emotional foodGuest article

Emotional food - Or what stress has to do with chocolate

During the Corona time I often found myself sneaking around the kitchen cupboard and reaching for chocolate and co.
Our daily routine was very different from before: The daycare was closed, everyday activities or meeting friends fell flat and my husband and I juggled our way through the working day.

But what does that have to do with chocolate?

It's very simple: The urge to eat. This is the urge to eat without feeling physical hunger. "But why eat if you're not hungry?" you can ask. There are many reasons: Boredom, fear, reward or even stress.

What these things have in common: They arise from a feeling we want to deal with with food in a given situation. That is why it is also called Emotional food.
Mostly we learned this in our childhood and since then it has become such a habit.

The stupid thing: Food does not solve our problems and in addition often leaves us with a bad feeling, because we have eaten too much, too fast, too unhealthy etc. And then? We are stuck in a spiral, eat even more because we are also annoyed with ourselves.

change habits

Changing habits is feasible, but requires practice and patience. That up front. Because this automatism has to be gradually replaced by new patterns. First of all, the trigger must be found: Because you can't change anything without knowing it. Sometimes it is not so easy. The best thing is to write down exactly what kind of situation gave rise to the urge to eat.

When he comes back, it is important to pause for a moment and ask yourself how you can dissolve this feeling in another way. Or: How to distract oneself until it packs its things by itself. It is scientifically proven that a feeling only lasts 90 seconds and then moves on if we don't pay attention to it. That sounds feasible, doesn't it? The best thing to do is to make a list of activities.

As always: Don't be too strict!
With this in mind, enjoy your meal.

Kind regards

This article is a guest contribution from Manuela Giehmann.


I am a mother of two, yoga teacher, holistic nutritionist and certified consultant for intuitive eating. My work consists of helping women to finally make peace with food again and supporting them on their way to a more positive relationship with their body - without diets, nutrition plans or weekly weighing.

I trained as a certified consultant for intuitive eating with the two founders of intuitive eating, the American nutritionists Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and am the second officially accredited consultant in Germany.

With Love of plates I would like to pass on to you the learning of an intuitive eating behaviour.