Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Are you emotional eating?

You’re stuck in the house most of the day. Your balancing work and family life. You just wish you had the freedom to see family or visit friends.

The cupboards are full and you bought a few extra treats to get you through all of this. You are stressed, anxious, angry, frustrated, bored. You reach into the cupboard or fridge and grab something sweet. You eat that. You then reach again, eat more of the same or search for something else. You go back to whatever task you were doing and within on time at all your hand is back in the cupboard.

Does this sound familiar? Are you finding yourself snacking much more between meals or every evening? More than likely you are letting your emotions control your eating habits. This is very easily done in fact; your emotions can become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a treat without thinking about what you’re doing.


Emotional eating is a craving that the body tricks you into eating to supress or relax negative emotions. This helps to surpass your emotions with a bust of sugar but soon you will come crashing down, sometimes even feeling worse so you repeat the cycle.

Boredom is also as major cause of emotional eating. You can only read, play or watch TV for so long before boredom sets in. Then we play that game called, ‘What’s in the cupboards?’ The good news is that you can take steps to curb your emotional eating so you don’t come out of this lock down finding it hard to button up those jeans you have put on for the first time in a few months.

Be aware
The problem most of us have is that we are emotionally eating without even realising it. We are meant to be shopping for necessities so if you’re running to the shop every day then I think you may be eating more than you should. Be more mindful of how many times and when you are reaching for the cupboards.

Control your emotions
One of the best ways to stop emotionally eating is to control your emotions. This is another time where we must be aware of how we are felling. So rather than reaching for something sweet and sugary is there a better alternative to control your emotions? You could go for walk, talk with someone, do some exercise, drink a glass a water, read or mediate. Any of these options are a better choice than diving into the biscuit tin.

Don’t bring it into the house
This one is simple, if it’s not there you can’t eat it. So don’t buy it or not as much in the first place.

Set Eating times
We have our kids on their home school schedules so maybe we should have our eating schedule. Make it clear by writing it down or discussing with the family what times of the day we are eating and there is no need for that extra biscuit with your cup of tea.

Slow down and enjoy your food
I will be the first to admit that I eat my food too quickly thinking I have to move onto the next thing. Now we have a bit more time, slow down. Enjoy and savour each bite, place your knife and fork down, have a conversation, it’s not like we have many places to go. When we slow down and take our time consuming our food we are giving our stomach time to send signals to the brain to say that we are full. Rather than horsing our food down as quick as we can and the only signal wee get is a sore, full tummy.


You might be dehydrated
Sometimes we think we are hungry but we may just be dehydrated. The body will send us signals craving water but we might mistake those cravings for sugar.

Don’t deprive yourself
We could do with a little treat now and again so don’t deprive yourself. It’s about being smart about when and how much you should eat. Because we are in lock down a Tuesday night is still a Tuesday night so if you don’t normally have a glass or wine or a bar of chocolate then don’t. Save it for the weekend to unwind and relax.

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