Overcoming Emotional Eating

Do you find yourself eating to feel better or to relieve stress? This is commonly referred to as emotional eating. Emotional eating is when we turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or even as a form of reward. We do so to soothe or suppress emotions, and at times, aren’t even physically hungry.

To overcome this habit of emotional eating, it is important to first recognise how you are feeling. This helps you to know when you are vulnerable to the temptation of emotional eating.

Here are some ways to help you curb your emotional eating habits:

Coping with Stress

Stress is typically the root cause of emotional eating. After a long day, it’s normal to feel like comfort food would do the trick. However, eating comfort food to relieve stress should not be an option as it’s been known to induce stress rather than relieve it. If you’re guilty of resorting to comfort food as a way to destress, then it’s time to find alternative methods that are healthy and effective such as listening to music or taking a walk in the park!

Out of Sight out of Mind

When it comes to emotional eating, you will come to find that the foods you run to for comfort are usually the ones most accessible. They are often lying in your pantry or on your kitchen tables. When your comfort foods are so readily available, it makes it so much easier to fall into temptation. Putting unhealthy food behind healthy ones, makes you reconsider if the hassle to retrieve it is really worthwhile and serves as a subtle reminder to eat well. Practicing this simple trick can greatly reduce your chances of eating comfort food and at times, you forget you had them in the first place!

Slow and Steady

Complete abstinence from unhealthy food may be tricky when you first try to get into the habit of it. Instead of overcoming emotional eating by going cold turkey, you may want to consider limiting sizable volumes of unhealthy food at each instance. As you ease your way into forming a habit of conscious and healthy eating, you’ll find it easier to give up the bad habit of emotional eating.

Start a Food Journal

Keeping a journal of what you eat may help you identify your causes of emotional eating. You can do so by writing your meals down on your notebook or phone. When doing this, include also the emotions and feelings you’re facing at that point in time. You will start to see a trend in your feelings and the food you resort to. Identifying your go-to comfort foods is the first step to avoiding them.

Alternatively, before the start of your week, you may want to plan out what to eat for every meal of the day. By doing this, you are less likely to succumb to sudden urges for unhealthy foods! This could drastically limit your emotional eating and additionally help you plan balanced nutritional meals for the week!

In conclusion, food might help you ease your emotions initially, but addressing how you feel behind your physical hunger is what matters in the long run. Knowing yourself better helps you make good decisions when choosing your next meal!