If you respond to any emotional situation—happy or sad—by overeating, and you want to stop, there are solutions. But you’re not going to find them in your refrigerator, on a pastry cart, or in a restaurant. You’ll have to look deeper. First step: Learn to recognize and acknowledge emotional overeating for what it is so you can start eating to satisfy real hunger, and not give in to a habit of using food to distract yourself from dealing with feelings.

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Look at the Way You Eat

How you eat can be more important than what you eat. The total amount of food you eat, your attitude toward food, how you balance your meals and snacks, and your personal eating habits can play a much bigger role in emotional overeating than the specific foods you choose to eat. Take time to analyze your eating patterns, learn more about normal eating vs. emotional overeating, and develop new self-help strategies to address both your emotional and physical relationships with food. Practice saying “no,” not only to unhealthy foods, but also to emotionally-charged situations that sabotage your efforts to develop better eating habits. (Photo: Unsplash, Ella Olsson)

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Last Updated: May 14, 2019