You can only conquer emotional eating when you know how to handle emotions. The problem is that we label emotions as good or bad. And even the emotions we label as good--like happiness and joy--are often an excuse to eat.

The problem is that we understand so little about emotions. In fact, most people have no idea as to where they come from. That is, what at any moment makes one feel good or bad?

The following may provide some insight: For instance, you have a guy driving to work who gets cut off by another driver. He gets angry and upset; his blood pressure rises and he's thinking that most people get their driving licenses at Sears and Roebuck. Most of his day is ruined.

Then there's another fellow who has the same thing happen to him. As he swerves and misses the accident, he's happy.

Why is the first fellow upset and the second fellow happy when the same thing happened to both of them?

The answer is that it's because of their expectations. The first fellow is expecting that other drivers are supposed to stay out of his path and it doesn't happen that way so he feels justifiably angry. The second fellow took a defensive driving course and expects that in the event someone pulls out in front of him, he'll avoid the accident. It works out as he expects and he's happy.

Emotions are as a result of our expectations. When things work out as expected, we feel happy, joyful, glee, love... and when things do not work out as expected, we feel bored, malaise, upset, angry, frustrated, disappointed, depressed...

Unfortunately, most of us have learned to associate food with certain emotions because feeling them and taking them straight is taboo.

What stands in the way of feeling emotions are acquired beliefs about them. For instance:
• "Don't let yourself feel happy because you'll set yourself up for the big let down!"
• "Anger is beneath me."
• "Don't be depressed, no one will want to be around you"
• "You should know what you want and shouldn't be confused."

Truth is that when you allow you to simply feel the emotion it disappears; otherwise you dilute it with food--emotional eating.

A progressive approach to emotional eating involves asking important questions "What is missing? Why are you not getting the results you've been promised?" It is clearly insane to keep dieting when the results are so poor. It's more important to gain a grasp on how to handle emotional eating--eating emotional stress than it is to read the scale. Besides focusing on the scale doesn't empower you to be a better more enlightened person, whereas learning how to conquer emotional eating empowers you in all aspects of your life. If you're a sales person, you'll be a better sales person. If you're an assembly line worker, you'll be a better assembly line worker; a mother, a better mother... Overall, you'll build self worth and find that what you really want to eat is far more nutritious and less in quantity than you ever before imagined possible.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E., NGH certified, a prominent figure in the field of hypnosis with his best selling hypnosis and stress management cds at and His aim is to make it possible for anyone to manage emotional binge eating. For more information please view the Binge Eating Ebook.