Most times we are unaware when we are in the state of emotional eating, from moments when we are sad, angry or even happy we find ourselves over indulging. However, although bad sometimes it is allowed but when it has become a constant cycle then we need to check ourselves.
Eating when you’re emotional feeds your body to satisfy your emotional state and not because your body is in need of it. In order to break away from emotional eating we need to understand that it is not going to magically take us out of our emotional state. It is not a solution and so we need to break away from this mind-set. If anything it makes us feel worse and guilty rather than satisfied.
Are you an emotional eater? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
- Do you eat to feel better?
You can take a test here to find out if you are an emotional eater.
Distractions are the best way to deter one’s mind from their primary focus to binge on food. The first step is to recognise you have a problem and what triggers your cravings for food. Once you acknowledge this, you can use the following tips to break away.
1. Watch your fave series!
These can really take your mind off things and uplift your mood. Throughout the duration of the film, avoid snacking and instead drink water or eat fruit to tackle your need to feast.
It may help to open up to a family member or a friend. Do not bottle all your feelings inside. Try to let someone else in, so they can give you some friendly advice on how to cope.
3. Get a hobby
Use this to satisfy your craving for food. I usually paint or doodle to keep myself busy. Emotional eating can sometimes be triggered by boredom. We have nothing to do and so we go to the fridge to find something to eat. Break this habit by finding alternative activities to keep yourself active.
4. Hit pause
When you feel tempted to go to the fridge or the cupboard, imagine you have a remote control and hit pause. Think about yourself in the situation where you feel weak and how you may feel afterwards. This technique will really allow you to step out of the situation and assess it from an outsiders point of view.
5. Keep a food diary
Write down what you eat, so you can physically see what you consume. This will highlight the connection between your cravings and feelings and may help get you into the mood to break away from emotional eating. Why not try this app to help record the your food intake.
6. Set yourself goals
These will drive you towards trying to overcome your desire to eat during difficult periods. These do not need to be huge milestones, but just tiny steps to support you towards changing this habit. An example could be,Try eating an apple instead of chocolate.
7. Accept it
Learn to accept how you are feeling. Remember you are in control. Like addicts, you need to recognise you have a problem before you can move forward to change it.
8. Sip away your worries
Try drinking water to substitute it for your need to eat. You do not need to drink gallons and gallons, but tiny sips throughout the day will keep you hydrated.
9. Sleep on it
Try having a good night’s sleep or maybe a short 10 – 20 minute nap to ease your stress levels. It will give your mind a chance to wind down and give you a chance to calm down.
10. Take a deep breath
Be more mindful and conscious of the situation to make you more likely to stop. It is a great way to clear your mind and relax yourself within stressful situations which may prompt you to start eating.
Do you have other ways of overcoming emotional eating?