Do you find yourself turning to food when you’re stressed, frustrated or tired? Turning to food to handle emotions is common, however it can lead to a poor relationship with food and interfere with maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle.

It is common to eat as a response to emotions, and it can in fact be related to positive emotions such as celebrating a good day with a treat. However, using food to cope with emotions or to overcome boredom, can lead to a vicious cycle.

One of the main distinguishing factors in emotional eating it that it usually occurs in response to psychological hunger, rather than true physical hunger. It’s common in these situations to turn to highly processed foods which have little nutritional value which can interfere with maintaining optimal health.

There are many ways to overcome emotional or boredom eating, break the cycle and establish a healthy relationship with food. A dietitian can support you to recognise the differences between physical hunger and psychological hunger, provide mindful eating strategies and alternative ways to handle stress or emotions and help you maintain a nutritious balanced diet.