HALT–Hungry Angry Lonely Tired

I was craving pizza for lunch. Actually, I’m always craving pizza. But, today I decided to grab an easy microwave version to pair with salad and hummus. IMG_0286 (600x800)

Midmorning I ate an apple while working messing around on twitterIMG_0285 (800x600)

I’ve written about “HALT” before, but thought today was a good day to refresh my memory RER about it.

HALT is a term/tool you can use to help prevent eating when you’re not hungry. It stands for

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

Why am I bringing this up? I have a little confession to make, Ben was in Mexico this weekend. (He’s actually coming home tonight.) And I was Lonely. This weekend’s binge definitely was sparked by being lonely and Tired not hungry.

If you have a reoccurring issue with emotional eating, these 4 letters can help you recognize what you’re feeling before you start eating. If you’re angry (or sad), lonely or tired and not hungry you should do something to acknowledge and help those feelings.

I couldn’t really drive to Mexico to see him (although it crossed my mind…) so I just stayed in my funk, which was bad Sad smile

In the past I had “HALT” written on a piece of paper on my fridge and thought I was “over it”. I guess this weekend showed me that food and eating issues will be a problem I will need to work on for the rest of my life.

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I am headed to work and then I pick up Ben from the airport tonight! I didn’t realize how much I like that guy because I was super sad and missed him so much this weekend Sad smileben and monica

PS – I have gotten a lot of questions about my new life. I’m putting together a post about my new job/schedule. It should be up tomorrow Smile


  1. says

    That’s such a good acronym to remember! I should have remembered it earlier today… boo.
    I’ve definitely done my fair share of eating in the past few months exactly because I felt angry and lonely. I’m finally recognizing those emotions and realizing that it’s okay to not be perfect.
    Glad to hear Ben is coming back so your loneliness can go away!

  2. says

    I’ve heard of that HALT acronym before, and I really like it! I’ve also accepted that I will forever be on the journey to heal my relationship with food, and that’s ok. I’ll never fully be “over” emotional eating, but every time I’m faced with it, I learn something new about myself and heal a little bit more. Ok, this is starting to sound incredibly cheesy, but it’s true!

  3. says

    That is a really good Idea I think I might do that – put the HALT thing on the fridge/pantry. I do emotional eating during finals (currently wondering where my bag of butter scotch chips went…) and when I’m home by myself.

  4. says

    HALT is really helpful; thanks for posting this.
    My husband is in the Army and spends a lot of time away from home. It’s easy to get bored or lonely (or nervous!) when he’s gone and then eat half a carton of ice cream in one sitting. Blech. I’ll definitely be putting HALT to good practice.

    I’m happy Ben will be home tonight!

  5. says

    I realized last week when I was actively doing a sugar detox that I use food to soothe feelings. When I was stressed or sad or lonely I immediately craved candy or chocolate. I stopped myself from eating any because I was really trying hard to not eat candy for a week. It was a shocking revelation for me how much my emotional state dictates what I eat!

  6. says

    I love HALT. My mom told me about HALT when I was growing, but just about general reactions to life, not specific to emotional eating. It really helps me when I feel myself reacting to take a second, assess the situation and come up with a better action plan than eating/yelling at someone/ feeling bad for myself/ having an extended pity party/ or just being rude. Love this reminder!

  7. says

    I can so relate. Andy was gone for a week in DC and I was alone in the house. I had Spring break from teaching so I rarely left the house and was just stuck by myself! It was really hard for me not to mindlessly eat!

  8. says

    I LOVE H.A.L.T. and totally swear by it….I LOVE that you shared it with everyone and how it applied to you.

    You both are adorable in that picture – absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?! LOL…..

  9. says

    What a great reminder about HALT! Most of my food thoughts seem to occur when I’m bored, I guess that fits under lonely? Going to try and use this in the future. :)

  10. LisaM says

    I am so glad that you posted about HALT because I have used it and had success. I need to add a B somewhere in there for boredom, which is also a trigger for me. I also would add an activity to do once I had identified what I was actually feeling.

  11. says

    That’s a fantastic picture of you two at the end of the post! I find I do the same thing sometimes when my husband is away. I get lonely and homesick for Florida (where I moved to Cali from) and struggle to manage those emotions in a healthy way. For me, I find I must keep myself really busy. Good busy, not bad. Write, run, browse a book store, get a massage, start a new writing project or choose a new goal….I find that these activities ease loneliness for a couple of days when I’m alone. Everyone is different of course.

    Glad you get to see Ben tonight!

  12. says

    I love your site, and posts like this are why. Sorry to hear you had a rough weekend and thanks for sharing this acronym. This is so helpful to me as I have completely hit a wall on motivation and moving forward. I think HALT might help me as the lonely, bored, angry are fueling my lack of motivation. I need this tattooed on my eating hand! Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. says

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

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