Get down to the root cause
Identify and address the true source of your emotional eating. A bad day at work or a fight with a friend are short-term issues. But emotional eating can stem from bigger issues, too. These include chronic stress, long-term anger, depression and other concerns. If these apply to you, you may benefit from counseling, stress management, exercise and other techniques.
Rate your hunger
On your way to the refrigerator, pause for a moment and ask a simple question: “Am I really hungry?”. Give your hunger a rating on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being not hungry at all, and five being you’re so hungry that you would eat anything. If your hunger clocks in at a level three or four, you could grab a healthy, balanced snack within 15 minutes or a healthy, balanced meal within 30 minutes. If your physical hunger is lower than that, try an alternative activity like drinking a cup of fruity herbal tea or going for a walk.
Swap out your worst snacks
Remember that the sugar high comes with a low afterward. So if stress or sadness trigger your sweet tooth, try to answer the cravings with a healthy option. Overeating processed snacks will only raise your cortisol level even more. Replace the candy with a bowl of sweet fruit, and when craving salty snacks; popcorn or roasted chickpeas are a better choice than crisps.