Dealing with Tired and Emotional Eating


Face it: you don’t make great choices when you are tired, or when you are upset. No one does. It’s amazing how many arguments are resolved and problems solved simply by removing yourself from a frustrating situation or having another look at the issue in the morning with fresh eyes.

When it comes to problems with friends or family or issues at the workplace you know that you have that second chance. But when it comes to eating healthy, you can’t undo what’s already been done. Fatigue and frustration are two of the leading causes of overeating, and unfortunately, to make a difference in this area you have to be ready to address the problem while you are still tired or vexed.

Tired Eyes are Larger than your Stomach

When you are tired, your body will do anything to get energy. Calories are energy. So it only makes sense that your tired body will want you to eat as much food as you can to make it through a day. Depending on the fatigue and what needs to be done, this may even feel rational to you as you decide you’ll just eat a bit extra, and do better tomorrow.

But what happens when you are tired again tomorrow? And the next day? This is an unhealthy cycle that can only be fixed by getting better rest. A recent study found that those who go food shopping when they are hungry tend to purchase 1,300 more calories than someone who is well rested. This type of decision can impact your eating habits for the entire week as you purchase the food that will be sitting in your pantry for the next few days.

Even the most restrained eater is more likely to overeat when they are tired or frustrated. That is why it is good to have healthy strategies in place to identify when you are upset and to challenge your motives for eating before you dig in.

Here are a few tips to help you eat healthy, even when you are tired:

  • Stop yourself from overeating in these situations by asking yourself why you are eating and acknowledging that you are stressed, upset or fatigued.
  • Recognize when you are in a high-risk situation, and resolve to push through the temptation to eat.
  • Keep problem foods out of the house as much as possible, these are the foods that you will be munching on in times of stress before you realize it.
  • And finally, find alternative ways to soothe yourself when these situations strike, such as going for a walk, taking a nap, or talking with a friend.

After weight loss surgery, you need to keep up with your healthy eating practices every day, not just on days that you feel up to it. Learning how to reduce tired and emotional eating can be a huge help in reducing overeating as you are trying to lose weight.