Many people are emotional eaters. This simply means that you turn to food for comfort when you’re feeling upset, angry, bored or other emotions. Emotional eating isn’t a good thing and can lead to weight gain. These are 7 ways to get a grip on your emotional eating. Getting this bad habit under control means that you’ll be healthier both physically and emotionally.
1. Recognize It’s an Issue for You
The first step to getting a grip on your emotional eating is to recognize that it’s an issue for you. As simple as this sounds, it truly is an important step. You can’t start working on overcoming an issue in your life until you admit that it’s something you struggle with. Being aware of the fact that you’re an emotional eater can give you the willpower to start getting this problem under control. It can help you to stop reaching for that cookie or candy bar when you’re upset.
2. Learn to Discern between Physical and Emotional Hunger
There’s a difference between physical and emotional hunger. Learning the signs of true physical hunger is helpful. You can observe how you’re feeling and make the decision not to eat if you aren’t physically hungry. Physical hunger is felt in your abdomen and will result in a growling stomach and is gradual. Emotional hunger is a craving for foods and can strike upon the thought of it.
3. Give Your Mouth Something else to do
This’s a little trick you can use when you’re feeling tempted to eat emotionally. Give your mouth something else to do. Try some mints, gum or hard candy. The calories in these items is going to be much less than eating the junk food most people eat when they’re feeling emotional. Even brushing your teeth may stop the urge to eat.
4. Explore the Emotion
When you find yourself reaching for a piece of pie and you know you’re not hungry, ask yourself what you’re feeling. Are you sad or lonely? Eating because you’re bored? Do you feel you deserve it after the day you’ve had? Figuring out why you’re reaching for food is important.
5. Deal with Your Emotions in Another Way
When you know you’re eating out of emotion, let that be a signal to you. That’s a sign you need to deal with your emotions in another way. Write in a journal, call a friend or have a good cry. Those are much healthier options than reaching for food to soothe yourself. It’s fine to enjoy a treat now and then but make sure it’s not because you’re turning to it for comfort.
6. Use Distraction
Distraction is a good tool when it comes to emotional eating. When you’re tempted to eat because of how you’re feeling, choose to do something else. Take a walk or work out. Go shopping with a friend or watch a good movie. Do what it takes to get eating off your mind.
7. Believe in Yourself
As with anything else you’re trying to do, believing in yourself is important. Have confidence in your ability to overcome emotional eating. Give yourself pep talks and encourage yourself along the way. You can do this. Believing that you can is the most important part.
These are 7 ways to get a grip on emotional eating. Is this a struggle for you? You’re welcome to share your experiences here.