1) “Learn to correctly identify your feelings. Believe it or not, a lot of people have difficulty differentiating between sad, anxious, bored and stressed.”
2) “Identify your triggers (what makes you sad or anxious).”
3) “Learn to recognize your body’s way of telling you that you are hungry.”
4) “Limit foods that trigger overeating. My suggestion: don't keep them in the house; having to go out and buy it may help hinder consumption.”
5) “Have a schedule for your meals.”
6) “Keep a food journal. It helps you identify your eating patterns and your feelings before you eat.”
7) “Create replacement activities: What are things you can do instead of eating? Perhaps you can take a relaxing bath, call a friend, or read a book.”
8) “If there are major circumstances in your life that impact your emotions, such as relationship problems or work problems, it is important to talk to a professional (therapist or health coach) that can help you combat the stressors.”
Kormeili shares what she believes causes overeating in some cases.
“Our lives are stressful with many ups and downs,” she said in an email.
“There is a constant media pressure for how you should look. Just read any magazine from Glamour to [Cosmopolitan], and you are hit hard with this message. When you don't fit into the stereotype of what beauty or health should look like, then it affects your self-esteem. The worse you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to engage in emotional eating. Depression increases your appetite and lowers your motivation to be active. It doesn't really matter if depression came first or obesity, but it is clear that the two are connected.”
Trudy Scott, a food mood expert, certified nutritionist, and author of “The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution,” said in an email that emotional eating has a biological cause.
“Emotional eaters are often drawn to comfort foods like cakes, cookies, chocolate and ice cream as a result of low endorphins, our feel-good brain chemical,” Scott said.