Stop your emotional eating

The five major "triggers" for emotional eating are:

  1. Social activities: We eat because it is there, it's new, we are encouraged to eat by others -"you must try Aunt Rose's cake, you can diet tomorrow." Tomorrow comes and another opportunity is there to put off our weight loss. It takes one "no" to make you feel the powerful "yes."

  2. Emotional Tension: Instead of dealing with the feelings of sadness, anger, boredom, loneliness and anxiety, we cope by shutting off the negative feeling with a sensory taste and smell. The five senses may switch off our mind's negative content and worry, but mind now has it "down" - we eat when we feel this way. Like Pavlov's dogs we salivate when we feel bad!

  3. Situational Temptation: Being in a place such as the coffee shop. The pastries look good, (and I personally love something sweet with my coffee.) Even if we don't feel hungry this is a temptation, which usually ends in, "I wish I hadn't eaten that."

  4. Negative Thoughts: When life is tough and we don't feel good about ourselves, food is an easy, available comfort. Food for comfort seems justified, "I just don't care anymore, I will eat what I want." We wallow in all the foods we know are bad for us because we don't feel good enough to get what we want.

  5. Physical Discomfort: Eating in response to physical cues such as pain, headaches, low blood sugar, or lack of focus can become a habit. Aches and pains can feel better if we eat or drink something! Would our headache stop if we gave ourselves a walk, neck exercise, a few minutes with our eyes closed, or deep breathing? We owe it to ourselves to find out in order to break our habitual response.
Learn to resist old patterns which become a habit: For instance, you get bored when your normal routine stopped. Learn to know my weak times when you eat mindlessly and then make a conscious change for at least three months. If you know a bag of chips calls to you when you are watching a late night movie, either substitute a nutritional bar for chips or drink water, pause the movie, call a friend! Take charge, be aware! This is not easy, but the more you resist, the more personal power kicks in to get you what you want.

Why food makes you feel better: You learn during infancy. Parents tend to soothe crying babies with food and drink because they think that will occupy their mouth and therefore their time. In reality, the child needs attention more than they need the food! It's a learned response, don't let your children be occupied by food they'll always go to it later in life.

About Valenda Robinson:

Valenda Robinson is the author of Your Weight is Over a Personal Trainer for Emotional Eaters, psychotherapist and specialist in defining psychological barriers to achievement, consultant, coach, group facilitator in the field of emotional wellness and motivational speaker who has earned the reputation as the "therapist with heart" for her wisdom, caring, intuitive connection and dynamic approach to a client's personal success.

Growing up in a British tea drinking culture with the expectation of perfect manners and controlled emotions isn't easy! Tears received a cookie, sadness an extra helping of dessert and an eating frenzy followed the big stuff such as grief and loss.

Valenda has gone from being overweight and using food as a comfort to creating a long-term solution for weight loss goals: a solution that has brought success to her and the people who apply the effective skills to resolve habitual eating.

Valenda says, "this is not just wishful thinking that one day a diet pill, program, plan or exercise will work but a way to uncover, change and manage a relationship with self and food.

>> Buy this book on Amazon: Your Weight Is Over: A Personal Trainer for Emotional Eaters

For more information, visit

Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.