Conquering Emotional Eating During Hong Kong’s Festive Season

As the festive season lights up Hong Kong, it’s not just about celebration; it also brings unique challenges, especially in our relationship with food. Following our initial discussion on rebuilding a healthier relationship with food, this second installment delves deep into understanding and managing emotional eating, a pivotal aspect of maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season.

ICYMI – this was the worksheet we created to help you kickstart the rebuilding chapter.

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Understanding Emotional Eating

The holiday season can stir a whirlwind of emotions, often leading us to seek comfort in food. Recognizing emotional eating is the first step toward effective management. This behavior often stems from stress due to year-end deadlines, boredom during extended breaks, or social pressure at festive gatherings. Taking a moment to introspect and understand the true motivations behind your cravings is crucial for empowering yourself to make healthier choices.

The Impact of Emotional Eating

Emotional eating can trap us in a cycle of guilt and unhealthy habits. It’s vital to identify these patterns and find strategies to break free. During the holidays, consider alternative coping mechanisms, such as engaging in physical activities or seeking social support, to handle emotions without resorting to food.


“Many people use eating as a way to cope with difficult emotions, not only bad ones, but also happiness, excitement and celebration, for example,” says Alexis Conason, a clinical psychologist in private practice and a researcher at New York Obesity Research Center.

Reframing ‘Diet’ Thinking

Transitioning from a restrictive diet mentality to a more nourishing mindset can be transformative. This approach involves embracing food as a positive element of life, focusing on the joy and nutrients it provides, rather than perceiving it as a source of guilt. Adopting this mindset leads to a sustainable and healthy relationship with food that lasts beyond the holiday festivities.

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Building a Nourishing Mindset

Developing a nourishing mindset means relishing the variety and richness of holiday foods, choosing options that satisfy your palate while also nourishing your body. It’s about enjoying festive treats mindfully, without overindulgence, and making informed choices about your diet.

Advancing Your Food Journey

As we continue our journey toward a healthier relationship with food, diving into the psychological and practical aspects becomes more critical. The holiday season, with its distinct challenges, offers an ideal opportunity to apply and reinforce these advanced strategies.

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