Struggling with Emotional Eating?

Do you find yourself heading to the pantry when you are upset or feeling down? It’s common to hunt down food when you feel upset or otherwise emotionally distraught. It’s a behavior called emotional eating.

Emotional eaters reach for foods several times a week or more to deal with and soothe negative feelings. Guilt often follows, resulting in a cycle of excessive eating and weight gain. Emotional eating may also happen even when on the HCG diet. When loneliness, sadness strikes, or when things get tough, some dieters often find themselves reaching for a pint of ice cream or a slice of pizza. Emotional eating doesn’t help nor does it solve any problems long-term. It makes matters worse as it is likely to lead to weight gain.

Tips on how to break the habit

  • Know your emotional eating triggers

Figure out what your triggers are and identify the reason behind all the turmoil. Is it an actual hunger? Or is it just boredom? Or are you trying to push down uncomfortable feelings?

If you eat as a reward to yourself for a tough day, remember that you should also be proud of yourself for losing weight, being, and feeling healthy.  If stress sets your appetite in motion, take time to relax and learn methods to lessen that stress. Meditation, exercise, and yoga can help you manage your stress level.

  • Pause when cravings hit

People who are emotional eaters typically feel powerless over their eating habits. When that urge to eat comes, you concede to it almost without forcing yourself to do so. You feel an almost unbearable tension in your body that demands to be satisfied, and you try to relieve the tension with food. You may not have succeeded at resisting in the past, but this does not mean that your willpower over your cravings is weak. The reality is that you have more power over your cravings than you think you do.

  • Fight boredom

Boredom is one reason some dieters become emotional eaters. If you eat out of boredom, reach out and grab a cup of tea instead. Watch a movie, read a book, or maybe get some friends over, anything that is not food-related.

  • Learn from your mistakes

Mistakes happen! Break that bad habit. Learn from them and progress. It won’t be easy and you won’t be able to break that bad habit overnight but at least you have tried. Take a time to reflect and see what went wrong. Your effort is the most important thing though.

  • Distract yourself

One of the best ways to quell emotional eating is to engage in activities that distract you for just five minutes. Go out and take a walk for 5 minutes or you can simply sit outside. Put on your favorite music or dance or call a friend to chat with. The more ways you can come up with to wriggle out of emotional eating, the more likely it will be that you resist.

  • Stay away from temptations

Another way to avoid emotional eating is to stay away from temptations. It won’t be easy, but making sure nothing is tempting like chocolate ice cream, or that delicious looking batch of donuts in the house will help you stay on track.

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2 Comments

  • Nadia Dixon

    I hoped I’ve seen this sooner. Work has been really stressful these past days and I wasn’t able to stop myself from cheating to relieve the stress. Cheated for 3 days already. Do I need to start over?

  • Jan Marie Luna

    Hello Nadia. Good thing you were able to drop by this article today, and not a few days later. It’s not too late. You do not need to restart your diet, just continue it – but this time, follow the tips mentioned in the above article. The gain you’ve had from the 3 days of cheating could take a few days to get rid of. Just give it time and trust the process. Hoping you’ll have better days ahead, workwise. Best of luck on your loses! =)

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