I don’t know what it is about the winter months exactly, but have you noticed that you are tempted to snack and eat much more compared to the spring or the summer? Lots of people put this down to the different kinds of emotions that the winter weather encourages us to feel, perhaps fostering an atmosphere where we are forced to be more introspective, not to mention all of the extra time we spend with family over the holiday season! Here are some tips on how to avoid emotional eating during winter.
1. Recognise Triggers
Emotional eating happens when you find yourself in a situation that triggers a negative response. If you can identify what these triggers might be for you, then you can make plans and efforts to avoid them as best you can. It might be spending too much time with a certain person who makes you feel bad, or visiting a certain place that holds bad memories for you.
2. New Habits
Rather than falling back in to your old habits, make this winter a time when you start to take up and build new ones. Your emotional eating might stem from just having bad habits dating back years and years, so if you can make changes in your life that bring new and exciting prospects and activities in to your life, you might find you have less of a need to eat emotionally.
3. Rethink Hunger
When you think you are hungry, are you actually hungry? Or are you mind just picturing how nice it would be to have donut in your mouth right now? The trick to avoiding eating that is led by your emotions rather than your actual body is to first, rate your hunger out of ten, and if it is anything less then a seven or eight, then you can definitely go without. It can help to drink a glass of water when you feel hungry, as many people mistake thirst for hunger and overeat as a result!
4. Phone a Friend
If you are going through a period of emotional fatigue or stress, something that you can do rather than heading to the fridge is to phone or text a friend instead. Take up your time by talking to them instead of making unhealthy food decisions to take up the time. You might find that when your conversation is finished, you don’t feel that emotional need to comfort eat like you did a little while ago.
5. Rule of Halves
In order to avoid senseless overeating that is emotion based, follow the rule of halves with everything that you consume. Whatever portion you were going to have, cut that in half and then you can enjoy your meal or snack without the feeling in the back of your head that you are doing something super unhealthy. You will soon find that that half portion is actually enough to fill you up, showing that you have been eating too much regularly.