Pros and Cons of Emotional Eating

Ways to Stop Emotional Eating

  • Find out what the reasons are that you are emotional eating
  • Develop skills to manage the urges to emotional eating
  • Create ways to remind yourself of the emotionally important reasons that you want to use your skills instead of turning to food

Pros and Cons Exercise

  • Using a Pro, a positive emotion due to emotional eating, such as comforting when lonely or stressed out helps to determine what skills need to be developed such as creating friendships
  • Using a Con, a negative emotion due to emotional eating, such as bloating, guilt, unhappiness or being upset can help to keep conscious of why we want to use our skills so these emotions and the emotional eating is avoided

How to do the Pros and Cons Exercise

(refer to the exercise Leslie did on the video for complete instructions and example)


  1. On a piece of blank paper make 2 columns: Pros and Cons
  2. List all positive emotional feelings under Pros that you get from emotional eating: for example comfort, love, nurturing, etc
  3. List all the negative emotional feelings under the Cons that you get from emotional eating: for example guilt, shame, disappointment, etc
  4. Examine the Pros to findĀ  information on what your emotional needs really are and find ways to satisfy those needs in different ways not using food.
  5. Identify the biggest concern of the cons list and take a small action step everyday to reprogram that belief and change that feeling. Consider journaling to help uncover other deeper and strong emotions that may not be obvious to you at the time of the exercise


The Pros and Cons exercise can help you get back your power over food, this is just one of the many exercise that can help you identify the reasons you emotionally overeat so you can have power over food.

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