This time of year, with holiday shopping, events, parties, family coming in, or traveling -things can get a little stressful! We have never ending demands, almost no free time, which leads to an emotional roller coaster, which usually results with stuffing our faces full of junk! I will show you how to arm yourself so that you will never be forced to eat nasty food court slop or hit a “drive thru” again! I personally suffered from the binds of emotional eating much of my early life, as these negative habits were instilled in me from my schoolmates and women in my family.

I was bullied by my very own Aunt and to this day, her words play over and over in my mind like a horrible old song. One specific incident that I recall is shopping for school clothes. I overheard her outside of the fitting room telling a random sales clerk that she was embarrassed that I wore double digit size pants. All through elementary school and some of junior high; my nickname was “Butterball”. There were 4 particular girls that enjoyed making my life hell. I remember when I made the cheerleading squad in 7th grade…. I was so excited! But…… these girls wouldn’t let me enjoy that for more than a few moments. Upset that they didn’t make the team, they taunted me for being chubby and said I must have cheated. Fact was, I had taken dance lessons since Age 3 and was a very good dancer, even chubby.

I was only a size or two larger than them and couldn’t understand why they were so mean to me. Little did they know, I had a severe kidney condition which caused me to retain water like crazy. I spent most of age 5 and 7 living in a hospital room on the brink of a kidney transplant. My mother had to closely watch my sodium intake or I would end up, once again, in the hospital for months. I never told anyone at school about my condition for fear that the teasing would escalate.

Everyday after school, I would run home, sneak into the kitchen and eat a spoonful of peanut butter (or 3) and then feel better, just for a minute or I would hide treats in my room for later. I would cry and then hate myself for eating. I ended up anorexic and hospitalized from malnutrition. Of course, once I returned to school as a thin girl, they were no longer interested in teasing me. I actually enjoyed High School and had plenty of friends. In fact, few people that I went to school with even remember that I was chubby. In order to maintain my new happy life, I struggled with anorexia which followed me through college.

It wasn’t until I became a Mom that I made a commitment to myself to unlearn these old, unhealthy eating rituals. I have two daughters and would never want them to experience the pain that I lived everyday for years. I have become obsessed with educating my children and setting a good example by eating healthy and staying fit. The Bikini Mom Method was founded on my personal mission to improve the quality of life for women all over the world. I sincerely live by these practices every single day. Everything you see or read in my book and on my DVDs is completely honest and will work for you too!

So, here are some helpful tips if you find yourself in an Emotional Eating Binge and have lost control.

1. Be Aware
Much of emotional eating is so unconscious that it happens automatically or below your awareness. Before you jump into changing this behavior, keep a journal. Write down where and when you stress eat. The office? Late at night? When you are alone? Are there any patterns that you notice? Every time you eat, ask yourself how physically hungry you are on a scale from 1-10. If you are a 6-10, it’s likely that you are physically hungry. A 3, for example, would signify that you are stress eating.

2. Replace
If you take out stress eating, you have to put something in its place. Write down a concrete list of all the healthy, non-calorie related activities that give you a quick pick-me-up on a tough day. Here a few simple examples.

One-Minute Fix : Sip black tea. A study found that subjects who drank black tea experienced a 47% drop in their cortisol levels, the stress hormone that makes you crave food, compared to 27% among the subjects who drank a placebo.

One-Minute Fix: If a foot rub would hit the spot better than a snack, try self-message. It can be as simple as sitting down, taking off your shoe and placing your foot over a tennis ball. Rub your feet, one at a time, over the top of the ball until they feel relaxed and soothed.

One-Minute Fix: Mindless eating soothes raw nerves by numbing out emotions. Munching gives you a moment to zone out from daily commotion and stress. Instead, actively choose a healthy way to clear your mind. Try a quick breathing exercise. Slowing down your breathing can trick your body into thinking you are going to sleep, which in turn relaxes your body. Close your eyes. Stare at the blackness of your eyelids. Slowly breathe in and out. Count each time you inhale and exhale. Continue until you get to 10.

3. Distract Yourself
If I am watching T.V. and I feel a snack craving coming on, I like to grab a bottle of nail polish and paint my nails. It keeps my hands and mind busy and you certainly can’t snack with wet nails.

4. Find Something to Do That You Enjoy
There are so many awesome groups and clubs that can easily be found with a quick internet search. Try for example, there are groups for dancing, hiking, sewing and even scrapbooking. Make new friends and enjoy something you already love to do! Getting yourself out there will change your perspective on life and will absolutely help you to curb sabotaging emotional eating habits.

I hope this has helped and please feel free to comment with any additional questions that you may have. I am always here to help!

Author's Bio: 

Audrey the Bikini Mom

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