Open Accessibility Menu

Tips for Family Caregivers – Curbing Emotional Eating

Family Caregivers in Needham MA

Junkfood on plateFor family caregivers, managing stress is key. Caregiving can often be a stressful situation and unmanaged stress can sometimes lead to negative health consequences. One of those consequences, unfortunately, is emotional eating. Emotional eating is, in other words, eating for comfort or eating to calm negative emotions including stress. Many emotional eaters do so when they are under a lot of pressure or stress and do not have ways to manage the stress in a healthy way. For most, emotional eating is not enjoyable and often includes overeating, binge-eating, and eating foods that are unhealthy. When this behavior is left unmanaged, it can lead to weight gain and all of the health problems that come with it such as prediabetes, lack of energy, high cholesterol, and more.

For family caregivers who are under stress, emotional eating can sometimes feel like a trap or a cycle that is impossible to break. Fortunately, there is hope for beating emotional eating and getting stress under control. The best part is, when stress is properly managed and emotional eating is under control, family caregivers will feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally and be better equipped to be great caregivers. For family caregivers struggling with emotional eating, here are a few tips to help you break the cycle:

Find Healthy Stress Relievers

If you are eating to comfort yourself and relieve stress, it is a great idea to start finding alternative ways to relieve that stress. The great part about healthy stress management techniques is that they will make you feel good when you do them, unlike emotional eating which can often lead to guilt, sadness, and, not to mention, feeling physically unwell. Some healthy stress relievers include meditation, exercise, reading, journalling, listening to music, spending time with a pet, and doing a creative activity like drawing.

Talk it Out

When you are struggling with emotional overeating, it is easy to feel very alone in your struggles. For this reason, it is helpful to have someone to talk with about your concerns about emotional eating. You may want to seek out a therapist to meet with or even a support group with other people who are facing the same challenges as you. Talking with a trusted person (or people) can help you gain new perspectives and also help you see that you are not alone.

Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

Snacking does not have to be a bad thing. In fact, you can get many essential nutrients by having a few light snacks throughout the day. However, it is important to snack on healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts and avoid the empty calorie foods such as candy, soda, and chips. So, keep your kitchen stocked with food you can feel good about eating and get rid of anything that will only be a temptation.

Bring in Help

Another way to avoid emotional eating is to avoid reaching that level of stress altogether, with the help of a non-medical caregiver. By bringing in help for your senior loved one, your stress level can be reduced and you can focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your senior. Even a break 2 or 3 times a week can make a significant impact your level of stress and thus, the chances that you will resort to emotional eating.


If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073