Emotional eating occurs when one eats to satisfy their boredom or uses food as a form of therapy. If you’re depressed or sad or eating without much thought while you binge watch a Netflix show – you’re emotional eating.
Over time, this becomes a habit and you’ll be addicted to food without realizing it. You may start experiencing inflammation, weight gain and even obesity, if you let it carry on.
The best way when dealing with emotional eating will be to proactively nip it in the bud. Here are 5 ways you can do that.
Mindfulness will help you eat consciously. Before you put any food in your mouth, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I hungry?”
If you’re not, then you’ll need to ask yourself why you’re eating. Are you bored, sad, tired, etc? Maybe you’re thirsty and you don’t realize it. Maybe what you need is more sleep and rest.
By asking yourself questions before eating, you’ll not be mindlessly eating whatever comes your way.
A routine is an excellent way to ensure that you’re not eating more than you should. Adopting an intermittent fasting protocol will ensure that you do not binge eat.
Another way to break emotional eating will be to consume 5 or 6 small meals at fixed times throughout the day. This method of ‘grazing’ rather than gorging on 6 large meals will ensure that you do not overeat.
3. Stress relief techniques
Very often, when you’re stressed, you may find yourself reaching for the sweet foods and sugary drinks. Sugar highs are used as a means to de-stress you – and it causes many health problems in the long run.
A better way to go about it will be to engage in other methods of stress relief such as meditation, yoga, watching a comedy, sports, etc. As long as your stress relief technique does not involve food, alcohol or harmful substances, you should be good.
4. Remove temptations
If you know that you have a tendency to binge eat in the middle of the night, it’s best to go to bed earlier. When you’re fast asleep, you’re not going to crave for food.
For those who snack throughout the day, your best bet will be to keep your fridge and kitchen devoid of unhealthy, processed foods. By removing all temptations from your house, you’ll not be able to cave in to temptations.
Do not make it harder on yourself and think you can rely on will power. You’re not only battling emotional eating, but also your body’s chemistry and hormones. Sooner or later, willpower will give out. So, eliminate all unhealthy food from your house.
5. Eliminate the triggers
Emotional eating, just like its name suggests, is triggered by your emotions. Observe yourself and see why you’re eating. When are the times you’re most prone to emotional eating.
If it’s when you’re struggling to meet deadlines at work, you may need better time management or even a new job that doesn’t stress you out.
Sometimes, it can be people that upset you and family is notorious for doing this. If you constantly find yourself stressed after hanging out with some toxic people and this leads to your emotional eating – it will be in your best interest to avoid them.
Whatever the case may be, identify your triggers and break your patterns to eliminate them. Doing this will help you to put an end to emotional eating.
Adopt these 5 methods and you’ll notice an improvement in your relationship with food and you’ll have your emotions under control too.