Ask a Dietician #4

Ask a Dietician #4

This week’s question is another powerful one! How to deal with emotional eating habits.

The topic of emotional eating applies to all of us at some point in our lifetimes. In the good times, the bad, and the mundane, do you ever cope using food? There are lots of foods labeled as “comfort foods” for a reason, so let’s explore this together.

Before we cite articles with nuggets of wisdom to identify and reduce emotional eating habits, let’s start out with defining emotional eating. 

  • Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. 
  • By itself, the word “emotional” means “of or pertaining to emotion,” and I think that’s important to keep in mind because “emotional” applies to many more feelings than sadness. 

In my experience, many of our emotional eating habits were formed in our youth and have solidified during adulthood. Unfortunately, habits with that type of history can be harder to identify and recognize, but breaking down our motivations behind these habits can be done and with conscious efforts, we can change our default behaviors.

Here are two excellent articles sharing information and tips from registered dietitians in the field:

More great resources:

  • Am I Hungry? 
    • A specialized focus in nutrition is called Mindful and Intuitive Eating which is an amazing resource to explore your emotional eating habits. 
    • UC Health offers Am I Hungry: Mindful Eating Workshop through the Recreator.
  • A wonderful and practical book on the topic is The Food Therapist.

As always, if you want to talk through your nutrition habits in a one-on-one, confidential setting, let us know! We can connect you with Victoria to learn more about nutrition coaching and how that might be helpful to you.


By Victoria Emmitt RD

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