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  • Writer's pictureErin Cartright

5-Steps to Coming Back After Emotional Eating

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

We all have bad days. You know what kind of days I am talking about. The kind of day where absolutely nothing can go right no matter how hard you try. It is one thing after another. You get home and all you can think about is that pizza, pint of ice cream, or Chinese takeout. Whatever your emotional eating food of choice is. We all have one or four. It is the food that makes you feel better.

Until it doesn’t.

You know what I am talking about.

There are feelings that often come after indulging in that “comfort” food that are pretty tough. You start to feel them when you are getting rid of the evidence that it even happened.

Feelings such as:

  • Guilt

  • Shame

  • Negativity towards self

  • Disgust

  • Internal anger

  • Feeling out of control

Sound familiar?

Yeah I have been there too.

Next thing you know the one emotional eating episode suddenly turns into two, then three, and then days worth of mindless food choices. Each time those above feelings intensify. To the point that any belief that you had in yourself also starts to derail.

We have all been there.

Side Note: I refer to these times as an emotional eating episode. I won’t call it a “binge” because that can mean so many different things and can be a triggering word.

So, how do you stop the derailment from happening when you do have an emotional eating episode or more?

Here are 5-steps to help you do just that!

1.Acknowledge it.

Acknowledge that it happened because it did. Call it out. Say it out loud if you need to.

“I just ate my feelings.”

“It was a shit day followed by shit eating.”

It happened, nothing you can do about it now, except learn from it.

Not facing the beast will only cause it to grow. Acknowledging the beast though will take away its power.

2. Reflect on it.

Reflect on what led to this episode. What caused you to want to just let go and say “F**k it.”

Some ways to do that:

  • Write it down/journaling.

  • Call a friend.

  • Meditate.

  • Email your coach.

Do whatever you need to do in order to truly reflect during that time.

3. Identify the emotions in it.

Identify the emotions by building an emotional timeline.

Start to identify the feelings and how you feel during each phase throughout the day.


  • How did you feel?

  • What prompted this episode?

  • What were you hoping to gain from letting your emotions drive your food choices?


  • How did you feel while you were eating?

  • What was going through your head, if anything at all?

  • What did you eat? What is that comfort food that you enjoy?


  • How do you feel now?

  • Do you feel better or worse than you did before?

  • Did it solve whatever prompted this episode?

**Need some help getting it all out! Check out my emotional eating timeline worksheet!

4. Learn from it.

Learn by thinking about what you could have potentially done differently in that moment. Something you know that you can take into the next time because you and I both know that there will be a next time. Jot it down. No idea is off the table. Big or small. Brain dump all of it.

(Don’t worry there is room for that too on the worksheet above.)

Now are you ready for the last step, this is the most important step!

5. Let it go!

As my girl Elsa says. “Let it go.” You took away the food and the power from the beast. Now you can show it who’s boss and get closer to defeating it for good!

You acknowledged it happened.

You reflected on the episode as a whole

You identified the emotions before, during and after the episode.

You learned from it.

You let it go.

Congrats, you just got started building up your toolkit

to overcome emotional eating once and for all.

Book a 20-minute free consultation call with me today to continue building your toolkit and constructing the system that is going to work for you.

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