Emotions and feelings can contribute to our food decisions such as heading to the fridge when bored or reaching out for food when sad.
Eating in response to an emotion or feeling is often referred to as non-hungry eating.
How can I control my non-hungry eating?
The first step is being aware of the emotions or feelings we experience when reaching out for food. Am I eating in response to hunger or is it more as a comfort or distraction? A Food and Feeling Diary can help to make the connection between how we feel, and the foods we eat.
How to use the Food and Feeling Diary
Start a log of the foods and drinks you are consuming each day, and record how you felt when you chose to eat that food. For example:
|Day||Food or Drink||Emotion or Feeling|
|Saturday||2 rows chocolate||I was not hungry but I felt lonely|
By writing it down, we can take more notice the emotions or feelings that are associated with non-hungry eating and in particular the excess consumption of unhealthy food choices.
What can I do instead?
Create a list of enjoyable activities that you can refer to as an alternative distraction to non-hungry eating. These may include going for a quick walk, stepping outside for some fresh air, doing a puzzle, gardening, journalling or dancing to some music.
Need something to get you started?
Try out our free digital 'Food and Feeling Diary. This downloadable PDF is editable, so you can start filling it in straight away. Click here to access the Digital Food and Feeling Diary and start getting back in control of your eating habits.
Please note, this tool tends to work best on a computer.
Looking for more information on healthy eating? Visit our Nutrition Info Hub