7 Effective Ways To Overcome Emotional Eating

Does being depressed, anxious or lonely make you eat – even when you’re not physically hungry? If so, you’re an emotional eater. In fact, some folks eat when they’re happy or excited.

Turning to food for comfort never helps. You may feel good for a moment, but you’ll be left with feelings of guilt and shame afterwards.

It’s impossible to reach and maintain your ideal weight if you let emotions dictate when and what to eat. In this article, I’ll show you how to overcome emotional eating and have control of food.

1. Stop thinking of foods as ‘bad’ or ‘good’

Dieting is to blame for this. Most diets have restrictions on the foods you should and shouldn’t eat. Researchers say that people turn to the forbidden foods when they’re stressed, hoping they will feel better. That’s why most people binge on sugary foods and junk food.

You’re less likely to binge if you think of all foods as equal. And you won’t be left with feelings of guilt when you eat the bad foods.

2. Find out emotions which make you eat

Keep a journal for this one. Write down what you eat, when you eat, the feelings that made you eat and how you felt after eating. For instance, you could write: at 10pm I ate ice cream, I was feeling lonely and depressed, and I felt guilty and ashamed after eating the ice cream.

If you do this long enough, a pattern will emerge. And you’ll be in a better position to deal with those emotions. Do your own research to know how to overcome any emotional problems you may have.

Use the information in the journal to identify the foods to avoid when you’re stressed.

3. Awareness

Emotional eating usually happens without realizing. Folks realize they’ve binged after the cookie jar is empty. Being mindful and in the present moment can prevent this.

Whenever you feel hungry, first establish if it’s physical hunger or emotional hunger. We usually experience emotional hunger instantly while physical hunger comes on gradually. You may also drink a glass of water to see if you’re still be hungry.

Lastly, avoid distractions when eating. Focus on eating alone, don’t watch TV or listen to music.

4. Exercise regularly

Exercise is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies also show that exercisers have fewer cravings than non-exercisers.

If you only focus on burning calories, exercise will soon become boring. Exercise to build strength and endurance as well.

5. Have interference foods

These are healthy low-calorie foods that you should eat before you eat the foods you crave. This could be an apple, greek yogurt, vegetables and so on.

If you still want to eat the comfort food after eating the healthy food, go ahead. But chances are the interference food will satisfy you.

6. Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation lower leptin levels and consequently increases appetite. Additionally, lack of sleep lowers energy levels, so you won’t have willpower to fight the cravings.

7. Seek professional help

Our childhood has a big impact on our eating habits, so it might not be easy to change them. Seek advice from an eating disorder expert if none of these tips work.

Or share your experiences with people who face the same challenges as you. You can find help from groups like Overeaters Anonymous.

 

71 comments

Joanne p.
Joanne pabout a year ago

ty

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Joanne p.
Joanne pabout a year ago

ty

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Lenore Kudaka
Lenore K1 years ago

ty

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Caroline B.
Caroline B1 years ago

I think I need to print this off and use it as a check list!

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Nanette a.
Nanette a1 years ago

I love sweets and no interference food helps so for me better to have what you want vs eating everything you don't and then still going for what you originally wanted.

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Mrs M.
MRS M1 years ago

My cat died last week, the vet let him down. My only comfort is food. It has been torture.

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sandra vito
Sandra V1 years ago

Thanks

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sandra vito
Sandra V1 years ago

Thanks

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Janet B.
Janet B1 years ago

Thanks

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