate my reasons for eating and made it easier to tell myself to control my appetite and food intake.

  7. potrish78 says:

    If you’re feeling down, grab some fruit instead of sweets. Avoid stocking cookies, chocolates, junk foods and ice cream at home to avoid temptation thus preventing overeating.

    Brush your teeth every time you feel tempted to eat something when it isn’t time for a meal yet. Aside from the fact that food tastes bitter when you eat after brushing your teeth, it also gives you the psychological effect that you do not want anything that would spoil your clean teeth.

    It is better to eat 6 small meals instead of 3 big meals. By doing so, you will always be full and would not be tempted to overeat. More often than not, we are awake 16 hours a day. If you commit yourself to eating 6 small meals a day, that means you will have to eat every 2 ½ hours.

  8. It is physiologically and psychologically normal of the human body’s response to depression to overeat. This is because eating is the easiest way of diverting our emotions.
    To avoid overeating during depression, we must consider going out and exposing ourselves to a fun and enjoyable atmosphere such as the malls, entertainment plazas and disco pubs.
    Being with friends is also helpful in diverting depression and avoid overeating.

  9. yvonne t. says:

    When you eat and get very emotional the tendency is to over eat just to alleviate the pain or hurt or even stress. You should not resort to eating rather go out to the gym and release your tensions there. You also learn not to skip meals it would only makes you irritated and emotional. At the same time, you tend to eat more when you’re starving. As the blog says you should be responsible enough not to over eat, although eating will give you happiness, you should think twice since it will only lead you adding more extra pounds and extra inches on your waist.

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