Burrito Time: Conquering Emotional Eating in an Emotional Situation

by Maren on October 17, 2012

Happy Hump Day friends. I like Wednesdays. I know that tomorrow the week is almost over and it’s just about time for the weekend. LOVE WEEKENDS.


I was so in love with my uber sweet & salty combo yesterday that I recreated it today. I’m so original. ;-)

And for my coffee I made a pumpkin spice and a caramel drizzle. I’m all about the warm-fall flavors these days.

Lunch: burrito burrito burrito… yes I’ll say it again- burrito!

So did you know I’m a recovering binge eater? I am.

I don’t know why but I turn to food when I’m missing something in my life. When I feel stressed, unhappy, happy, sad, upset, excited… anything really. My emotions dictate how I eat. It’s true and it’s part of who I am.

With everything going on these days, my single lady status, this is a prime emotional (binge) eating environment.

I’ve been doing a few things to keep my eating during this emotional time under control. It’s been surprisingly easy, it’s working and I’ve even lost some weight. I know a lot of bloggers write about their emotional eating situations so I thought maybe you’d like reading a little bit on how I’ve been conquering my binge eating tendencies.

4 Tips for Eating during Emotional Situations

Tip 1: eat what you want!

Normally I don’t ever eat cheese, I eat complex carbs if I’m going to eat carbohydrates and I try and avoid sugar. I almost never drink sodas.

For right now, I got rid of all this. Restrictions will only make the emotional eating worse. If I want the burrito then I skip the damn bowl and get the burrito. Fulfill the craving without going crazy. If I eat what I actually want, I wont keep eating snacks later.

Tip 2: eat when hungry!

This one is probably the hardest. When I’m bored and in emotional crisis I want snacks… lots and lots- and lots and lots… of snacks.

I’m really working on eating when I’m hungry. If I know I want something to eat because I’m bored, or because I’m sad/mad/frustrated I’ve been drinking a little mug of coffee or tea with stevia. It surprisingly takes away the false-hunger cravings. Plus I sip it for a long time so it takes more time to drink that to eat a snack.

FYI: a coffee/tea run gives you something to do too… go to your favorite coffee shop and buy a coffee. You get an outing and some 1 on 1 car stereo time. :mrgreen:


Tip 3: Give yourself a splurge, and a break!

I’ve worked really really hard to give up diet coke in the last 6 months. I also worked hard to get off sugar. Normally, I kick a sugar craving with fruit and I drink water, sometimes iced tea.

I’m letting myself drink diet coke these days. You know, I love it. It makes me feel good. Drinking diet coke right now won’t kill me. I’ve also gotten to where I feel like I’m getting this huge splurge when I drink it because I’ve been detoxed off it for so long. It makes me feel like I’m getting to eat something special. Which as an emotional (binge) eater is exactly what my brain wants.

I also had a piece of cheese cake the other day. I’d craved it for almost 2 weeks. I wanted it. I ate it. Give yourself a break. You feel good and it was tasty. Move on.

Tip 4: Don’t worry about over eating.

This takes away the pressure and guess what… with no pressure you wont be as likely to over do it. Everything will even out over time. Each day doesn’t have to be exactly the same, with the exact same eating pattern. Today I might eat a few snacks in the afternoon… tomorrow I might not want any. Just go with it.

Tell me about you!!! I want to know…

(if you feel like talking about it) Do you deal with emotional or binge eating? How do you conquer it every day?


What was the last burrito you had? I need all the goory details.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Leonard October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

When I’m sad or frustrated, I want to eat lots and lots dark chocolate and dark chocolate caramels. During normal times, I will eat on or two a day. During sad times, i will eat the whole bag or box. Fortunately, I hate shopping, so when the bag/box is done, I don’t buy any more until the sad mood leaves.

The best burrito I eat is from El Charrito on Market street. I have carne asada, beans, salsa, and extra cilantro. So yummy. I don’t like rice, so I ask them to leave it off. :)


Maren October 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

Oh don’t even get me near dark chocolate. I’ll demolish it. I’ll have to track down that Taqueria. It sounds really really tasty.


alex @ therunwithin October 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm

SO loving those tips. I am such an emotional eater, happens! plus that looks delicious. usually i crave whip cream from the can in those high stress times


Maren October 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

It does happen. It’s so cool to just say that, because it’s true. You’re a genius.


Sonia the mexigarian October 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I am such an emotional eater and being such an emotional person…. Is not good. It leads to a lot of binging and a part of my ED that I care not to deal with again (though it does rear it’s ugly head in various forms once in a while) I now try to acknowledge my emotional stress and work from there, being conscious of how much I eat, but allowing the cravings to be fulfilled. Is hard to do without feeling guilty for me. Ugh. Such ahead case.

Last burrito I had…. Oiye, no me recuerdo. Though I had been dreaming about mrs. Flores burritos from high school. Perfect balance of pinto beans and cheese in a massive tortilla nearly oozing at the seams. Ugh. I loved her food.

You’re looking lovely. The colors of your tank really work well with your skin tone. <3


Maren October 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

I know what you mean. I’m a super emotional person too. It’s like so much harder to deal with emotional eating when you can end up crying over spilled milk. You are really inspirational with all your ED progress. I totally look up to you with my own journey.


Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) October 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I had a burrito from the taqueria down the street called Los Tres Chiles. It’s a grande burrito with carnitas and green sauce. David and I share it because it’s ridiculously massive. I love it ! Best part is it comes with chicken tortilla soup and chips and salsa. Feeds 2 for $10.80! Best deal, ever.


Maren October 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

OMG that burrito sounds bomb! Los Tres Chilies is also a fabulous Taqueria name and now I sort of want to get 3 gold fish and name them Chiles Uno, Chiles Dos and Chiles Thres. lol.


danielle @ clean food creative fitness October 18, 2012 at 4:17 am

These are some great tips Maren! I think everything struggles with emotional eating in some way and I love all of your advice! I especially like that you are not putting any restrictions on yourself and still loosing some weight! Proof that you just don’t need to diet! Big hugs girl you’re doing awesome!


Maren October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

Thanks Danielle. I figured most people deal with emotional eating in some way from time to time. It’s cool to hear that you and all of my other readers know what I’m talking about. You’re a rock star!


Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance October 18, 2012 at 6:09 am

Oh girl, I have BEEN THERE! Emotional eating gets the best of all of us sometimes, especially if we’ve dealt with it before in the past. Great work analyzing those cravings and finding out what works for you though.

Have you ever read the book Intuitive Eating? It’s a great read and one of the biggest things they emphasize is not restricting any foods from your diet. When you feel like you can’t have something, it makes you want it even more– and I’ve noticed that in my personal eating habits too.

Soooooo about that burrito :D


Maren October 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

LOL. Yeah about that burrito! I have read Emotional Eating and it really changed my life. It gave me all the tools I use today to stay on top of my eating habits.


Brandi October 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

Maren!! These are some great tips! And can I just say you are a classy lady in the way that you are handling this. Classy.
From time to time, I still struggle with binge eating. ANY kind of emotion will send me into a tail-spin. Just the other day I was stressed about something and all that I wanted to do was dive into a bag of chocolate and um…..eat the whole bag.
It really is hard to maintain something when you are dealing with emotions. I am a firm believer that there are stages that you have to go through and emotions are apart of that.
You, my sister, are a rock star.


Maren October 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

Me too. It’s silly but even when I get really happy about something I want to “celebrate” with cupcakes or a splurgey dinner. I agree there are stages. You’re so smart!


Elyse October 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

Not going to lie, your Tip #4 really helps me. I eat (and sometimes drink) my feelings often, and while i am doing it, i just continue to beat myself up about it! It’s nice to know that I am not the only, slighty loopy, girl in the world! :D

I tend to try to throw myself into a project, like crafts. If its too bad, I literally eat the food I want, and typically all of it. I.e Oreos. If I eat them all they are no longer in the house, right?

What was the last burrito you had?
Chipotle. It was amazing, but far too large!


Jamie @ StudioEats December 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Great post!! Just found your blog and it caught my attention because I struggled with emotional eating for years. I just posted about this the other day and am now working as a Health Coach to help people with this. I LOVE your tips, they are spot on and totally resonante with me!
Here is my post that I’m referring to, about my journey with all the Emotional Eating:

Glad I found your blog :)


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