Hypnosis for Emotional Eating

October 20, 2021
Shanna Windle

Curious if you are an emotional eater?  I had a journalist ask me today to define what emotional eating is and when I went to define it, I realized how multi-faceted emotional eating actually is.  To me emotional eating is our habitual need to use food in times of heavy emotions for the purpose of eliciting a “better” type of feeling.  Almost everyone experiences some form of emotional eating throughout their lives, but for many, using food as a coping mechanism becomes a struggle that feels insurmountable.  

Food is generally readily available and can be very low cost.  There is a reason a Snickers bar is cheaper than a healthier snack alternative! This leads us to use it as the “drug” that will numb our emotional pain.  However, overeating junk food leads people to have a poor sense of self-worth, keeps people from maintaining a healthy weight, and can lead to grave health conditions. 

Hypnosis is essentially a tool for helping clients access and deal with their unconscious levels of pain and conflict.  Hypnotherapy has been used for decades as a means for pain management, behavioral modification and to manage a variety of mental health issues.  Not surprisingly, hypnotherapy is also an effective solution for emotional eating.   So in today's post, I am going to discuss how hypnosis works for emotional eating and what you can expect should you choose to use this powerful modality to conquer your struggle with emotional eating.


Just like any other behavioral issue with a root cause, emotional eating is a habitual pattern of behavior that can be easily transformed by a hypnotherapy session.  If you struggle with things like binge eating/restricting, losing weight, a poor relationship with food, unhealthy eating habits, one to many bars of chocolate, etc., then hypnotherapy can help you to transform this habit by getting to the root cause of the issue for you, and then rewiring the belief system at play this is driving you to emotionally eat. Hypnosis also helps to manage emotional eating by:

Helping you to identify the emotions that contribute to emotional eating

Generally speaking, “heavier” emotions such as grief, sadness, and anxiety are what lead to emotional eating.  However, I have also seen in my practice that feelings of boredom, overwhelm, and loneliness also lead people to emotionally eat.  When your under hypnosis, you can go back to a few memories that you experienced that lead to you using food for comfort.  The emotions you were feeling in those particular memories are probably the emotions you struggle with today that lead you to emotionally eat as well. 

Increasing your self-awareness so that you are mindful of what you eat

Once you realize the emotions from early memories that caused you to use food as a coping mechanism, you can start to address those emotions in real time yet with a healthier approach.  With an increased level of self-awareness, you will start tuning into whether you are actually hungry in any given moment, or if an emotion is what is causing you to eat.  If you identify that it is an emotion and not an actual physical hunger cue, you can make a better choice about how to handle the emotion.  And when it actually is a physical hunger cue, you will also be more mindful of what and how you are eating.  The ability to be more mindful about your consumption, and the intent behind it, will in most cases lead to weight loss.  

Helps you to transform the belief system that has kept you stuck in this cycle

In Rapid Transformational Therapy, the form of hypnotherapy that I practice, there is a part of the hypnosis session dedicated solely to the rewiring of an outmoded belief system that is keeping you stuck in the emotional eating cycle.  Whether your belief is one of scarcity, unworthiness, safety, etc., hypnosis allows us to essentially “reprogram” the subconscious mind with a belief system that is more helpful to the goals you are trying to achieve. 

For those of you who have battled emotional eating your whole life and are looking to stop emotional eating for the long term, hypnotherapy might be your answer.  By creating the awareness around what negative feelings are leading you to eat unhealthy foods, you step into a position of power where you can consciously choose a better option for handling your heavy emotions.   This, in combination with an updated and more helpful belief system, allows the subconscious mind to work for you, instead of against you like it was previously doing.

We give you even better content in your inbox. Sign up now. (We will never inundate you.)

Other articles of interest:

No items found.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Questions? Please forward all inquiries (hellos, press, interviews, etc.) to shanna@shinewellness.org.