Emotional Eating

What is emotional eating?

Emotional eating is a form of disordered eating and is defined as "an increase in food intake in response to negative emotions “and can be considered a maladaptive strategy used to cope with difficult feelings. We have come to discover that emotional eating can happen with many different types of feelings like anger, sadness and anxiety. However, some feelings that are not negative like; happiness, excitement, boredom, nervousness and anticipation for something to good or bad to happen can lead to unplanned overeating. Unfortunately for some, the only way we to cope with these feelings is to eat foods that are generally unhealthy and loaded with starch and sugar because it reacts on the brain like a drug. The brain registers all pleasure the same way with the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The “Feel Good Hormone” so you can see why food can be used to mask the pain of certain emotions or any feelings at the time.

Some therapist refers to emotional eating as “unconscious eating”. Like for example, you have finished a full meal and only an hour has passed yet you find yourself going to the fridge to look around for something to snack on. You’re not hungry. You may not even be aware of what you’re doing. You are basically letting your brain follow a bad habit and instead of going for a walk or maybe reading a book you decide to eat to cope with your boredom or loneliness.

Healthy Coping Skills

It’s important first to figure out what triggers your emotional eating behaviors. Sometimes it’s best to write down in a food diary of what you eat throughout the day and when you find yourself eating off plan. Be sure to note what you were feeling at that time. You can then go back later to figure yourself out a new healthy coping skill.

Always try to stay positive. Everyone will have bad feelings, almost every day but the good news is they will not last forever. They come and go, so it’s always best to do a 10-15-minute healthy coping exercise to help relieve that stress. Yoga or meditation work great in these situations. Consider it a challenge to yourself to see what works for you.

Try your best not to give in and eat because of an emotion because that gives food power. You then intensify your desire to use food as a coping strategy. The stronger you are against changing this behavior the better your chances are of curing yourself of this disorder.


Kale - a form of cabbage recognized as a superfood - is rich in healthy fiber and antioxidants, a great source of vitamin A which promotes immune function, eye and skin health along with growth of tissues.

Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable.

100 grams serving of raw broccoli provides 34 kcal and is an excellent source (20% or higher of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin C and vitamin K. Raw broccoli also contains moderate amounts (10–19% DV) of several B vitamins and the dietary mineral manganese, whereas other essential nutrients are in low content. Broccoli has low content of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and dietary fiber.

Broccoli Salad

  • 2 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbs light mayonnaise
  • 1 container plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons artificial sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Hand full of spinach


In a large bowl, stir together the broccoli, grapes, ccelery and cranberries.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, sweetner and vinegar until well blended and creamy. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and toss well to combine and cot everything. Chill for at least one hour.

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