How to Stop Emotional Eating
Many people choose food for comfort when they’re feeling sad, stressed and even when they’re bored. If you eat for emotional reasons instead of when you’re feeling hungry, that might become a problem. That can lead to being and it’s especially dangerous if have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Some people aren’t even aware that they’re emotional eaters. Take control of your own life and stop the emotional eating.
Always be kind to yourself
The first step is to start feeling compassion for yourself. Beating yourself up isn’t going to help. Just relax and give yourself a break. Think about your feelings and thoughts before you start eating.
Search for a solution
Your emotional eating has more to do with your emotions rather than eating. You need to make a list of the things that stress you out and to make a plan how to fix them. If there’s any solution about the problems that are stressing you out, then try your best to solve them. If your problems are out of your control, change your thought and don’t reach for food. The best way to deal with these things is to consult a counselor. Talking about it with a counselor will help you a lot.
You really need to make a pause when you have the urge to eat. This pause will clear your mind and will give you time to think why do you want to eat. When you’re feeling bored or sad and want to eat that box of cookies, tell yourself “I’ll eat it later”. What you can also do is start walking anytime you’re tempted to have a snack. Go for a min walk, moving is a stress reliever. Doing these things will make you feel more in control of the situation.
Differentiate between physical hunger and emotional hunger
To recognize the causes of your emotional eating, it may be useful to first understand when you are feeling physically hungry and when you are feeling emotionally hungry. Usually, emotional hunger comes on suddenly and feels urgent. You may be able to only think about eating and satisfying your craving right away. This is different than physical hunger, which usually comes on gradually, unless you haven’t eaten in a long time.
Be aware of the difference between binge eating and emotional eating
Though emotions come into play with binge eating, binge eating usually involves eating unusually large amounts of food within a specific amount of time. Individuals with a binge eating disorder often feel they cannot control their behavior and eat even when they are full or not hungry. They may also eat rapidly during binge episodes and eat alone or in secret. They may have feelings of shame or guilt while they are eating or after they have eaten.
Go for a walk or a run
Doing physical activities like walking or running can help you to release any stress or anxiety you may be feeling. This can then help you to avoid emotional eating, as your energy will be focused on burning calories and increasing your endorphin levels. Try to do cardio activity at least once a day for 30 minutes to 1 hour, as this will help you stay healthy mentally and physically.
Take a weekly yoga class
Stress can be a big trigger for emotional eating. Rather than let stress overtake you and cause you to overeat, you may want to try a relaxing activity like yoga or Tai Chi. Sign up for a weekly yoga class with a friend, where you can breathe and stretch out any tension or stress you may be feeling. Doing this can help you to maintain a balanced mood and feel less of a need to reach for food as a way to stress release.
Do self care at home
Another way you can relax is to do self caring actions at home. You can also focus on self care when you feel a food craving come on, such as taking a bath, reading a book, going for a walk, or meditating. Channeling your energy into a healthy, caring act for yourself, rather than emotional eating, will likely make you feel better in the long run.
It’s really OK if you eat to celebrate or even snack on something sweet when you’re feeling sad. If you always turn to food when you’re feeling blue is really unhealthy and it can cause medical issues.