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Stop Emotional Eating!

Be careful of the words you say, keep them soft and sweet; You never know from day to day which ones you’ll have to eat. – unknown

Are you trying to lose weight and you are exercising and still can’t take the pounds off? Do you find it hard to stop eating? Do you eat when you are frustrated, angry, sad, bored or depressed? Do you feel anxious and the only way you can stop it is to stuff your face? Believe it or not your emotions could be responsible for all the above situations.

There are many reasons why people sabotage their weight with too much food. One of them is that we relate food to comfort. Most of us celebrate everything with food and drinks. Birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc., every social gathering is surrounded with food. It’s not your fault, many of us were given food as children when we were hurt or upset, “Oh, poor baby fell down, here is some candy you will feel better.” We have been trained to handle our emotional pain with food to ease those feelings.

Are you and emotional eater? Emotional eaters use food as a pacifier to manage their feelings. It takes your mind off your problems, but makes it a roller coaster ride for your weight loss. So how do you control your emotional binging? The best way is to track your eating in a journal and check your emotions. Writing how you feel and when you binge helps you see the emotions that cause you to overeat. Once you spot a pattern you can tackle the problem.

Below are some ways to help you gain control of your emotional hunger:

Wait before you indulge your craving
Avoid emotional eating by waiting 20-30 minutes before you start snacking. You may figure out you really don’t have a craving or find out what you really need, and it might not be food. Usually after waiting your temptation will disappear.

Only eat three meals a day
Train your body to get use to a schedule. As your body gets on a schedule eating, you will be hungry at the same time every day.

Drink more water
Instead of having a soda with your meal, (which only makes you thirstier later) drink water. Sit down to eat with a glass of water and finish it during your meal. Having sips of water between bites, slow your eating and helps you digest. It also stops you from overeating.

Chart your emotions
Next time you get a craving notice what is going on in your life. How do you feel emotionally? Write your feelings in your food journal along with what you are craving. This will help you become aware of the emotions that have you binging.

Plan your snacks
Rather than deny yourself when your cravings come up, plan your snacks. Portion out your bags of chips, space out your chocolate nibbling. There is no need to deprive yourself, just be realistic about your eating. A good rule is to stop eating two hours before bedtime.

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