Mindful Eating: Breaking the Emotional Cycle

Mindful Eating: Breaking the Emotional Cycle


Support is the most important word in your positive behavior vocabulary. I use the term ‘behavior’ because emotional eating and binge eating is a learned pattern. Studies from The European Journal of Psychology report that it takes 66 days to learn a new habit. New patterns take time, attention and commitment. Sometimes that’s just too much for one person to shoulder alone.

You know yourself. If you know that your chances of success will be greater if you have an accountability partner then this is something you need to acquire. Accountability partners come in many different guises. For some it’s a partner or a best friend, for others it’s a stranger (life coach or someone from a FB group or exercise class) and for some it’s enough to have a photo to look at or an invitation to an upcoming event. Whatever it is, it is something or someone that will motivate you, encourage you and KEEP YOU ON TRACK.


If you know that certain situations trigger emotional eating, avoid them. I have a friend that I love dearly. She is a great person to be around and I value her friendship and advice but in certain situations she can be very emotionally draining. Because of this, I avoid those being in those situations with her. 

If you truly want to sidestep your known triggers you must find ways to avoid the things that put you in that position to start with. This is something that needs careful thought and no-one else can do this for you.

Read How To Break An Emotional Addiction


When you eat mindlessly and emotionally you are looking for comfort. You feel bad at first and you eat to make yourself feel better. Finding new ways to treat yourself can combat this. A study carried out by UCLA showed that people experience most success at kicking habits when they take part in pleasurable activities and do them often. You are re-wiring your brain to seek comforts elsewhere in times of stress and reminding yourself that a life without eating the whole tray of cookies can still be enjoyable.

Try this exercise: close your eyes and think of 3-5 things that you really enjoy doing. I’m talking about things that make you truly happy. Reading with your children, talking to a friend on the phone, swimming, going for a drive, listening to certain music, playing with your dog, helping a neighbor, working in the yard, looking around the mall, painting, sewing, reading, running, watching your favorite movie …. When your triggers hit use one of these activities to make yourself feel better instead of eating.

Picture this >>>

You’ve been good all day. You’ve eaten healthily. You did some exercises this morning. You said no to cake at lunchtime and you are determined to keep on driving when you see the Starbucks sign as you leave work.

Then you get home.



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Mindful Eating: Breaking the Emotional Cycle
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