Here are some tips for the emotional eater.
Everyone has 4 basic hunger centers in the brain:
You have an appetite for food, water, sex and sleep.
If you don't get enough sleep, you will crave carbohydrates. So, try to get into good sleeping habits. Get atleast 8hrs of sleep a night. Also, get on a set schedule to fall asleep at a certain time and wake at a certain time. I usually will fall asleep around 9:30-10:00 and I wake up between 7 and 9am. Find times that work for you and stick with it, you will notice a difference and you won't feel as tired.
The key is, you never want to be hungry. Therefore, you need to eat every 3-4 hours smaller ammounts each time. Before you get hungry, eat.
Some small snack ideas:
Yogurt & a banana
OR Oatmeal w/cinnamon
OR a little bit of salmon and broccoli
OR some apples with cheese or peanut butter
Mental craving only last maybe 10, 15-20 minutes.
Replace those minutes with an activity to distract yourself. If your reaching for a weight loss goal, then workout, go for a run, ride your bike, dance, or engage in an activity that will stimulate your brain such as a sudoku puzzle or crossword puzzle.
Also, rather than indulging in foods to mask your feelings, try to think about what were you feeling, thinking, sensing right before that craving.
Replace those mini-cravings with a small wafer piece of 75%-100% cocoa chocolate or a spoonful of applesauce.
When you crave salt, DRINK WATER FIRST, because when you crave salty snacks, your often dehydrated. Pickles are a good alternative, a small bowl of popcorn (get the 100 calorie bags), Almonds are great for you as well as satisfying your salty craving.
Best of luck to you and remember you can do anything you put your mind to, it might seem hard at first, but start small and work your way up to healthy eating habits. Your body will be thanking you later.