How To Control Emotional Eating?
Food for many is used as comfort in times of stress, anger and sadness. It is a fact that the strongest food cravings hit you when you are emotionally drained or are under stress. This can hinder weight loss efforts since one tends to eat foods high in sugar, fat and calories under those circumstances. Consulting a weight loss nutritionist can help not only to manage the weight but also to manage emotions without involving food.
During stress, anxiety, loneliness, or any other negative emotion, food is often used to soothe these emotions. When this keeps happening over a period of time, it tends to becomes a habit – so the next time you are distressed over something you just reach out for these foods. There is no thought given to it.
So how does one manage emotional eating?
Know the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger -With emotional hunger there is an urgent need to eat, physical hunger is not urgentunless you haven’t eaten for a long time.Also in emotional eating there is a sense of guilt after having eaten while during physical hunger one is less likely to feel guilty after having eaten something.
Manage your stress-Stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or any other form of exercise can help in management of stress.
Abstain from deprivation - Eat healthy food and exercise at all times and occasionally treat yourself with comforting food without guilt.
Maintain a food diary -this will help you identify your emotional eating triggers. This includes what you have eaten and what your feelings were when you ate. It helps establish the relationship between the two.
Out of sight is out of mind -If your kitchen cupboards and fridge is stocked up with comfort foods, you would have an easy access to those foods when there is emotional hunger.
Practice mindful eating – Eating mindfully without the distraction of a television or the phone can help you focus on the food you are eating, avoid over eating and help develop a positive relationship with food.
Even if with these self-help tips you find yourself not being able to manage your emotional eating then it is best to seek professional help. And coupled with that if weight loss becomes an issue then consider enrolling yourself into a weight loss program that can help you manage your weight and work through your food triggers and the causes of emotional eating.