Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise Thompson: Overcoming emotional eating

Stop snacking and start resting. Photo / Thinkstock
Stop snacking and start resting. Photo / Thinkstock

Sometimes we overeat because what we are really craving is rest and relaxation. Stopping for a snack break or coffee break gives us the validation to stop doing what we are doing and rest and pause.

It feels good to stop. So, to make the break last longer we often eat more. We think we are hungry and keep on snacking past the point of physical satiety. We finish the whole muffin. We order the large latte. What we actually want is more break time, or less work. More rest, not more food.

We use food as a reason to rest and to stop doing what we are doing.

Here's the thing to know if you are using food (and that includes all the trips to the cafe for a trim flat white) as permission to rest:

It's okay to take rests and breaks. Human beings are not meant to be "on" all the time. That's why we are called human beings, not human doings! Give yourself permission to stop for a moment and recharge. You don't need food to give you permission or an excuse, you can just stop for a minute, no calories required.

What does non-food rest and relaxation look like for you? Write a list of 10 things. It might be a 15-minute walk round the block, turning your phone on silent for an
hour, 20 minutes on your own reading a book, the spin class at the gym, 10 minutes on Facebook. Give yourself some alternatives.

1. ____________________
2. ____________________
3. ____________________
4. ____________________
5. ____________________
6. ____________________
7. ____________________
8. ____________________
9. ____________________
10. __________________

If you are not physically hungry but the truth is you could do with a break, then choose something on your list instead and recharge. You will feel so much better because you are giving yourself what you actually want. Give yourself what you truly need and the urge to eat will reduce.

Action step

Next time you think you might be using food as permission to stop, ask yourself "Am I really hungry right now?"

Watch: Louise Thompson has made a series of videos to help enhance your life. Check out the second one - how to say no:


Louise Thompson is a life coach, yoga teacher and corporate escapee. For more from Louise, visit or connect on Facebook.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise is a corporate escapee turned wellbeing pro. After 17 successful years on the commercial side of media a serious health crisis led to a complete lifestyle overhaul and a brand new direction. As a life coach, and the first Martha Beck accredited coach in New Zealand, she loves nothing better than to help her clients get inspired, get happy and make their own rules for a connected, passion-fueled life. Her first book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to High Energy Happiness, aims to motivate people with practical solutions to step up and live their best lives. A qualified yoga teacher she also runs her own yoga studio and leads corporate wellness seminars. Louise loves to run, cook and dance, and is an incurable travel junkie.

Read more by Louise Thompson

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Jun 2016 05:27:50 Processing Time: 1484ms