Stop Emotional Eating: Simple Strategies You Can Start Using Today
If you're trying to lose weight, there may be something that is holding you back. No matter how hard you try to plan and stick to a diet, emotional eating can sidetrack your best intentions.
Turning to food for comfort when you are stressed, upset or tired can be a major problem. Until you deal with your emotional eating, you may never be able to lose weight.
The good news is that, with a few simple techniques and some patience, you can break the cycle of emotional eating and begin to lose the weight that you want.
In order to overcome emotional eating, you need to understand the motivation behind it. Food is very comforting and somewhere in your past, you have probably connected eating with overcoming negative emotions. Stress, anger, boredom, sadness, loneliness and fear can all result in a desire to eat.
Several different behaviors can help you to stop emotional eating. Try out one of these modifications when you are feeling overwhelmed and feel like eating.
First, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If you are feeling hunger pangs, you need to double check if you are really physically hungry. If you ate just a few hours ago, you may be a victim of emotional hunger pangs. It's only when you start looking at why you are hungry will you be able to recognize your emotional eating for what it is.
You can also take notice of your eating habits by keeping a food diary. Write down what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat. Also take note of how you are feeling when you eat and how hungry you feel when you decide to eat. By keeping record of your eating habits, you'll be able to identify your eating triggers and notice a pattern in when you're actually hungry and when you're just looking for distraction.
Once you know your typical patterns, you can begin to develop new behaviors to overcome your tendency to eat when you are stressed, depressed or bored. You can minimize stress in your life by using stress management techniques such as relaxation or yoga. You can also deal with sadness and depression with counseling or group therapy. Boredom can be overcome by reading a book, taking a walk, watching a movie, playing music, etc.
You can also overcome emotional eating by getting rid of comfort food in your home and at your desk. Don't keep your trigger foods around and you will be less likely to rely on food for comfort and stress relief. If you love to eat chips, keep chips out of the house. Try something healthy that offers the same satisfying crunch - like carrots or celery sticks. It definitely won't be exactly the same, but it will help you save calories.
If you've tried all of these methods and are still having trouble with emotional eating, seek therapy from a professional. Many counselors deal with eating problems and you can work with you on your emotional eating problems.
by: Jamie JeffersonAbout the Author:Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com, where you'll find reviews and coupons for popular online diet plans, including diet meal replacements . You can also see her choice for best online diet.