Emotional eating means turning to food for comfort; not because you’re hungry.
That bag of potato chips and those chocolate chip cookies may provide short-term relief when you’re feeling bored, lonely, anxious, frustrated, depressed, angry, or stressed. But emotional eating can also lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain!
The good news is that there are some fairly easy ways to learn how to cope with feelings of emotional distress so that you’re not reaching for unhealthy foods whenever you’re faced with a negative feeling.
Want to lose belly fat?
Tip 1: Identify Your Eating Triggers
When you know what situations and emotions prompt you to eat, you can come up with ways to steer clear of those traps. These food triggers will typically fall into five main categories.
Being encouraged by others to eat, or eating to fit in.
Eating in response to unpleasant feelings like fatigue and anxiety. Or to fill the void due to loneliness.
Eating because of a negative self-image
Eating because the opportunity is there, like when you see a food advertised or when you pass a bakery. You might also eat whenever you do certain activities, like going to the movies or watching TV.
Eating in response to physical cues, such as a headache or an appetite increased because you skipped a meal
To find out what your triggers are, keep a food diary to write down exactly what and when you eat as well as what stressors, thoughts, or emotions you experience as you eat. You should begin to see patterns fairly quickly.
Tip 2: How to Stop Emotional Eating
In order to break the emotional eating habit: When you start to reach for food in response to an eating trigger, try one of the following activities instead.
- Read a good book or magazine, or listen to music.
- Do housework, laundry, or yard work.
- Do deep breathing exercises.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Play cards or a board game.
- Go for a walk or jog.
- Talk to a friend.
- Wash the car.
- Write a letter.
- Do any other pleasurable or necessary activity until the urge to eat passes.
Tip 3: Get Help
Sometimes developing alternative habits or distracting yourself from eating isn’t enough. Try meditation or counseling, or talk to your doctor to see what resources and techniques they recommend to help you cope with emotional stress.
As you learn to practice better coping strategies and to curb emotional eating, remember to reward yourself. By patting yourself on the back for a job well done, you increase the likelihood that you’ll maintain your new healthy habits.
Even though emotional eating is a mind thing, controlling blood sugar levels can help make you think less about food. Take the Manna Blood Sugar Support supplement with each meal to curb any food cravings and suppress appetite. Follow a healthy diet and exercise program like the Manna Diet.