Compulsive overeating. Feeding your feelings. These are just some of the familiar ways emotional eating can make you do. Are they healthy? No. Do you it anyway? Definitely! There’s something about that extreme feeling of loneliness (and for some people, even overwhelming happiness!) that makes you want to grab that jug of ice cream and dive into its creamy goodness. To stop this admittedly disgusting behavior called emotional eating, you are going to need some serious help. Before you even head on to the refrigerator for comfort food, effectively deal with emotional eating with these steps.
Step 1: Understand emotional eating
Emotional eating is one sure way to counter your weight loss efforts. Unfortunately, it remains misunderstood. According to Jane Jakubczak, a dietitian from the University of Maryland, “Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger…an emotion triggers the eating.” In other words, the physical symptom of hunger is not what compels you to eat. When you are two happy and crave for a specific food such as ice cream or pasta or when you are too sad and needs a bag of fries to make you feel remotely better, you are clearly feeding your feelings. For you to understand what emotional eating really is, there are plenty of resources aimed at helping you understand this behavior better.
Step 2: Identify the symptoms that separate emotional eating from physical hunger
Before anything else, you have to be able to know what distinguishes physical hunger from emotional hunger. The dividing line can be very tricky, and the last thing you want is to mistake the former for the latter, and vice versa.
For one, emotional hunger comes at once. Physical hunger is usually something that you feel over a period of time. When you want to fill your emotional craving, you want to eat a specific type of food; there is no chance that you will feel better at all by eating just any type of food. Another definite symptom is the feeling you get while eating: you will stuff your mouth as long as you feel depressed or overjoyed, never stopping even when you’re already full. Finally, there’s a guilt associated with emotional eating. This guilt is exactly what replaces the emotion that caused you to eat in the first place.
Step 3: Determine the triggers
The triggers of emotional eating are self-explanatory. You eat as a response to the following triggers: depression, tension, anger, loneliness, stress, even happiness. The following emotions may be brought about by a specific situation, say a stressful divorce or bad weather. They may also be triggered by a series of events, such as financial or health problems. The most common reason for emotional eating though is brought about by relationship problems. With you in emotional distress, you tend to be impulsive and binge on your comfort food of choice.
What you need to do is find out your eating triggers. Make a checklist of the problems or situations in your life that result in overwhelming emotions that you can only take away by binge eating. They can range from seemingly insignificant situations like your next-door neighbor threatening you to really serious ones such as a job you just recently lost.
Step 4: Recognize when you’re eating your feelings
This is one of the trickier parts of emotional eating. After identifying the emotional triggers of eating, you need to be perceptive and prudent enough to know when you are feeding your feelings. There is no absolute way to do this. It will take a conscious effort on your part to recognize if you’re doing it. Once one of the situations in your checklist occurs and you begin craving for food, you can be sure that you’re on the doorstep of emotional eating. However, your consciousness and alertness should by no means stop you from eating regularly. Not everything you eat is a result of comfort eating. Be careful not to make the mistake of mixing the two together.
Step 5: Break the habit
Stopping yourself from emotional eating will feel good after the first or second time. However, you may feel the need to “cheat” every once in a while just to take the pressure off. Doing so will be counterproductive and will totally break the habit you are trying to develop. So, what do you do when you feel like emotional eating again?
The best tactic is diversion. Find another way to deal with the emotional trigger in Step 3. There are more healthy ways of dealing with these overwhelming negative emotions. Here are some suggestions: you can Get More Info from the below mentioned topics. Always look at the reviews and ratings from the verified customers.
– Take the car for a ride.
– Talk to a reliable friend for advice.
– Do something fun!
– Do deep breathing exercises.
– Seek professional help.
Remember, you can do something about emotional eating!