You may turn to food for comfort consciously or unconsciously when facing a problem or stressed out. Sometimes the strongest craving for food hits you when you are at your weakest point emotionally. Emotional eating can weaken your weight loss efforts. It often leads to eating too much, especially sweets, fatty acids, and high calories. However, if you have the habit of eating too much due to emotional effects, you can take steps to control your eating habit and get back on track. That’s why this article will provide you with some helpful weight loss tips for emotional eaters.
What is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating is eating to suppress negative emotions, which are; boredom, fear, loneliness, and anger. Major life events can trigger emotional eating and disrupt your weight loss efforts. The emotional eating trigger includes; fatigue, financial pressure, relationship conflicts, and health problems.
However, food serves as a distraction. If you are worried about events or ruminating over a conflict, you may focus on eating instead of facing a painful situation.
The truth is we don’t always eat food just to satisfy our hunger. Many of us also eat food for comfort, mood swings, or to reward ourselves. And in those instances, we will most like go for junk foods, sweets, and other tasty but unhealthy foods.
Moreover, the effect of emotion on eating is temporary, and in no time, your emotions will return, and you will likely bear the guilt of eating in such a unhealthy way and the retardation it has caused to your weight loss goal.
Nevertheless, when negative emotion threatens to trigger emotional eating, there are some steps you can take to control your cravings. This article is going to reveal some tips to control emotional eating.
How Do You Know If You’re An Emotional Eater?
Here are some few questions to ask yourself to determine if you eat emotionally:
- Do you eat food to reward yourself most times?
- Do you eat to manage stress often?
- Do you eat when you’re bored or lonely?
- Do you eat to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, or angry?
- Do you eat because you just want something in your mouth when doing an activity like watching a movie?
- Do you often find yourself craving junk food or sugary snacks that provide an instant rush?
- Do you keep wanting more and more food even when you’re full?
- Do you feel like eating food focused on specific textures, tastes, and smells?
If you answered yes to most of these questions above then, you’re an emotional eater. If you’re planning to lose weight, emotional eating can be your biggest setback in your weight loss journey. These weight loss tips for emotional eaters will definitely be of help to you.
Weight Loss Tips for Emotional Eaters
The following are some effective weight loss tips for emotional eating:
1. Tame your stress:
Try stress management if stress contributes to emotional eating. Try some exercise such as cardio, deep breathing, and meditation. This controls your negative emotion and gives you an edge in controlling emotional eating. Look for other healthy ways to deal with stress instead of gobbling down unhealthy snacks. You can treat yourself with a hot cup of green tea, take a soothing bath, cuddle with your loved one, or read a interesting book.
2. Get support:
Consider joining a group, or you can lean on your family and friends. You are more likely to give in to emotional eating if you don’t have people supporting or watching you because it is sometimes difficult to quit emotional eating, especially if it has become a habit. Most emotional eaters eat because they feel lonely. When you feel lonely, call someone who makes you happy, play with pet, or go for a walk.
3. Learn from setbacks:
It’s inevitable to encounter setbacks when overcoming emotional eating, however, that should not deter you.
Try to learn from your setbacks and plan how you can prevent such setbacks in the future. Try to also focus on the positive change you are making in your eating habits and always try to appreciate the little effort you are making to achieve better health.
4. Take away temptation:
If you feel hungry, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you have your emotions in check. Don’t keep those tempting yet ‘comforting’ foods in your home. When you’re anxious and tempted to eat emotionally, do something that will take your mind off the anxiety other than eating. For example dancing to your favorite song, listening to an audiobook or writing.
5. Keep a food diary:
Overtime, you might see patterns that reveal the connection between food and mood. Try to write down what you eat, how you eat, and how you feel when you eat. Keep tracks of your food, eating daily, and try to give yourself study periods. This will help you see ways to avoid emotional eating, as well as plan ahead on what to eat so you don’t eat emotionally.
Chewing gum is another incredible weight loss tip for emotional eaters. This useful health hack comes in handy when you’re feeling like eating something, but not actually hungry. It is a great way to stop you from emotional eating. One study even said that chewing gum can boost your alertness, enhance your mood, and attention. So, chewing gum is great for late night studying when you need to focus. It also helps you avoid cravings of taste and smell of other unhealthy foods.
In a nutshell, emotional eating is a negative behavior that can harm your weight loss goal. When you feel depressed, unbalance, and unwell emotional eating comes into place. To curb emotional eating, you are advised to get the support of people, keep track of the food you eat and learn not to go on a trip when you feel hungry.
However, you are to eat in a balanced way to avoid adding weights.