Coping Strategies for Emotional Eating

Think of somebody in your life who can eat whatever they want, and NOT gain weight. Annoying right?

Everybody knows somebody like this—people who are blissfully happy never caring about how many calories or fat grams are in their food.

Doesn’t that sound nice? To be naturally thin and happy without feeling crazy around food? These people have the secret.

Coping Strategies for Emotional Eating

They eat when they’re hungry. Period.

They don’t blow through a bag of Doritos when they’re stressed. They don’t devour a box of Oreos for comfort.

They deal with their emotions in an emotional way.

So before you eat anything ask yourself “Am I hungry?” Refer to this video for more info on that.

If you’re not hungry, what emotion are you feeling that’s causing you to eat?

Coping Strategies for Emotional Eating


Stress is the #1 emotional eating trigger. Instead of burying your head in a box of Krispy Kreme donuts:

  • drink chamomile tea
  • meditate to a stress relieving guided meditation
  • inhale lavender oil
  • tap it out using EFT (emotional freedom technique) to dampen those charged feelings
  • listen to soothing music (Enya always works for me!)

Because I’ll tell you—if you finish that box of donuts, you’ll be more stressed because you just ate a box of Krispy Kreme’s, right?


I get it. At the end of the day all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch your favorite meaningless show with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in your hand. Bachelor anyone?

After giving all day, you just want something for YOU.

Often times, it’s simply a habit we’ve created to mindlessly eat at night when the day is done. So if you love sugary snacks, try swapping them out for a high quality loose leaf tea sweetened with stevia or lakanto.

If salty snacks are your jam, try kale chips instead.

Then, let your comfort be about the guilty pleasure. A book. A magazine. A TV show that has nothing to do with saving the world! Simply enjoy.


Here’s the deal with love. You have to love yourself first.

Often times we look externally to nourish our need for love. Read the book, “You can heal your life,” by Louis Hay. She dives head first into positive affirmations helping soar the self-love-fest!


Declutter. I can’t say this enough. Clutter creates stagnation, exhaustion and exasperation. When you’re bored, use this valuable time to get rid of the physical things weighing you down rather than chowing down on junk food. The act of decluttering alone will make you feel lighter.


Overwhelm is the #1 reason we procrastinate.

So break up your daunting project into a series of tasks. These tasks feel manageable removing the overwhelm.

Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on your task uninterrupted. Check out the Pomodoro technique for procrastination strategies.

Jump in and use these strategies the next time you find yourself eating because of anything BUT hunger.

Now you.

If you have any strategies that help you with emotional eating, I’d love to know about them in the comments below.

Cheers to your health,


  1. Susanne Sideras

    I go for a walk with my dog when feeling emotionally super stressed- at least sometimes. A walk clears the mind, get’s me to breath and at it is meditative for me.

    • Mariah Dolan

      Much agreed, Susanne! I think walking (especially with a dog!) is one of the most calming things you can do. Simply stepping into nature and getting some fresh air does wonders for decompression. Thanks for your insightful comment 🙂

  2. Joy

    Very insightful-thanks Mariah! I can always tell when my kids are bored because they say “I’m hungry” in a whiny voice. I try to point out that they’re bored, not hungry. Hopefully they get this message early in life and not have to deal with emotional eating later on.

  • (will not be published)