Stop Emotional Eating - 5 Tricks to Stop Emotional EatingIn a perfect world, people would eat when they're hungry. But it's not a perfect world. There are ups and downs, stress and celebrations, boredom and excitement. 

Life's changes and challenges can lead to emotional eating, eating for reasons other than hunger. 

Emotional eating can quickly become a problem because, let's face it, nobody reaches for celery sticks when they're feeling blue. No, it involves pizza, potato chips, sugary drinks and candy bars.

Luckily, there are ways to stop emotional eating. Here are five. 

Eat more frequently. Emotional eating is all about the binge.

One way to put a stop to this practice is to eat six to eight smaller, healthier meals each day. Knowing that your next healthy meal or snack is right around the corner will take the pressure off you. You won't have to snack on bad foods to feel better because you know you're scheduled to eat sooner rather than later.

Plan ahead. Eating more frequently–six to eight small, healthy meals a day–only works if you plan ahead. Each morning, take a little time and pack your meals/snacks. Almonds, string cheese, lean roast beef lunch meat wrapped in baby Swiss–these are all healthy snacks/meals that fill you up. 

And knowing that they're available means that you're more likely to take advantage of them. 

Distract yourself. Research shows that people are more likely to fall victim to emotional eating when they're lonely, angry, frustrated or bored. 

Recognize this and, when you find yourself in one of these states, distract yourself with a book, some exercise or a conversation with a friend.

Talk about it. There is a certain amount of relief and control that comes with admitting that you have a problem. Tell a friend about your emotional eating, and you just might find that you don't need food to get you through the highs and lows.

Stop the cycle. People make mistakes. If you do turn to emotional eating, accept it and move on. Don't let it turn into a vicious cycle. Try to understand what happened, and then try not to let it happen again.