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6 min read

How to Manage Emotional Eating During Winter

Lifestyle Advice Mental Health

If you’re someone who frequently finds yourself overeating, winter can be a particularly tricky time, especially when your triggers are emotional.

What is it about winter that drives us towards comfort food and lots of it?

As humans, we’ve evolved to ‘hibernate’ during the winter months. Perhaps that means being less active, watching more Netflix and going to bed just a bit earlier.

Post lockdown, here's some advice on how to get back on track...

We’ve also evolved to store energy during the colder months naturally craving warm, comforting foods, the ones that leave our bellies full and satisfied and provide us with energy to store.

The lack of daylight can also have an effect on our eating. Sunlight is one of many things that trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has been shown to boost our mood.

During the winter months, our daylight hours are significantly decreased and so carbohydrates (another mood booster) are not surprisingly our easiest go-to.

Along with the decrease in serotonin, many of us also get seasonal blues, causing us to be more likely to eat emotionally, self-soothing ourselves with food.

This is all natural, but for many of us, it can also cause us some emotional distress if we begin to feel a bit out of control around food this time of year.

However, contrary to popular belief. Emotional eating is not something to combat or to battle with. We’re not trying to stop or overcome it altogether. We’ve all heard the saying “what you resist persists?” The same logic applies to our unwanted habits.

Instead, it’s about having other options, and feeling like you’re the one in charge when it comes to eating habits.

So, how can we manage our cravings and begin to make room for alternatives this time of year?


Press Pause

Whenever possible, try to pause before grabbing something to eat. This helps us to remove the automatic response that leads to eating from a place of disconnect.

Simply ask yourself: Am I hungry? If not, take some time to figure out what’s going on so that you can give yourself what you really need.

Read how to reset your food rituals...

Feed The Need

The thing is, if you’re not hungry, no amount of food is going to satisfy you.

Finding out what your body actually needs is going to be the single best way to overcome emotional eating. Are you sad? Journal, go for a walk or call a friend. Bored? Learn a new hobby or go out and spend time with loved ones.

Find out how your mental health could be effected by the foods that you eat...

Often find yourself overeating at night time? It could also be that you haven’t had enough to eat throughout the day.

If you can't stop eating, find out what's triggering your need to eat...

Be mindful of getting the nourishment your body needs through regular nutritious meals and products like Good Green Vitality as well as listening to your body’s hunger cues and honouring them.

10 ways to get more greens in your diet...

Protein can be particularly helpful to keep us satiated. Each day I mix together 2 scoops of Nuzest Smooth Vanilla Clean Lean protein with 1 scoop of Good Green Vitality and I find it makes a big difference.

Hungry? Why your body could be telling you that you're hungry when you don't need to be...

Eat Mindfully

Whenever possible, try to sit down at a table or bench and focus on the act of eating.

10 tips to get more enjoyment out of your food...

Even if it’s a bag of crisps or a box of biscuits, sit down at the table, remove distractions (tv, smartphones, whatever work you’re doing) and simply eat.

Enjoy the flavours, textures and aromas and notice when you’ve had enough.

If you're hungry and you're not sure what to eat, read this...

Live The Life You Crave

The more you fill your body, heart and spirit up with the things that bring you joy, the less you’ll need food to satisfy you.

Move your body, even if you don't want to... and make time for self-care, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

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The information provided in this article is intended for educational purposes only and is general advice. It should not, nor is it intended to be, relied on as a substitute for individual medical advice or care. If the contents of this, or any other of the blogs in this series raises any concerns or questions regarding your health, please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.