Let’s be honest: we are a nation of emotional eaters. How many times have you turned to chocolate or sweets when you needed to feel better? Or, how many times have you decided to reward yourself with a milkshake for a job well done? A lot of the time, a craving for food is not actually based in hunger, but our emotions. Emotional eating is what leads to many people to overeat.
Like any of the contributing factors to obesity or even being a little overweight, emotional eating can be overcome with knowledge, planning, and motivation. Here are some ways you can start fighting emotional eating and regain control of your appetite.
Why are you eating?
The first step in fighting emotional eating always ask the question, why am I eating? Ideally, you will do this before you take a bite, but it may take you a little bit of training to get to this point. Taking a minute to pause and genuinely think about why you are eating will give you much more control.
Listen to your body
After you’ve learned to pause and ask, “Why am I eating?”, you’ll need to learn how to listen to your body. Is your body actually hungry? If so, it’s okay to eat a reasonably sized portion. However, if your body is not hungry physically, but instead you’re eating to feed an emotional response, then you should stop and find some other way to deal with your hunger.
Stressed? Tired? Bored?
When you listen to your body, what is it telling me? Is it telling you you are hungry, tired, stressed or bored? These are the most common reasons people overeat. Identifying one of these emotions is often enough to give you control to stop.
Find Productive Activities
Finally, when you know which emotion it is that’s causing you to eat, find something productive to do instead of eating. For example, if you feel stressed, do an activity to help you relax instead of compulsively consuming food. If you’re bored, stimulate your mind by reading a book, writing in a diary, or participating in some other productive activity. And if you’re tired, taking a nap is always pretty good solution.
There’s a lot more to emotional eating than what’s been described above. We recommend checking out some of the following links to learn more and to learn about how you can banish emotional eating from your diet habits for good:
And if you want to learn more about how you can work with a diet coach to fully overcome your negative eating habits, you can always call us at 1-877-485-1030 (9am-5pm MST, M-F). We’re standing by and waiting to help you along the way!