You may utilize eating as a way to suppress negative feelings and feel powerless once your food cravings hit. You probably are triggered to eat by a huger life lessons event or the negatives of everyday life. Emotional eating can be damaged your physical health as well as your mental health, as it can lead to weight gain and issues with food.
Identify the Causes of Your Emotional Eating
Differentiate between emotional hunger and physical hunger. To recognize the causes of your emotional eating, it probably is useful to first understand when you are feeling emotionally hungry and when you are feeling physically hungry. Usually, emotional hunger comes on instant and feels urgent. You may be able to only think about eating and satisfy your craving right away. This is different than physical hunger, which basically comes on gradually unless you haven’t eaten in a long time. When you are emotionally hungry, you might also crave specific comfort foods, such as fatty foods, foods high in sugar, or foods high in carbs. You might also find yourself eating without thinking, where you eat a whole bag of sweets or several chunks of cake without paying attention to what you are doing.
Be conscious of the difference between emotional and binge eating. Though emotions come into play with binge eating, as it usually involves eating unusually large slices of food within a specific amount of time. People with a binge eating disorder often feel they cannot control their behavior and eat even when they are not hungry or full. They may also eat rapidly during binge episodes and eat alone or in a hidden way. They may have emotions of shame or guilt while they are eating or after they have eaten.
Recognize your possible triggers or causes. To stop your emotional eating, you foremost want to determine the root causes or triggers of your eating. Identifying possible causes will then support you to better manage them and stop you from eating emotionally in the future. Common causes of emotional eating include Childhood eating habits: You may have memories of food from when you were a kid that is connected to negative emotions or from being taught to view food as a reward. Maybe your parents always gave you pizza or ice cream when you behaved properly or took you out for pasta when you did well academically or needed a pick me up.
Start a food diary. To get a better understanding of the emotional eating triggers, you might want to keep a food diary. Pen up your meals for the day as well as how much you eat, how you feel when you eat, and how hungry you felt. Be consistent and specific about keeping the diary as this may permit you to recognize patterns in your eating. These patterns can help you better identify how your mood affects what you eat and how much you eat.
Talk to family and friends about your issues with eating. Sometimes it can help to talk to those close to you about your eating habits as a manner to understand your habits better. It can be tough to recognize your own emotional habits, especially around food. Do not be scared to talk to your close family and friends about your struggles with eating. Ask them if they think you may eat based on emotion and if they observe any patterns or triggers in your behavior. It may also support eating in front of your family and friends, especially if they have healthy eating habits. Choose healthy options when you eat with friends and family and try to model your manners after their healthy eating habits.
Get professional guidance from a counselor or a therapist. Though you may be able to recognize your triggers on your own through self-analysis and through talking to those close to you, you might also need to reach out for a professional opinion on your eating. You can talk to the family doctor about your emotional eating and get a referral for a specialist. You can also talk to a counselor in the workplace or at school.
Adjust Your Eating Habits
Make a list before you go food shopping. To get a better handle on your diet, Motivational blogs lead you to must sit down and pen out a grocery note before you head to the grocery store. Consider selecting five to seven healthy meals for the week and pen up the ingredients for these meals so you identify exactly what you are getting and do not impulse buy when you are at the store. Think about the nutritional value of the stuff to your note list. Go for more vegetables, fruits, healthy sources of dairy, and healthy sources of protein.
Plan out your food for the month, including snacks. Make a meal plan where you account for the majority of your meals for the month. Involve any snacks you might eat throughout the day and try to limit yourself to only the meals noted in your meal plan. You should also let yourself enjoy a treat once in and while, as cutting yourself off entirely can lead to even more feelings of anxiety, guilt, and shame. You might have on a tiny treat once a week as a manner to keep your diet healthy but also reasonable and enjoyable.
Do the broccoli test before you get into a craving? Another way to decide if you are eating based on emotion is to go for the broccoli test, where you ask yourself when you feel hungry, "Am I so hungry I will eat broccoli right now?" If the answer is a big yes, you are basically physically hungry. If you answer no to this thing, you are likely eating emotionally.
Focus on your food when you eat. Make your meals an occasion and taste every bite. Begin with a small chunk of food on a plate of nine inches or less. Pause for two to one minutes before you start eating to contemplate your food and show appreciation for it. Then, take tiny bites and chew slowly. Try to taste the food entirely before you swallow it.
Replace unhealthy foods with healthy options. Rather than cut out snacking entirely, you must replace unhealthy foods in your pantry with healthy options. Go for unsalted popcorn and unseasoned nuts instead of potato chips. Cut up vegetables and fruits and place them on a platter with a healthy, fat-free dip. In this manner, when you feel a food craving coming on, you might reach for healthy snacks.
Have stress-reducing foods. Stress-reducing foods like fresh fruits or herbal teas can be a great alternative to unhealthy snacks. If you observe your emotional eating is triggered by stress, go for a meal that will help you feel relaxed and calm. You can also add fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet to support your combat feelings of anxiety and depression.
Doing Healthy Activities
Go for a walk or a run. Doing physical activities like running or walking can support you release any anxiety or stress you may be feeling. This can then support you to avoid emotional eating, as your energy will be concentrated on burning calories and increase your endorphin levels. Try to do the cardio activity at least once a day for a certain time, as this will help you stay healthy physically and mentally. Doing physical activity where you work up a sweat has also been shown to help with insomnia and depression, which can be a trigger for emotional eating.
Take a weekly yoga class. Stress can be a huge trigger for emotional eating. Rather than let stress overtake you and cause you to overeat, you probably need to try a relaxing activity like Tai Chi or yoga. Sign up for a weekly yoga class with a buddy, where you can breathe and stretch out any stress or tension you may be feeling. Doing this can support you to maintain a balanced mood and feel less of a need to reach for the meal as a manner of stress release.
Do self-care at home. Another manner you can relax is to do self-caring actions at sweet home. You can also focus on self-care when you feel a food craving come on like meditating, taking a bath, reading a novel, or going for a walk. Channeling your energy into a healthy, caring act for yourself, rather than emotional eating, will likely make you feel good in the long run.
Check-in with your counselor or therapist on a weekly basis. If you decide to talk to a therapist or a specialist about your emotional eating, you must schedule weekly sessions where you reflect on your eating habits for the month and any coping mechanisms shown to you by the therapist. Life hacks maintain constant communication with your counselor as you work through your food issues will permit you to feel safe and supported.