Habit Change

3 techniques to overcome emotional eating

title

It’s understandable that in the current environment, many of us are experiencing heightened feelings of stress, uncertainty, and anxiety. This might be the result of financial pressures, fear for our own health or the health of loved ones, and uncertainties around the future.

Alongside this, we’re also coping with different challenges that come with working from home and reducing our social interaction, such as increased snacking and emotional eating.

Second Nature recently performed a survey, which included over 1800 participants, to gather further insights into how our lifestyle habits have changed since the coronavirus outbreak. Interestingly, the survey found that over 50% of us are eating more snacks than usual. On top of this, almost 50% of us reported eating when bored and 25% felt out of control with our eating habits.

This highlights that we’re not alone when it comes to experiencing changes to our food choices and eating habits over the past few weeks. The good news: there are effective strategies that we can use to help us take back control and prevent overeating.

Understanding what emotional eating is and identifying emotional eating are important steps to overcoming this.

In this guide, we’ll be sharing our top tips on how to overcome stress eating in the moment and better manage our food cravings. Remember, not one size will fit all. It’s important to find a strategy that works for you.

It’s important to remember that it can take our brain a long time to lay down the habit pathway associated with emotional eating, so understandably it will take us time and practice to undo this.

1) Practise mindful eating

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve finished a meal and not remembered actually eating the food? You’re not alone – many of us are focused on something else when we eat, so the act of eating is done on autopilot.

Mindful eating is an important tool to help us become more aware of what we’re eating, how much we’re eating, and why we’re eating it. In the long run, this can help with weight loss by controlling our portion sizes and staying in tune with what our body actually needs.

The goal of mindfulness, in general, is to practice paying attention on purpose and non-judgmentally to one single thing, which is the complete opposite of multitasking. In the case of mindful eating, this means turning your full attention to the process of choosing, preparing, and eating your food, whether that be meals, snacks, or drinks.

Remove distractions

The first step to mindful eating is to remove distractions at mealtimes. If we’re preoccupied with our surroundings, such as the TV, our mobile phone, driving, or work, it’s difficult to focus on the process of eating entirely.

This often leads to us eating more than what our body needs, or eating past the point of fullness. Ideally, try to eat at a table away from your workspace and minimise other distractions. Eating in the company of others is a great way to spend mealtimes – you might even consider a video chat with friends or family over mealtimes if you’re living alone.

Engage your senses

Before eating, take a moment to look at and smell your food. Also spend some time reflecting on where your food came from, and how it was grown and prepared. This will help you appreciate what you’re eating and the work that went into getting food on your plate.

As you’re eating the meal, focus on what each element tastes like in your mouth and savour each bite. Are there certain textures or flavours which pair well together? Turn your attention to enjoying the food that you’re eating.

You could also try dimming one of your senses to heighten the others while you eat a certain food. For example, you could blindfold yourself or close your eyes while you enjoy a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream. This activity can make your other senses like taste and smell much more engaged, which means you enjoy the chocolate more and feel more satisfied afterwards.

Slow down

The next step is to take time to eat your meal. Often we eat food on-the-go or in a hurry while focusing on something else. The ’20, 20, 20′ strategy is a helpful tool to increase mindfulness around food and eating. At each meal:

  • Chew your food for 20 seconds
  • Put your fork down for 20 seconds between mouthfuls
  • Take 20 minutes to eat your meal.

Concentrate entirely on your food, and even if you feel your mind wandering, carry on. You’ll likely find that you need to eat less as you become more in tune with your body’s hunger signals and more aware of what you’re eating.

Key points:

  • In the current environment, many of us are finding ourselves snacking more than usual and feeling like we’ve lost control of our food intake Mindful eating is a useful strategy to help us feel more in control of our food choices
  • Eating mindfully involves becoming more aware of what we’re eating, how much we’re eating, and why we’re eating it
  • It means paying closer attention to the process of choosing, preparing, and eating our meals
  • Removing distractions when eating meals and snacks can help us stay more in tune with our feelings of hunger and fullness
  • Engaging with all our senses when eating, including taste, smell, sound, feel, and sight, will help us feel more satisfied after our meal
  • Slowing down while we’re eating can also give our body enough time to feel full, so we can learn to respond to our fullness cues earlier.

2) Be prepared

Another effective strategy you can try is ‘if/then‘ scenarios. Take a moment to fast-forward to 6 months in the future, and imagine that you’ve failed with your healthy lifestyle changes.

Now try and tell the story of why this happened. What caused you to go off track? What did you struggle with or find difficult? Why was it hard to restart?
Now that you have this information, you can start to develop a plan to stop these scenarios from happening in the first place. This is where our ‘if/then’ scenarios come in.

For each barrier or challenge you think you might face in the future, think about the action you’ll take in this situation.

For example,

  • If I’m bored at home and get the urge to visit the pantry, then I’ll listen to a podcast, so my mind has something else to focus on
  • If I’m feeling upset after watching the news and I get a craving for ice cream, then I’ll sit down and try a brain training app
  • If I had an awful day and feel overwhelmed with a lack of routine, then I’ll call my friend for a chat

Try to write down a full list of all the possible scenarios that you foresee as being a potential challenge. Then when you’re faced with these situations in the future, you’ll feel better prepared with a plan to manage them.

If you find yourself faced with one of your triggers and your current ‘if/then’ scenario doesn’t work – that’s ok! It may take a few attempts before you find an alternative outlet that’s really effective in soothing your emotions.

Research has also shown that the best tasks to do to take your mind off food are cognitively challenging ones. This means going for a walk, meditation, or taking a bath may not be effective ways to distract yourself. However, something that engages your brain can be a better distractor, such as:

  • Sudoku puzzles
  • Crosswords
  • Brain training apps
  • Chess or scrabble
  • Calling a friend
  • Learning a new dance routine or taking a dance class
  • Learning a musical instrument or language
  • Playing a board game
  • Listening to a podcast
  • You might like to try some of these cognitively challenging tasks in your ‘if/then’ scenarios!

Key points:

  • Being prepared for emotional cravings ahead of time can help you better manage them in the moment
  • One strategy to help you prepare is doing ‘if/then’ scenarios, which involves forecasting some behaviours you could do in response to every possible scenario
  • Cognitively challenging tasks are also more likely to help you move on from an emotional craving compared to more relaxing activities

Want to make losing weight feel easier?

The Second Nature app uses behavioural science to retrain your mind to make healthy choices automatically, so these stick in the long run. Join 150,000 people who’ve used Second Nature to make losing weight feel easier - the first step is to create your personalised plan with our quick quiz.

3) Take away the guilt

It’s also important that you try to take away any feelings of guilt that can arise during or after an episode of comfort or emotional eating. One way to do this is to stop labelling foods as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘junk food’, ‘treat’, or ‘syn’. This can foster a negative relationship with food and create an ongoing cycle of comfort eating. Instead, there should be foods we enjoy every day and foods that we enjoy less often.

Try to avoid putting strict rules around food as well, like ‘I can’t eat a bag of chips during the week’ or ‘I’m not allowed to drink fizzy drinks ever again’.

Generally, strict rules tend to have the opposite effect of making us crave these foods even more, then causing feelings of guilt or shame if we break one of these rules.

Try to have a more balanced viewpoint, such as ‘I’ll only have chocolate when I truly feel like it.’ Then allow yourself to enjoy the chocolate when you want it and move on afterwards.

At the end of the day, every one of us will have different triggers for emotional eating. Likewise, we need an individualised approach when it comes to feeling in control of our emotions.

The Second Nature programme teaches you to enjoy food mindfully without counting numbers, calories, or fixating on weight. We believe there’s so much more to health than the food you put in your mouth. That’s why we take a more holistic approach and focus on mindset, stress, sleep, and exercise, as well as nutrition.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between emotional eating and binge eating disorder (BED), which is a severe mental illness. Overeating every now and again is perfectly normal, however, if you’re experiencing binge-eating episodes at least once a week for three months, it’s important to seek help from a qualified healthcare professional.

Key points:

  • Removing the guilt often associated with emotional eating episodes is important to help you overcome them
  • Avoid labelling foods or putting strict rules around certain foods, which can foster a negative relationship with food
  • Try to adopt a more balanced and flexible viewpoint towards food and allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love mindfully

Take home message

  • Many of us are finding we’re snacking more and feeling less in control of our food choices since social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic
  • Mindful eating is an effective strategy to help us be more in control of our food choices
  • Being prepared for emotional eating cravings ahead of time can also help us to better manage these in the moment
  • It’s also important to remove any guilt associated with emotional eating and try to take a more balanced approach towards occasional foods
  • Remember that we all need an individualised approach when learning to better manage emotional eating. It will take time and practice to overcome this and we should approach this process with kindness and acceptance towards ourselves.

You might also like

What is emotional eating?

What is emotional eating?

How to identify emotional eating

How to identify emotional eating

How to break bad habits: 3 simple steps

How to break bad habits: 3 simple steps

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Write a response

Commenter
Gayle Munnings
19 June, 2022

The 20/20 rule is definately something I will attempt. I get distracted at meal times an am my own worst enemy.


Commenter
Anna
23 June, 2022

Hi Gayle,

Thanks for your comment, we hope you find the 20/20 rule useful!

If you’re not yet subscribed to Second Nature, our programme provides extensive support for overcoming emotional eating and building healthier habits.

If you’d like to learn more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions.


Commenter
Leslie
28 April, 2022

I really enjoy my food, but have never taken 20 minutes to eat even when I have purposefully tried to eat slowly!


Commenter
Debra
10 March, 2022

I think if I took 20 minutes to eat my meal it would be cold by the time I finished! I can see a benefit in avoiding distractions while eating though.


Commenter
Ann Brown
26 February, 2022

I think the 20 /20 rule is a good idea and focusing on the food and its origin.
I am someone who skips meals and finds that my evening meals are rushed due to hunger.
I think focusing on an activity after tea would definitely help me, stop me reaching for the biscuits.


Commenter
Tina Holliland
21 February, 2022

I think the 20 20 20 rule sounds like something I can start with to change my habits.


Commenter
Anna
17 March, 2022

Hi Tina,

So pleased this sounds like a helpful tool!

If you’re interested in our programme, Second Nature provides many other tools for overcoming emotional eating. You’ll also have the 1:1 support of a health coach who is there to work with you on your specific triggers and help you develop healthier habits.

To learn more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Ann Fitzpatrick
18 February, 2022

I’ll attempt the distraction strategy.


Commenter
Anna
6 May, 2022

Hi Ann,

We hope it’s helpful, let us know how you get on! 🙂


Commenter
Anna
17 March, 2022

Hi Ann,

Sounds great, please do let us know how you get on and if you have any questions about this strategy 🙂

Our programme also provides many other tools to help you overcome emotional eating. You’ll have the 1:1 support of a health coach who is there to support and guide you throughout your time on our programme.

If you’d like to learn more about Second Nature, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions.


Commenter
TAIWO CLEMENTINA OLARINMOYE
18 February, 2022

I will try the 20.20.20 and also try new game for a distraction.


Commenter
Anna
6 May, 2022

Hi Taiwo,

That sounds like a great plan, we hope you find these new tools useful!

Our programme includes many other tips and tricks for overcoming emotional eating. If you’d like to learn more about Second Nature, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Christine
11 February, 2022

I shall also try the 20 20 20 rule. I find it helpful to have a protein snack near if I still fancy something sweet after a meal.


Commenter
Anna
6 May, 2022

Hi Christine,

Thanks for your comment, we hope you find the ’20, 20, 20′ rule helpful!

Our programme includes many other tips and tricks for improving mindfulness and overcoming emotional eating. If you’d like to learn more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Anna
17 March, 2022

Hi Christine,

These are great ideas, please let us know how you get on 🙂

Our programme provides many other tools for overcoming emotional eating. You’ll also have the 1:1 support of a health coach who is there to work with you on your specific triggers and help you develop healthier habits.

If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Tracey Adams
15 January, 2022

Very interesting
I will try the 20 20 20 rule , also not switch the tv on when I sit down too eat which is normally the case 😱


Commenter
Anna
2 February, 2022

Hi Tracey,

So pleased you’ve found this guide interesting! Let us know how you get on with these new tools 😊

Our programme provides many other tips and tricks to help you overcome emotional eating habits. If you’d like to learn more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 😊


Commenter
Nick Webster
6 January, 2022

A very helpful article, but a couple of typos crept into the last “key points”. Should it not read “labelling foods” in lieu of “levelling foods” and “more balanced” in lieu of “move balanced”?
Kind regards


Commenter
Chris Gibbs
10 January, 2022

Hi Nick,

Many thanks for noticing these typos – these have now been corrected.

Cheers, Chris


Commenter
Sheena Kirkham
4 November, 2021

Thanks for the article. It made good reading xx


Commenter
Anna
10 November, 2021

Hi Sheena,

Thanks for your comment, so pleased you’ve enjoyed this guide 🙂

If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here or email support@secondnature.io with any questions!


Commenter
Cathy
23 October, 2021

Thanks for this article Tamara. How interesting that cognitive activities are more effective at distraction from cravings then going for a walk or taking a bath! That explains a lot. I’m going to focus on this when the cravings hit. 🤗


Commenter
Anna
2 November, 2021

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for your comment – so pleased you’ve found this guide helpful!

Our programme includes an interactive video catalog with different strategies to overcome emotional eating. If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Vilma
4 October, 2021

I too like the idea of if/ then


Commenter
Anna
15 October, 2021

Hi Vilma,

So pleased this guide’s been helpful, let us know how the if/then technique works for you!

Our programme will offer further support to overcome emotional eating. If you’d like to learn more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Clare Scott
30 September, 2021

Informative interesting article. Maybe thats why so called, slimming clubs go one for years.
Syns, treats, good ,bad! At the end of the day, its how we perceive it


Commenter
Anna
12 October, 2021

Hi Clare,

Such a great point! We can shift so much by changing our perception.

Our programme offers many other tools and tricks to overcome emotional eating. If you’re interested in learning more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Lesley Beaton
28 September, 2021

I like the idea of the if/then plan. I am going to try this out.
Very interesting article.


Commenter
Anna
9 October, 2021

Hi Lesley,

So pleased you’ve enjoyed this guide, let us know how the if/then tool works for you!

Our programme will provide plenty of other tools for mindfulness and overcoming emotional eating. If you’d like to learn more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io 🙂


Commenter
Loraine White
28 September, 2021

I like the 20 20 20 aspect of this and it tends to be one that will stick in my mind


Commenter
Janet Porter
26 September, 2021

I was interested in the 20-20-20 rule, I would have always been a fast eater so I am going to slow down and enjoy my food!


Commenter
Anna
9 October, 2021

Hi Janet,

That’s great, let us know how it works for you!

Our programme will offer many other tools to improve mindfulness. If you’re interested in learning more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io 🙂


Commenter
Liz
22 September, 2021

Interesting article with solid advice.
Acknowledging why I am wanting to overeat is my first step then I will certainly practice the if/then scenario


Commenter
Anna
28 September, 2021

Hi Liz,

Thanks for your comment, so pleased you’ve found this guide helpful!

Our programme will help you continue to develop a toolbox to identify triggers and overcome emotional eating. If you’re interested in learning more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Loraine White
14 September, 2021

I have read through this article and found it helpful especially the mindfulness part of it as I find it hard to focus sometimes due to my mental health conditions so thank you for the information I will come back to it whenever I feel any doubtful thoughts 😊


Commenter
Anna
21 September, 2021

Hi Loraine,

Thanks for your comment, so pleased you’ve found this guide helpful 🙂

If you’re interested in learning more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here.


Commenter
Louise Ruming
13 September, 2021

Encouraging article with helpful tips.


Commenter
Anna
20 September, 2021

Hi Louise,

So pleased you’ve found this guide helpful!

If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Morris
2 September, 2021

This is a very good detailed article. In particular I liked the 20 20 20 framework which I have not seen before.


Commenter
Anna
6 September, 2021

Hi Morris,

Thanks for your comment – we’re so pleased you’ve enjoyed this guide!

If you’re interested in learning more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions.


Commenter
Carmel
23 August, 2021

Thank you. Interesting to learn what emotional and mindful eating is! Slow down and smell the coffee I guess
Carmel


Commenter
Anna
26 August, 2021

Hi Carmel,

Exactly – slowing down to enjoy the moment!

If you’re interested in learning more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here.


Commenter
Pauline mills
22 August, 2021

Please will you send me the five day plan thank you.


Commenter
Anna
26 August, 2021

Hi Pauline, please email support@secondnature.io to request our free 5-day plan 🙂

If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here.


Commenter
Kirsty Wilson
20 August, 2021

Very informative. Gives a good perspective on this and I resonated well with it all. I hope this makes me make better choices and not feel guilty. It makes sense.


Commenter
Janet
17 August, 2021

Enjoyed the reading. Some helpful tips.
Janet


Commenter
Anna
17 August, 2021

Hi Janet, so pleased you’ve enjoyed this guide! If you’re interested in learning more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here.


Commenter
Alison Cooper
14 August, 2021

Thank you for this as it has been interesting reading. To slow down when coming to a meal in general and trying to enjoy my food. I do suffer with emotional eating and especially when having a tough day or things have gone wrong its easy to pick up the takeaway menu or go to the biscuit tin. I am trying to learn to grab a piece of fruit instead.


Commenter
Silvia
13 August, 2021

I’m taking a couple of things. One is the 20-20-20 rule and the other one is the cognitive challenges. Thanks!


Commenter
Rachel Hillhouse
13 August, 2021

This is a very helpful article. I found out something that really disappointed me and I gave into emotional eating, which I haven’t done that in months. After reading this, I now realize that I have the ability to resist with the help of these strategies.


Commenter
Anna
14 August, 2021

Hi Rachel, so pleased to hear this article was helpful! If you’re interested in learning more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here.


Commenter
Heather Fangrow
11 August, 2021

Preparing an if/then list makes so much sense and something I definitely need to stay focused. And the food labeling and REALLY hit home; no wonder food and I have a love/hate relationship.


Commenter
Anna
14 August, 2021

Hi Heather, so pleased this guide’s been helpful! If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here.


Commenter
anita
6 August, 2021

This article really rang true for me and it was very helpful, I have struggled with emotional eating over my life, but I am already inspired to try some of the techniques suggested. Thank you


Commenter
Anna
15 August, 2021

Hi Anita, so pleased to hear you’ve enjoyed this guide! Our programme will provide you with a toolbox for identifying triggers and helping you to overcome emotional eating habits. If you’d like more information, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions.


Commenter
Penny
31 July, 2021

Interesting read, I will certainly try eating slower, I know it’s good for me but I know I will find it difficult.


Commenter
Anna
2 August, 2021

Hi Penny, pleased you’ve enjoyed this guide 🙂

During our programme, we’ll work on meal planning and resilience and develop a foundation that helps us to eat more mindfully whilst still enjoying the foods we love! Fore more information on our programme, please click here.


Commenter
Ana Amores
30 July, 2021

Interesting article.
Preparing in advance for situations when I will feel cravings and have a plan of action to replace unnecessary eating with some other activity.
I can try it.


Commenter
Anna
3 August, 2021

Hi Ana, thanks for your comment – that’s a great plan to identify your triggers and prepare in advance.

Our programme will offer even more helpful tools for overcoming emotional eating. For more information, please click here 🙂


Commenter
Karen Gregory
29 July, 2021

I’m an emotional eater and will definitely need to try these strategies.


Commenter
Anna
3 August, 2021

Hi Karen, let us know how you get on – we hope you find these strategies useful 🙂

We’ll introduce even more helpful tools for overcoming emotional eating on our programme. If you’d like to learn more, you can click here.


Commenter
heather norris
27 July, 2021

An interesting read so much of it registered with me and my own issues I’ve had much bereavement the last three years and really had lost control of my eating . This article I know will help me


Commenter
Anna
4 August, 2021

Hi Heather, so sorry to hear what you’ve been through and send you our best wishes. We’re pleased to hear this guide’s provided some helpful tips 🙂 We’ll dive more deeply into tools for overcoming emotional eating during our programme, and you’ll also have a section of our app dedicated to helping you prepare for triggers. If you’re interested in taking our health quiz, you can do so here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions!


Commenter
Angela Mckay
25 July, 2021

Well researched,we wouldn’t be harsh with a close friend, so why treat your close friend with such harshness,when the close friend is you


Commenter
Barbara Howell
21 July, 2021

Very interesting article I have periods of binge eating and then feel really disappointed in my self and lack of control.


Commenter
Brenda Gascoigne
20 July, 2021

Very interesting read.


Commenter
Michelle.
19 July, 2021

Interesting. Especially being prepared. Going to take some time to think about this. And the 29,20,20. This I’m trying straight away.


Commenter
Sally Broad
18 July, 2021

Im totally an emotional eater. This article is very useful.


Commenter
Lucy
14 July, 2021

I have yet to find out the best, thanks


Commenter
Lucy
14 July, 2021

Very helpful, thanks


Commenter
penny starr
14 July, 2021

Very interesting


Commenter
Annette
13 July, 2021

Thanks, I particularly liked point 2 Be prepared. Thinking about how I might feel in the future if I fail. For me this is the most thought provoking part of this article.


Commenter
Jackie davis
5 July, 2021

Thanks for this article. Some helpful tips. I don’t do the full mindful eating but I have practiced stopping…and focussing on a small piece of chocolate as I eat. Definitely makes a difference. I do find that by eating slowly I am in tune with when I am full. Carrot sticks are working for me as well for snacking.


Commenter
Annie
4 July, 2021

I have yet to find the best distraction strategy because this does work for mewhen i do become distracted from the craving, which usualy hits me late in the evening


Commenter
Grace
2 July, 2021

Very helpful article thanks


Commenter
Tracey Austin
24 June, 2021

Great message to read and learn from


Commenter
Louise Wood
23 June, 2021

I’ve never thought of myself as an emotional eater but after reading the article I realise I am. I keep repeating the same bad habits then feel guilty. I’m going to give mindful eating a try


Commenter
Julieanna
16 June, 2021

Very helpful thank you


Commenter
Penny
14 June, 2021

Very interesting to read and it certainly covered the reasons why I seem to be emotionally eating. I’m going to be much more mindful when I’m eating.


Commenter
Anne
14 June, 2021

Very insightful and I hope the impact stays with me. I did well initially but did some mindless eating of things that aren’t healthy which managed to trigger ignoring the good habits I gained in the first week


Commenter
Angela
11 June, 2021

Good article highlighting all the SN insights around emotional eating. Now that we are meeting up with friends and having the freedom of eating out again it’s difficult to be quite so in control of what we are eating. I’m going to check out menus online where possible before I eat out. Also maybe I will suggest taking a picnic and going for a walk now we have good weather.


Commenter
Amala
11 June, 2021

I eat! Happy, stressed, sad, excited it’s all about food… The article is sensible and real, not sure if I will be able to do this but I am going to try…


Commenter
Mary Moran
10 June, 2021

I liked the article a lot and what is very meaningful for me is developing the habit of mindful eating. I have been practicing this and then unfortunately I notice how many people swallow or gobble or stuff their food and it kind of puts me off.


Commenter
Madge
7 June, 2021

Having a glass of wine ends up in eating anything sweet I can get my hands on . Since cutting out wine there’s a lot more biscuits in the Press!!. I need to practice mindful eating. I’m not so much an emotional eater as a mindless one


Commenter
Ana
6 June, 2021

I have been crisis eating since I was 8. I only pressed stressed, but I eat when I am tired. Disappointed in procrastinating. Scared, over committed, so many reasons. Covid has made no difference to this


Commenter
Siobhan
6 June, 2021

Hi
I’m starting this program on June 14th & looking forward to it .
I think I’ve always been an emotional eater but it’s definitely got worse in the last year .
Thank you for the strategy’s & I will be implementing them .


Commenter
Fiona Wilson
6 June, 2021

Great! My biggest downfall is emotional eating & especially now trying to deal with grief & loss! My weight has ballooned over the past year with covid lockdown too!


Commenter
Deirdre Moffat
5 June, 2021

Hi. I am starting the programme on Monday 7th June. I found that article extremely helpful. I have been emotionally eating for the past 18 months, since I began working from home hence huge weight gain. I think being prepared and having a daily menu that includes snacks might help me.


Commenter
Anna
24 June, 2021

Hi Deirdre, we’re so pleased you’ve found this guide helpful!


Commenter
Patricia Hallahan
4 June, 2021

Great!


Commenter
Michelle
3 June, 2021

Got some good things to try now from this.


Commenter
Anna
10 July, 2021

Hi Michelle, so pleased to hear this! Our programme will take a deeper look into emotional eating, our triggers, and how to build healthier habits. To learn more, please click here.


Commenter
Anna
24 June, 2021

Hi Michelle, so pleased to hear! Our programme offers further support and insight into managing emotional eating. To learn more, you can take our health quiz here.


Commenter
Patricia
3 June, 2021

Tend to snack watching Netflix when a whole packet of crackers can disappear!


Commenter
Anna
10 July, 2021

Hi Patricia, it’s impressive what we can eat when distracted! Our programme will work with you on mindful eating – if you’re interested in learning more, you can click here. Or please feel free to email support@secondnature.io with any questions!


Commenter
Lyn
2 June, 2021

Really enjoyed this did learn new ways of coping


Commenter
Steph
31 May, 2021

A good read. I have got to stop eating so much sugar and sweet treats😩.


Commenter
Louise
31 May, 2021

I have a stressful job and I do sometimes turn to a glass of wine or a bar of chocolate for comfort. I won’t beat myself up if I slip off the wagon occasionally, but at the same time I will allow myself to enjoy these things as a treat from time to time.


Commenter
Michelle Jervis
31 May, 2021

Great article.


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Val Elliott
31 May, 2021

Very helpful, tend to watch TV while eating evening meal now going to eat at the table, like we used to. Also as my husband has early stage mixed dementia learning to step back somewhat and not use food as a prop to cope. Use my hobbies as an alternative to food.


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Linda Leah
31 May, 2021

Mindfulness while eating can potentially change our eating habits


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Linda Leah
31 May, 2021

Bringing Mindfulness into awareness when eating is a useful strategy and can potentially change our eating habits


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Alison Kane
29 May, 2021

Great article to read thanks. I am coping pretty well with the emotional eating now. I work in a busy Emergency Dept and see some pretty sad things especially with children, so I am mindful to care but let emotions go now. Thanks so much for your caring.


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Paula
29 May, 2021

I found this really interesting and helpful. I will be trying the 20/20/20 method and try eating mindfully. I think it will also be useful to have strategies in place beforehand to know what to do if I am tempted to do any snacking when watching tv in the evening. This is my downfall and when I give in I feel like I’ve failed and go off track completely.


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Julie
25 May, 2021

Interesting reading and certainly a lot of good advice to put into practice. Already I am thinking ahead and worrying for example, when we go on holiday, the time for treats usually, but if I plan forward it won’t be so worrying and I’d also like to think I can have the odd treat without feeling guilty. My husband does all the cooking since he retired but I am taking back control and enjoying it. Concentrating on the food I prepare for myself.


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Laurianne
1 June, 2021

This is enlightening. It is extremely interesting that some activities are more effective at redirecting my inclination to eat to deal with (or suppress) emotions. Good to have in my “toolbox”!


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Adrian
24 May, 2021

very true …..on alot of levels i am intreaged by 20/20/20 method as well.


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GERARDO SILANO
19 May, 2021

Excellent read. This had relaxed me somewhat and it had taught me that I’m on the right past. There’s nothing worse than guilt I should know being brought up as a Roman Catholic of which I do not engage in. I found the read liberating. Thank you.


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Alison Grayston
18 May, 2021

Excellent article. I like the 20/20/20 tip (going to introduce my husband to that) and I am personally using old-fashioned hand-pieced patchwork to distract me from unhealthy cravings. One square at a time! It keeps my hands occupied and fabric and food do not mix so it works quite well and sewing is quite a calming activity so it helps me de-stress. The added benefit is that I should have a quilt to show for it eventually!


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Marion
18 May, 2021

Very informative


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Christine Henderson
17 May, 2021

Very interesting, in fact the whole way this is set up is geared for success because it’s a holistic approach.


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Barbara Harrington
17 May, 2021

I can relate to not remembering earring the food, I shall focus on eating and think about it and eat more slowly


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Claire
16 May, 2021

Great article, I just downloaded a crossword app!


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Kim
12 May, 2021

Thankyou this was very interesting and useful. Some points i hadnt considered before eg how will eating make me feel less stressed 🤔


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Rhian Nowell-Phillips
10 May, 2021

Great stuff and plenty to ponder on. I’m trying to get back into meditation too, so I’ll add that to my list of cognitive challenges


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Soraya
9 May, 2021

My problem is that I’m rubbish at saying no to my husband or friend when they offer me a snack or high-calorie pudding. I need a little more will-power I think.


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Cintia
8 May, 2021

My aim is to loose weight and eating more healthy.This is very useful information


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Julie
5 May, 2021

My new motto is “be prepared”. Also I would love a free meal plan. Thanks


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Bill Collins
5 May, 2021

I shall try to stop getting angry with myself when I eat something that I shouldn’t.


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Patricia
3 May, 2021

I will try and not feel guilty if I have over eaten. When I have made a slip I am so riddled with guilt I give up all together and continue to over eat.


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Gail
20 April, 2021

Very useful. The end part about still being able to enjoy something you love and not beat yourself up, wait till you truly need it, enjoy it, then get back on track.


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Emma
13 April, 2021

Very useful information. I’ve realised I often don’t remember what I’ve eaten. Going to make a huge effort to be much more mindful when eating. Thank you


Commenter
Susan Eaglestone
9 April, 2021

Hi I shall start my new healthy diet on Monday and I am new on here as well


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Jacqueline
5 April, 2021

I need to spend time preparing food


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Louise
4 April, 2021

Liked The notion of preparing yourself for vulnerable times and having a plan thought out to manage it interesting. Will certainly work on this 👍


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Pauline Jones
31 March, 2021

Definitely emotional eating binges, why when I have reached target weight twice did I go back to the beginning?
Regards, Pauline


Commenter
Mebo Ndoro
22 March, 2021

Thanks for good information i used to eat anytime would able to limit myself i was even getting up midnight and eat a heavy meal


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Teresa Ougan
21 March, 2021

I will definitely try to slow down when eating my meals, and savour the flavours more.


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Linda
19 March, 2021

Good information and I definitely need to slow down when eating my meals.


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Chris
17 March, 2021

Being mindful whilst eating has been very successful. I enjoy the food more, feel full up and even sometimes before I’ve finished my meal


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Jeet
17 March, 2021

Great article. I will be trying the if/then technique as I tend to be an emotional eater.


Commenter
Alexis Chase
13 March, 2021

A thoughtful and informative article.


Commenter
Sheree Oxenham
13 March, 2021

An excellent article so well explained and has touched on so many things that I can relate to offering reasons empathy and possible solutions. Thank you


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Ruth Brookhouse
10 March, 2021

It’s at night more so during lockdown and with a family personal problem I eat because I’m bored or lonely or stressed.


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Lynne Perry
9 March, 2021

Totally agree with the sitting down and taking time to eat thoughtfully . I find i over eat when rushing around its as if your brain does not register that you have eaten enough . I will certainly be using this technique


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Luce
4 March, 2021

I will try sitting at table to eat rather than eating in front of the tv. Then I will have my mind fully on my meal rather than being distracted and eating more than I need.


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Kath
3 March, 2021

I’m concentrating on being positive and as I enjoy walking I’m doing lots of this as it gives me the feel good factor


Commenter
Maureen Davis
22 February, 2021

I started learning French and it got harder so I tried German , Spanish and gealic. I understood some of the German comments on the news


Commenter
Denyse
21 February, 2021

I like some of those technics especially the if/then strategies. Very interesting concept that I never used. Very good for an emotional eater like me.


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Yvonne
20 February, 2021

Very Interesting read I will try the 20-20-20 approach


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Sharon
12 February, 2021

Good strategies there. I definitely need to slow down when I’m eating and put more thought into what I’m actually eating .


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Lesley Yeldham
12 February, 2021

I will certainly try the 20/20 as I don’t do this at the moment. I very happy with the 5 day plan I can’t believe I’m not hungry straight after my meals. My jeans are starting to feel loose.


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Camilla
11 February, 2021

I’ll certainly try 20-20-20. I realise i’m not doing any of these at the moment and yes please to the 5 day plan


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Caroline
3 February, 2021

A good read


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Sadie Andrews
31 January, 2021

I will try these methods, as I am a classic emotional eater and have been for many years.


Commenter
Susie Howey
31 January, 2021

Some interesting strategies to avoid emotional eating or eating out of boredom. Any other guide-lines or information would be useful. Thank you.


Commenter
Muhammad Khalid Khan
29 January, 2021

Good article. I’ll focus on eating slowly from now and onwards.


Commenter
Siobhan Burke
28 January, 2021

I would like to lose weight


Commenter
Amy Groome
28 January, 2021

Hi Siobhan, Second Nature is a 12-week digital programme that helps you build healthier lifestyle habits around the way you eat, move, and think. You can find out more about how our programme can help you by taking our health quiz here


Commenter
Patricia Flannery
24 January, 2021

I would be interested in learning more on this topic.


Commenter
Christine Kenny
14 January, 2021

Such a good article, lots of excellent ideas to distract you from eating and when you do eat , to eat mindfully ,and I love the 20-20-20 idea ,I’ll definitely give that a try, I’ve started eating anything in a bowl with a teaspoon which slows me down


Commenter
Rebecca Crews
7 March, 2021

That is a fab idea Christine.. I’m going to try the same.


Commenter
Amy Groome
22 January, 2021

We’re so pleased that you found this article helpful, Christine!


Commenter
Anna Proctor
8 January, 2021

Good article I will definitely put the 20/20/20 rule in place, I’m also going to get some raised beds made this year and grow some of my own veg again. I did this in my 30,s so need to start again.


Commenter
Joanne Bate
1 January, 2021

I am aware that I am an emotional eater and so the idea of planning in advance how to deal with potential incidents makes sense. I also eat far too quickly and so I will try the 20:20:20 approach. A very good read. Thank you.


Commenter
Julie Fisk
23 December, 2020

It makes sense. I know I have to prioritise me now, and what I want to achieve.
Get into habit of planning meals properly.


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Nadia Mazzone
22 November, 2020

It all makes sense its just putting it to practice. I know that when l’m upset l just keep eating like there were no tomorrow’s and when l have settled down l look back embarrassed. But as l said its putting it to practice and this will take time.


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Stephen Henderson
21 November, 2020

57 years i just put food in my mouth and ate and thought about why?but know I shall look at my meals in a different light and ask myself the Q


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Patricia Woodward
20 November, 2020

I am going to try and put some of these strategies in operation


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Jane Rodley
7 November, 2020

This was really useful especially knowing it is ok to enjoy the occasional treat and not beat myself up. Also it’s helped me gain more of an insight into emotional eating.


Commenter
Theresa McGuinness
26 October, 2020

I practice 20 x 20 x 20 all of the time however is there a 20 anything that i could use when it comes to sweetness / sugar please!!


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Tatiza Costa Turner
17 October, 2020

I took a mindfully class long time ago. Didn’t like to chew on a grape for ever… But now I see it differently, I’ll try the 20 20 20 and see how it goes.


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Denise Phillips
17 October, 2020

Very interesting 20 20 20 rule i will definitely give it ago and stop feeling so guilty when I enjoy my big bag of crisps


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Ron Middleton
7 October, 2020

I found it reassuring in as much it reinforced my perception of ‘comfort’ eating and alternative ways of trying to control same.


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Peter Greenhill
1 October, 2020

I do tend to look for reward if I have worked hard.Thats usually sugar or alcohol.I am adopting the strategies to avoid that one choosing water or exercise.I have a good audio book which helps too.


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Janet
28 September, 2020

Definitely what Im doing. I like the If/when approach as I could easily go and ‘do’ something other than rummage in the larder or eat whatever I see.
Good article. Need to revisit.


Commenter
Jay Keep
28 September, 2020

Very helpful, removing guilt,


Commenter
Debbie Dixon
25 September, 2020

A very good read


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Julie
19 September, 2020

I find i do emotional eat and it good to see the Reasons for it i take in what you are saying and take it day by day form now no


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Mandy Martin
4 September, 2020

Very useful. I am a person who rushes everything and I never slow down when eating. I will try the 20 20 20 plan.


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Carolyn Spence
1 September, 2020

Good read. Will need to revisit to remind myself.


Commenter
Heather Buchanan
21 August, 2020

Very interesting read- thank you. I’ll come back to it as there’s a lot to take in.


Commenter
Ket
12 June, 2020

Could I have free 5 day plan please


Commenter
Eileen
8 June, 2020

I’d be interested in the 5 day menu please


Commenter
Jane Cattell
26 May, 2020

I really like the ‘if/then’ section. I know exactly how I will feel in six months time if I haven’t got to grips with a healthy eating/lifestyle plan – it’s given me extra determination. Even though I’ve only just started on the plan I already can see it is going to be really helpful.


Commenter
Jaci
14 May, 2020

This really useful information. I’d not thought about preparing for emotional eating before nor guidelines on how to do it. It’s one of my greatest challenges so I’m very glad to have found this article. Thank you.


Commenter
dianafroberts@yahoo.co.uk
25 April, 2020

This sounds a sensible approach and I am interested and would like to find out more.


Commenter
Tamara Willner
27 April, 2020

Hi Diana, thank you for your comment! To find out more about the Second Nature programme, take our health quiz here.