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Emotional eating and weight gain in quarantine

Updated: May 2, 2020

Given social distancing the emotional hunger for social interactions is going up.

We call it the need for primary food. It is the food that nourishes us, yet it can not be found on a plate.

Current factors during quarantine only add fuel to the emotional hunger such as:

-social distancing, therefore the deprivation of social contacts, hugs, kisses and warm welcomes.

-information overload

-racing mind creating negative phantasies

-emotional, mental stress



-comfort seeking

-isolation during quarantine

-feeling of being alone even in a house full of people

-no end at light of tunnel

-feeling things are out of control

-overwhelmed with day to day routine

Any these items on the list alone would justify to wipe out that container of ice cream.

No surprise that the scales are going up in many households as we reach out to the fridge, not just out of boredom.

We are currently starving on primary food and are suffering from a gigantic emotional hunger.

But let me warn you: You can't fill inner emptiness with food.

However, there are ways to deconstruct the food cravings.

First of all, we need to identify what we really crave.

Do we really want the vanilla coffee latte?

Or, are we craving the warmth and comfort of that coffee and the sugar happy kick from the syrup?

Perhaps a friendly smile or a hug can offer us the same comfort.

Someone telling us: Its all going to be okay.

Given social distancing, isolation and quarantine what we really need are:

-safety, security


-social contacts and relationships

-a warm welcome

-hugs and kisses

-friendly surroundings

That coffee or cake are really just poor substitutes.

Next step is to identify the triggers. The moments that make us crave.

We have to analyze those moments and then try to either eliminate them, deal with them in appropriate ways or at least walk away from it.

Distract yourself, drink water or put your mind into something else.

Either way, always exercise deep-belly-breathing to return into a state of calm.

At the same time you can practice to be grateful. That way you can fill that emotional void with positivity and things you have and can do. Opposed to ponder over what you don’t have.

You have the power to decide how you want to respond to the craving.

Sadly, once we went on that binge and had that cake the sugar high doesn’t last too long. More often than not we feel fat, full and disgusted about ourselves. We feel weak and vulnerable for giving into that craving. That initial sugar high just blasts us into an ever deeper low.

43% eat to alter their mood. That includes emotional eating.

As I just explained it does not work very well if you use the wrong food. Evidently, that sugary, greasy snack is a quick fix and really only worsens the mood.

There is a gut-brain-axis and its very susceptible to food.

Learn more how to nourish your happiness hormones here:

Here a few tips on how to truly alter your mood with food:

-don’t skip meals

-maintain blood sugar steady

-crowd out the bad food with the good by nutritionally upgrading your meals(learn more about it in my book)

-practice mindful eating

-eat clean

- only eat while being in rest & digest mode

Food is the most simple form of self-love. Show yourself some respect.

For a nutritional, emotional and mental guide on how to stay sane in quarantine here is the link to my book: Stay sane in quarantine by Nina Boons published on Amazon

If you feel like you need help to deconstruct your cravings in order to not gain weight in quarantine please comment below or get in touch with me.

Please share this post if you think your friends can benefit from this short video.

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