I came across this interesting article on emotional eating. Basically, it is what we have known all along - that we don't eat just when we are hungry, but also when we are sad, angry, happy, or just bored. Eating triggered by emotions is one of the fastest ways to gain a lot of weight. And the trick to lose weight is also to know you are doing emotional eating and to stop that.
How do you do that? First, figure out why you are eating. If you are eating because you are sad or hurt, then stop. Figure out better ways to deal with the emotion because eating is not going to provide a solution. You will still have to deal with it and in the process, you would have piled on some serious weight. I used to have the same problem. I work from home, and if I would get tired of working, I would just eat something to break the monotony. Believe me, it really adds the calories. Now, I have stopped doing that. When I am bored, I just sit out for a while. And if it gets too much, then I even step out for a walk. It breaks the monotony, without the weight!
I have learned over the years that I am an emotional eater. I put on a lot of weight when I lost someone that I loved. Apparently, this is very common - people eating to deal with feelings of loss or sadness. (It's only the lucky few that lose their appetite. Angelina Jolie, anyone?) Once this habit starts, it's extremely hard to end it. It's difficult to tell yourself - you're emotionally eating, stop it. The better solution is to expect the eating to continue, but see a therapist, write in a journal, etc. to start dealing with whatever issues are causing the problem. Once you deal with the issue, the symptom (the eating) will slowly disappear with time.