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January 15, 2018

#25 | Setting Kick-ass Emotional Eating Goals with Samantha Russell

About This Episode

Struggling with over-eating? Can’t stop yourself from grabbing that extra piece of chocolate or cake? Having a resolution this year to finally end the habit of craving sugars, gluten, lactose or anything else?

Stress no more, because Samantha Russell has come up with a system that works to help us all deal with our unhealthy emotional eating habits. Sam is an eating psychology coach from New Zealand who focuses on working through the emotional eating habits and providing gentle solutions that work to stop them.

On this episode, we uncover the top eight reasons why we can’t stop the cravings and how to reverse these patterns. We also talk about why they occur and the steps we can take to overcome these challenges by implementing practical techniques like taking the focus off the food, making SMART emotional eating goals, making an inventory list and much more.

“You never fail. Your habit fails.”

Sam is also offering her free goal-setting workbook to download to help you through your journey, as well as an excellent course you can take to make your next year indeed the year when you stop emotional cravings.

The eating psychology coach explains that every craving has a trigger. Our eating habits can mean so much more than we think; they are deeply rooted and blended with the needs of our body and mind. You need to dig deep to find out the actual reasons for these unhealthy habits. According to Sam, these are the eight most common causes of unwanted eating:

  1. Loneliness
  2. Anger
  3. Boredom
  4. Discomfort (physical and mental)
  5. Not feeling pleasure
  6. Sadness
  7. Tiredness
  8. Feeling judged

If you identify the specific feelings that cause your cravings, then you can work towards eliminating them. It’s that simple.

“Setting a new habit is like a toddler learning to walk. Nobody is judging, yelling, threatening, or saying ‘I don’t love you anymore.’”

Here are the four steps to start resolving the over-eating issues:

  1. Identify where you are at now with your emotional eating situation.
  2. Envision where would you like to be. How far do you want/need to go?
  3. Set your SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals.
  4. Brainstorm all the things you could do to get to the ideal place where you are happy and confident. 

“Instead of looking at success as a journey with a destination, it’s better to think of it as a dance, where you’re not looking forward for it to end.”

If you’ve uncovered the fact that you are an emotional eater, most of the triggers will be about you filling your emotional or stress needs. Find other ways to fill the need you usually top up with food. Most importantly, take the focus off food. Focus on opportunities, the positive psychology, the small steps you can take, the positive changes you can create, instead of what to stop doing.

We get a lot of food to fill individual needs when we’re children – crying and being fed, getting ice-cream as rewards, etc. It’s an easy, quick fix that doesn’t judge. Sometimes it works, but it tricks us into thinking it works all the time which doesn’t happen. Break your habits into as small and as easy steps as you possibly can.

Samantha is offering a free workbook “Make Smart Emotional Goals” that will help you align, design and refine your goals to start getting things done. If you are struggling with emotional eating, this workbook will change your life.

And if you’re ready to get rid of those cravings forever, Samantha’s course “7-day Emotional Eating Plan” is for you.


Sam’s website

Samantha’s course “7-day Emotional Eating Plan”

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Tools & Resources Mentioned



  • Lumosity – Enjoy brain training created by scientists and game designers. Start your training with 50+ cognitive games.
  • 7 Minute Workout on iOS – Become your own personal trainer to lose weight and get fit with fast, simple daily workouts.
  • Stop, Breathe & Think – Check in with how you’re feeling and try short activities tuned to your emotions. The app creators believe that taking a few minutes each day to feel the calm is as important as regular exercise.

Recommended Books

  • “The Gift of Our Compulsions: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Acceptance and Healing” by Mary O’Malley – Mary O’Malley has crafted a new approach to healing compulsion, with simple exercises and techniques and an inspiring tone. People are compulsive for a reason, she says, and by observing the things they are compulsive about, engaging those compulsions, readers can begin to understand them and change their actions around them.
  • “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg – Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
  • Works by Mary O’Malley – A speaker, an author, and a counselor in private practice in Kirkland, Washington. Her work focuses on curiosity, compassion, trust, and the ability to be with whatever is showing up in our lives in a spacious and attentive way.

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