Are you an emotional eater? If being depressed, nervous or lonely makes you eat, even when your body is not asking for it, then you are definitely an emotional eater. Some people like to eat when they are happy or excited. In both the emotional conditions happy or sad, you need to stop doing it. Turning to food for comfort never helps! Here are few ways to overcome emotional eating.
1. Get the myth of “good food” and “ bad food” out of your system.
Most of the diets talk about the foods you should and shouldn’t eat, but many researches say that most people turn to the forbidden foods when they are low, hoping they will feel good. That is why most people binge on desserts or other junk food. But if you think of all foods as equal then you are less likely to binge.
2. Keeping a journal might help.
Jot down what you eat, when you eat and the feelings that made you eat and how you felt after eating. For example, you could write: at 10 pm I ate cake, I was feeling lonely and depressed, and I felt guilty after having the cake. If you continue to do this long enough then you might be able to see the pattern of your emotions and identify the foods to avoid when you are stressed.
3. Be aware of your emotions.
Being mindful and in the present moment can actually curb your emotional hunger. We usually experience emotional hunger right away while physical hunger comes on slowly. It is advisable to focus on eating alone and not watch TV or listen to music because then you tend to eat more.
4. Exercise is a must.
Any kind of rigorous physical activity is known to reduce anxiety and stress. Studies also reveal that people who exercise regularly have less cravings then people who don’t exercise at all. Exercise with a motive to improve your physical and mental health, if you only focus on burning calories then exercise might become boring for you.
5. Try having healthy snacks.
It is advisable to keep healthy and low-calorie foods like apple, greek yogurt, humus dip and so on handy, so that when you feel like binging you will have some healthy options. But if you still want to eat the comfort food after eating the healthy food then go ahead. But chances are the healthy food will satisfy you.
6. Get good sleep.
Lack of sleep is another reason for emotional eating. Lower energy levels because of less sleep can weaken your willpower to fight the cravings.
7. It is ok to ask for help.
Childhood has a big impact on our eating habits and to change them in a day is not easy. Don’t feel shy to ask for an expert’s help if none of the tips work for you.