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A food diary can help emotional eaters

Welcome to part two in our news series about emotional eating.

You read last week’s article and took an honest look at yourself and decided that this emotional eating thing rings true for you. Maybe you answered yes to a few or many of the questions I posed at the end of the article. So what can you do about it?

First of all, let’s see if you can identify your reasons or your triggers for emotional eating. Whenever you are eating outside of a regular meal time or are eating something other than a regular meal, can you ask yourself “is this fuel or support?”

What am I feeling right now that leads me to want to eat? I have really found that keeping a food journal helps in this process. So write down what you ate, how you felt before you ate it, while eating it and after you ate it. Have a column that asks “was it fuel or support” and answer honestly. Any item that you answered “support” for needs a plan to do something differently.

Some other techniques you can try are:

  1. Change your self-talk – our words are very powerful, so speak words of control, calm and empowerment. As a matter of fact, find some positive motivating clips on YouTube to keep you positive until it becomes second nature. Just search for positive self-talk and you will be amazed at what comes up.

  2. Meditate – this will help to manage your stress levels. Not sure how to do this? Visit or another free resource with guided meditations. Commit to just 20 minutes a day, whether you feel you need it or not.

  3. Swap out – come up with some creative ways to replace the eating with another activity that makes you feel good. When a craving hits, it can leave you in just 3 minutes. So have a cup of herbal tea, go for a walk, do some sit-ups or push-ups.

  4. Nourish, do not deprive – Are you getting enough nutrients in your day? Assess what you are eating by reviewing your journal, you may find that you are depriving yourself of some key nutrients

  5. Banish the guilt - You may slip, it’s human nature. Try not to slip daily but when you do, don’t beat yourself up over it. Examine what went wrong, and set a plan to make it less likely to happen again.

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