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How to stop emotional eating.

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Whenever I'm sad, angry, upset, lonely, or sometimes even bored, I tend to binge. And I'm not binging on veggies and water (I WISH!). My weight loss journey has been going solidly well, except for when I feel the need to eat 6 trillion calories in one sitting because my emotions are wacky. Any advice on how to knock this habit off?
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Replies

  • dancinginmypjs
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    I don't have any tips, but also looking for help with this as it's something I really struggle with.
  • kamyers1289
    kamyers1289 Posts: 129 Member
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    I don't have any tips, but also looking for help with this as it's something I really struggle with.

    Ugh, I feel your pain. It's just like my mind turns off and the food cravings turn on.
  • jimmmer
    jimmmer Posts: 3,515 Member
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    Often people who have been restricting themselves harshly (or have been eating quite low-carb) tend to get a manic "eat all the things" kind of day.

    If this is true in your case, there's a few things you could try: 1) try nudging yourself closer to maintenance and include a few more carbs. 2) plan a "refeed" once a week where you eat some carbs and work to being under on a weekly average instead.
  • Maddalen101
    Maddalen101 Posts: 307 Member
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    I wish I had some tips. I struggle with it too.
    The only thing I ever found that works is finding something that keeps my mind so engaged that I don't think about food.
    Or taking a long walk, and NOT eating as I walk! (Which I know some are prone to do.)
    I read something recently about identifying true hunger, and I am trying to experiment with that.
    I've also read that many times, thirst is the problem, so I've learned to keep water at my desk and drink it, to keep from nibbling.
    Good luck to you!
  • nlewis22
    nlewis22 Posts: 107 Member
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    My only advice, is this: figure our what is triggering you and squash it! Stressed out? try taking 10 deep breaths or some yoga. Someone piss you off-Again 10 deep breaths or call a friend who you can vent to (or go to the gym and beat up a body bag!) Bored or lonely, go out for a walk, get a coffee, again call a friend, be around people! I personally reward myself with food-it's my birthday? Yay cookies! It's your birthday? Yay cookies! I have tried changing this so now every time I make a pound or fitness goal, I buy myself nail polish or get my hair done. You really do just have to figure out why it is you're eating and find other constructive ways to cope.
  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,301 Member
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    You could try a general cut back in the refined carbohydrate you have in a general way, then bolster your meals with a better amount of protein and fat to compensate but within your allocations. The higher the level of "sugar" you normally have, the greater the risk you will keep reaching for it. Also consider some fat is essential to the proper functioning of a body.

    All the very best
  • Calliope610
    Calliope610 Posts: 3,775 Member
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    There is no easy answer, but it basically comes down to what is easier and less painful to do. Is it easier to say "*kitten* it" and eat? Probably so, or you wouldn't be continuing with the emotional eating. At some point, it becomes increasingly more painful (emotionally, physically, etc) to continue with the status quo of eating. At that point, you will have to make a decision - to change my habits or not. When it hurts too much to continue, you will stop the behavior.

    I know of what I speak.
  • teilly
    teilly Posts: 1
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    I'm a binge eater, and I eat because of depression or anxiety most of the time. Sometimes it's just boredom. However my doctor recently prescribed me a new medication that helps with binge eating. It's made for seizures and migraines, but was approved for weight loss for it's dose of phentermine.

    The medication is called Topiramate. If you go to a doctor, maybe suggest this to them and see what they have to say about it?

    It worked wonders for me. I'm severely obese, and my diet has become almost half the battle thus far.
  • kamyers1289
    kamyers1289 Posts: 129 Member
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    Often people who have been restricting themselves harshly (or have been eating quite low-carb) tend to get a manic "eat all the things" kind of day.

    If this is true in your case, there's a few things you could try: 1) try nudging yourself closer to maintenance and include a few more carbs. 2) plan a "refeed" once a week where you eat some carbs and work to being under on a weekly average instead.

    I'm not a harsh restricter though, which is weird. I eat 1900 (TDEE is about 2300), and eat within my macros. So emotional eating really is strange for me, because I pretty much eat whatever I want anyway :/


    ...edit for typos
  • thegeorges11202004
    thegeorges11202004 Posts: 26 Member
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    I know I get especially "binge-ey" towards my time of the month. Knowing this is going to be coming, helps me. Sometimes I give in to it - and other times I do better. But it is usually one day of crazy feelings/bingeing/etc that mostly amounts to crazy hormones making crazy with me. Knowing when it is coming can help me plan my days before and after by eating less, ramping up my exercise, etc.
  • AllyBooMommyof2
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    I struggled with it terribly bad, but one day my health became more important, getting off blood pressure meds, staying alive for my 3 wonderful kids. Im off the meds. I knew I had to stop and did not have a choice so I just stopped. Went through all kinds of emotions at first, had to deal with them, but at some point dealing got a lot easier.
  • lauren3101
    lauren3101 Posts: 1,853 Member
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    Emotional eating is a difficult thing to overcome, and there's no real advice for it, as only you can determine why you binge eat and get the help you need from there.

    I have discovered I have triggers; for example, if I let myself get really hungry, or if I'm just sitting about doing nothing. They are easy to deal with; find something that keeps your mind occupied and don't let yourself get too hungry. As for why I sit there and shovel an entire cake in my face when I'm feeling down? I don't know.

    Keep track of when you binge, be honest and log it in your food diary, then evaluate. It could be that you aren't eating enough, or that you are cutting out everything you like, or it could be a mental problem, in which case, if you feel you really need some help with it and it is making you unhappy, try and see a doctor.
  • vivaldirules
    vivaldirules Posts: 169 Member
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    This can be really hard. I still struggle with it but less now. If I can catch myself for just a moment before I start bingeing and can just pause for a minute or two and try to calm myself and sense my real hunger level and if perhaps I'm about to do something I will regret for no good reason, I often can just walk away or perhaps have some fruit instead and even smile about it. For me, it's about awareness of my needs instead of my old emotional reactions. If I'm lucky enough to see myself about to get stuck in that trap again, I can win in the end. I've learned that I can apply this to lots of things like exercise, chores, work, etc.
  • Sedna_51
    Sedna_51 Posts: 277 Member
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    One of the more important moments for me recently was when I was sitting at the computer, bored, and thought about getting up to go eat something. And I suddenly thought to myself, "Eating something isn't going to make me any less bored". I wish I could bottle that moment, because it was HUGE.

    That said, I still definitely have days where I eat emotionally! (And out of boredom, too!) And all of these are real, valid feelings that are OK to have; it's just that we're trying to address them in a different way than we're used to. I don't have a magic bullet, but there are a couple of tricks that have helped me.

    1. If you have trigger foods, try to either keep them out of the house or only let them in in limited quantities. I will destroy a bag of potato chips without a second thought, so I've stopped buying them for the most part, and when I do, I buy the smallest bag I can find.

    2. Recognize when you're feeling triggered, and try to address your feelings another way. I try to exercise (dancing, walking, workout video on YouTube) when I'm jittery and anxious; if I'm overwhelmed, I make myself tea and read a silly book; if I'm in need of a treat, I buy myself a new bottle of nail polish and/or give myself a manicure.

    3. If you're bored- look into new hobbies you might enjoy! I took up knitting, which I find very relaxing. And as a bonus, it gives me something to do with my hands.

    4. Plan to indulge /a little/ when you know you'll be under pressure. I have a huge project coming up at work, and I know I'll be buying more croissants and eating more lunch M&Ms as I deal with the stress. But it's temporary, they're delicious, and I'm going to fit them into my current goals.

    Interested to hear what other people's tactics are!
  • mskezh
    mskezh Posts: 5 Member
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    BUMP
  • 19TaraLynn84
    19TaraLynn84 Posts: 739 Member
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    How to stop emotional eating. Hmmmmm. Stop getting emotional? I'm only kidding. If it was that simple, I wouldn't be trying to lose 20 more pounds. I just wanted to comment on this to let you know you are not alone and because I want to read the replies later.
  • kamyers1289
    kamyers1289 Posts: 129 Member
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    One of the more important moments for me recently was when I was sitting at the computer, bored, and thought about getting up to go eat something. And I suddenly thought to myself, "Eating something isn't going to make me any less bored". I wish I could bottle that moment, because it was HUGE.

    That said, I still definitely have days where I eat emotionally! (And out of boredom, too!) And all of these are real, valid feelings that are OK to have; it's just that we're trying to address them in a different way than we're used to. I don't have a magic bullet, but there are a couple of tricks that have helped me.

    1. If you have trigger foods, try to either keep them out of the house or only let them in in limited quantities. I will destroy a bag of potato chips without a second thought, so I've stopped buying them for the most part, and when I do, I buy the smallest bag I can find.

    2. Recognize when you're feeling triggered, and try to address your feelings another way. I try to exercise (dancing, walking, workout video on YouTube) when I'm jittery and anxious; if I'm overwhelmed, I make myself tea and read a silly book; if I'm in need of a treat, I buy myself a new bottle of nail polish and/or give myself a manicure.

    3. If you're bored- look into new hobbies you might enjoy! I took up knitting, which I find very relaxing. And as a bonus, it gives me something to do with my hands.

    4. Plan to indulge /a little/ when you know you'll be under pressure. I have a huge project coming up at work, and I know I'll be buying more croissants and eating more lunch M&Ms as I deal with the stress. But it's temporary, they're delicious, and I'm going to fit them into my current goals.

    Interested to hear what other people's tactics are!

    Good tips, thank you! I actually tried to knit once, it didn't go well.
  • aNewYear123
    aNewYear123 Posts: 279 Member
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    It is hard to stop because it is not only a habit but the food is a source of comfort. You have to face the emotions and try and work through them or redirect them. Lonely, maybe call a friend or write a letter (not just a text) to someone. Other emotions may have other outlets, a new hobby that you need to keep you hands clean while doing like knitting or scrap booking, exercise, take a hot bath, anything to redirect away from food.
  • Sedna_51
    Sedna_51 Posts: 277 Member
    Options
    One of the more important moments for me recently was when I was sitting at the computer, bored, and thought about getting up to go eat something. And I suddenly thought to myself, "Eating something isn't going to make me any less bored". I wish I could bottle that moment, because it was HUGE.

    That said, I still definitely have days where I eat emotionally! (And out of boredom, too!) And all of these are real, valid feelings that are OK to have; it's just that we're trying to address them in a different way than we're used to. I don't have a magic bullet, but there are a couple of tricks that have helped me.

    1. If you have trigger foods, try to either keep them out of the house or only let them in in limited quantities. I will destroy a bag of potato chips without a second thought, so I've stopped buying them for the most part, and when I do, I buy the smallest bag I can find.

    2. Recognize when you're feeling triggered, and try to address your feelings another way. I try to exercise (dancing, walking, workout video on YouTube) when I'm jittery and anxious; if I'm overwhelmed, I make myself tea and read a silly book; if I'm in need of a treat, I buy myself a new bottle of nail polish and/or give myself a manicure.

    3. If you're bored- look into new hobbies you might enjoy! I took up knitting, which I find very relaxing. And as a bonus, it gives me something to do with my hands.

    4. Plan to indulge /a little/ when you know you'll be under pressure. I have a huge project coming up at work, and I know I'll be buying more croissants and eating more lunch M&Ms as I deal with the stress. But it's temporary, they're delicious, and I'm going to fit them into my current goals.

    Interested to hear what other people's tactics are!

    Good tips, thank you! I actually tried to knit once, it didn't go well.

    Glad to help! (And honestly? My knitting last night didn't go that well either. WELP. /shrug)
  • 19TaraLynn84
    19TaraLynn84 Posts: 739 Member
    Options
    One of the more important moments for me recently was when I was sitting at the computer, bored, and thought about getting up to go eat something. And I suddenly thought to myself, "Eating something isn't going to make me any less bored". I wish I could bottle that moment, because it was HUGE.

    That said, I still definitely have days where I eat emotionally! (And out of boredom, too!) And all of these are real, valid feelings that are OK to have; it's just that we're trying to address them in a different way than we're used to. I don't have a magic bullet, but there are a couple of tricks that have helped me.

    1. If you have trigger foods, try to either keep them out of the house or only let them in in limited quantities. I will destroy a bag of potato chips without a second thought, so I've stopped buying them for the most part, and when I do, I buy the smallest bag I can find.

    2. Recognize when you're feeling triggered, and try to address your feelings another way. I try to exercise (dancing, walking, workout video on YouTube) when I'm jittery and anxious; if I'm overwhelmed, I make myself tea and read a silly book; if I'm in need of a treat, I buy myself a new bottle of nail polish and/or give myself a manicure.

    3. If you're bored- look into new hobbies you might enjoy! I took up knitting, which I find very relaxing. And as a bonus, it gives me something to do with my hands.

    4. Plan to indulge /a little/ when you know you'll be under pressure. I have a huge project coming up at work, and I know I'll be buying more croissants and eating more lunch M&Ms as I deal with the stress. But it's temporary, they're delicious, and I'm going to fit them into my current goals.

    Interested to hear what other people's tactics are!

    Good tips, thank you! I actually tried to knit once, it didn't go well.

    Glad to help! (And honestly? My knitting last night didn't go that well either. WELP. /shrug)

    We should all take up knitting, even if we're bad at it. Then wear the ugly scarves we make as a beautiful reminder of that time that we did NOT give in and binge!