Does stress, anger, or sadness drive you to eat? Do you turn to food for comfort, or when you’re bored? Many people do. If you often eat for emotional reasons instead of because you’re physically hungry, that can be a problem.
Obeying the urge to eat more than you need is a sure-fire way to gain weight. It’s an even bigger problem if you already have health conditions like diabetes, obesity or high blood pressure.
You might not even realize you’re doing it until it’s too late. One of the biggest clues is eating until you are uncomfortable and stuffed, this is a sure sign something is going on.
Another clue to watch out for is that you are gaining weight and you don’t know why. Don’t assume that it’s just that you’re getting older or slacking on the treadmill. Consider how you’re doing emotionally, and whether that might be affecting your eating.
The surprising part is, it’s not really about food at all and there are steps you can take to help get things back under control. Below I have listed a few of these steps:
It helps to add a delay between the urge to eat and actually eating. That gives you time to check in with how you’re feeling and why you want to eat.
When you get the urge to eat something (usually something sweet, like chocolate or ice cream) out of sadness or boredom, remember that you have the option to wait it out. Saying to yourself ‘I’ll have it later’ gives the impulse time to pass and helps you feel more in control. You are not saying you can’t have it, just not right now & this will help you to think about it more logically & also decide whether you really want it or if you may be satisfied with a piece of fruit or maybe just a small piece of chocolate instead of a whole block.
When you’re tempted to snack for emotional reasons, try moving instead. Just walking for only 10 minutes will help, it refreshes you and increases your endorphins. Moving is a proven stress-buster and also helps you replaced the urge to eat with something else.
The truth is not all emotional eating is unhealthy. It’s normal and natural occasionally to eat to celebrate with friends or because you’re feeling blue. It only becomes a problem when it is used frequently, you are consuming large quantities of food in one sitting or when there are medical issues and you are going against Dr’s advice.
And Finally Be Kind To Yourself
Greater self-compassion is the first step toward learning to comfort yourself in other ways. Beating yourself up over it only adds to your stress, which can lead to more emotional eating.
No one is perfect and the key is to learn what your triggers are and have a strategy in place to help overcome them. Overtime these will become your new coping mechanisms and emotional or binge eating will become a thing of the past.
I hope this has helped you understand emotional eating as well as given you some ideas on how to cope with it.
Until next time
Yours in Holistic Health