Emotional Eating – What is it and how can I get a handle on it?

6th March 2019

Picture this: You hit the snooze button one too many times, had a last minute project thrown at you at work, and then sat in an hour of evening traffic.


Finally home, you breathe a sigh of relief, head into the kitchen, and decide you deserve a snack after the day you’ve had. Maybe you reach for a bag of crisps, then a bit of chocolate.


Before you know it, you’ve munched your way through the entire kitchen without eating a proper meal. You’re stuffed, ashamed, and wondering what just happened – WTF?!


Sound familiar?


It’s called emotional eating, and in a nutshell, it is eating for any other reason besides actual physical hunger, fuel or nourishment.


3 Trademarks of Emotional Eating


The trouble with emotional eating is it overrides your body’s natural hunger cycle and can promote things like:

What Triggers Emotional Eating?


Even though it’s called “emotional eating” because people often reach for food to cope with their feelings, there are a lot of other non-hunger reasons that can prompt you to eat.


Some common non-hunger reasons include:

Six (6) Tips to Help You Get a Handle on Emotional Eating…for good!


If any of those scenarios sound familiar, know that you’re not alone! Emotional eating affects a lot of people at one point or another.


Want to know what you can do to stop emotional eating in its tracks? Here are 6 great tips!

  1. Have a non-food outlet to process uncomfortable feelings

  1. Manage stress

  1. Recognise boredom

  1. Practice self-care

  1. Practice mindful eating

  1. Eat a balanced diet




These energy balls feel like an indulgent snack, but are made from whole food ingredients and contain a bit of protein, healthy fat, and fibre to keep you fuller longer.


Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Energy Balls




125g cup natural almond butter (or other natural nut butter)

70g cup coconut flour

70g cup dark chocolate chips

75ml cup maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt


How to prepare


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, stirring until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to help the mixture come together.
  2. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the mixture and use your hands to roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  3. Store energy balls in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.





Study: Current Diabetes Reports, 2018 — Causes of Emotional Eating and Matched Treatment of Obesity


Study: Journal of Health Psychology, 2015 — Boredom proneness and emotion regulation predict emotional eating


Healthline: Mindful Eating 101 – A Beginner’s Guide