Emotional Eating: How To Take Control + What You Can Do to Stop Stress Eating

If your routine feels kind of like wake up, walk over to the fridge, take on your day, and make multiple trips back and forth to the fridge, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Emotional eating is an all-too-common transformation killer that sometimes feels impossible to deal with.

Due to the general sense of stress that’s happening, it’s not surprise that now more than ever, emotional eating is an important topic. BUT, it can be an issue beyond what’s currently happening in the world: Whether it’s drama in your marriage, the loss of a loved one, or just good old stress at work, the inability to deal with our emotions in a healthy way can lead us to blind binge on foods we know are not on plan! Please don’t feel you are alone…Chris and I have both struggled with emotional eating our own lives as well.

Best Ways to Control Emotional Eating + What to Do to Stop Stress Eating

Through the years of working with people (and being one of them!) that “eat their emotions”, we’ve found/created 4 helpful ways to combat urges to?emotionally eat, and stay?on track. Let’s break it down:

  • Track your foods. If you’re tracking your food intake day in and day out, regardless of whether you’re feeling like you’re on the verge of a binge or not, it can keep you on the right path. Seeing how well you’ve been eating and realizing what a damage eating that entire bag of potato chips would be to your goals is an amazing motivator to put down the crap and get your booty to the gym instead. Highly recommend this one!
  • Phone a friend. If you don’t already have an accountability buddy…get one! When trying to drop some pounds and stick to a new lifestyle, having someone right next to you to cheer you on and keep you on track when you need it most is vital to success. Find someone you can seriously trust, and when you’re about to gorge on a gallon of ice cream, call her/him for an uplifting chat instead.
  • Stay busy. This is the tactic I’ve found works the best for me. Instead of wallowing in your sorrows on the couch, mindlessly eating chips and salsa (totally guilty), hop up and get moving. If some exercise is just not in the plan, no worries! Head out the door and run some errands or go to the mall instead. Anything to get your mind off your struggle and get your body moving.
  • The rubberband trick. This is something we’ve done with our EWL peeps for years, and it seriously works. Grab a plain old rubber band, decorate it if you’d like, then throw it on your wrist and leave it there. Then, when you’re feeling like you’re on the verge of diving into a dark zone, snap your wrist with the rubberband to refocus your attentions. It may sound silly, but we have found it to work again and again.

If you’re asking yourself, “What can I do to stop stress eating,” starting with these tips and tricks will really help you along the way. There are so many different ways to keep your mind and body on track when the urge to binge comes up, but these 4 have proved to be the most successful for us and our peeps. Try one or all of them out next time the craving calls!


Relating reading:

Ask The Powells: How Can I Structure My Meals?
Reignite Your Fire To Achieve Your Goals
Ask The Powells: How Do I Gain Healthy Weight?

42 Responses

    1. Hi Ioma: I’m so sorry, but we don’t have any of the program or charts in Indian. You could try using Google Translate to translate the posts on Heidi’s blog into Indian. We wish you the best!

  1. Hey Heidi. I love yours and Chris show extreme weight loss. I am overweight big time. I was in a abusive marriage. I went thru a lot as a child that I haven’t told a sole. I suffer from anxiety and depression and take medication for them. I need help Heidi. I struggle from paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford a lot of stuff to be able to try to lose weight. I would love to talk to you or Chris about my weight gain. I am from a small town in Alabama. Please please help me Heidi. I need help to get this weight off.

    1. Hi LuCinda: Thank you for your comment! Chris and Heidi truly wish they could personally help everyone, but since they can’t, you can begin your transformation journey today with the same program they use on EWL. You can learn about their cycling program here: https://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and follow all the links within the post too. The exercise part of their program requires no gym membership or equipment, so that should be very helpful for you. And please discuss this, or any nutrition and exercise program, with your healthcare team first, and then follow any modifications they might recommend. Make that first promise, choose a cycle, and go! You can do this!

  2. 5 months ago I had an accident and landed on my spine (horseback riding) TG I had no fractures or nerve damage but still put me on a wheelchair for 2 weeks and I struggled to walk for a month after.

    Before the accident I used to be very active and workout 6 days/week (3 days/wk weight lifting + bootcamp, yoga, zumba, jogging, surfing, you name it) and was eating about 1350-1500 cal/day. Weighted 145 lbs. After the accident I havent been able to workout that much and have gained about 20 lbs! Its depressing.

    6 weeks ago I started walking every day for 30 mins and cooking almost everything I eat yet, I dont see any drastic changes. I am dealing with a lot of anxiety/frustration and I feel now is affecting me. The mental and emotional aspect of this situation has been devastating for me.

    Any caloric intake suggestions? I am eating 5 times per day (3 meals 2 snacks), I am shooting for over 100 gr of protein per day, I am 5’7”.

    1. Hi BB: I’m so sorry to hear about your accident and can’t imagine how difficult and frustrating this all has been for you. You can learn about Chris and Heidi?s carb cycling program, the same program they use on the show, here: https://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and follow all the links within the post?everything you need to know and do to achieve your transformation goals is outlined in their program. It would also be a good idea to discuss this program with your healthcare team first, and then follow any modifications they might recommend. Make that first promise, choose a cycle, and go! You can do this!

  3. Hi Heidi! All my life I’ve struggled with my weight. I’m definitely an emotional eater and a self sabotger meaning when I hit a good stride..I binge. I’m now 25 lbs away from my goal weight and seem to have hit a self sabotage wall that I can’t get out of. Help!!!

    1. Hi Emily: Congratulations on getting so close to your goal – that’s awesome! Here’s a post about Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation tool, and I think it could help you move forward on your path to achieve your goals: https://heidipowell.net/8679. Give it a try – it works! You can do this!

  4. I purchased the book Extreme Transformation, and dove right in. But I quickly hit a road block. What do you substitute items with that you can’t find readily available in smaller towns…specifically low sodium cheddar cheese & low sodium cottage cheese? I already tried asking the grocer if they would special order and they can’t.

    1. Hi Sunshine: No worries, just do the best you can! You can use the “regular” brands of cheese, just try and keep an eye on those sodium levels in the other foods you’re eating. Aim for 2000mg a day of sodium or less. You got this! ?

  5. Neat tips….but how do you stop diving for the bag of yummy sugar (chocolate anything) when you are tired?? I eat well when i have energy but the second it dives off the edge, usually around thursday i hit the sugar and undo all the good stuff :/

  6. Those are great tips! I have started to do more crafting. I have come to the realization I am an emotional eater. I like to crochet to stay out of that zone. I gotta try the rubber band trick. I think the actual snap will help.

  7. Heidi, I look up to you and Chris both so much! That being said, I was wondering what y’alls opinion was on the Ketogenic diet. Is this something that you have heard of?

  8. This has ALWAYS been my problem and it does seem impossible to defeat. Binge eating has always side tracked me from achieving my goals. I’d either be so stressed that I couldn’t eat and I’d lose a lot of weight just to gain it all back when I’d be so down id eat junk non stop. I always feel terrible afterward. A daily battle in my life!

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