Are you an emotional eater?
Emotional eating is one of the most overwhelming issues for many people who are trying to control their weight. Becoming aware of your emotions and what triggers your emotional eating plays a big role in overcoming it. For many people it’s hard to cope with extremely powerful emotions they are feeling at that time… boredom, anxiety, depression, excitement, and even feeling a loss of control. I’m an emotional eater, and I’ve recently learned that many others face the same struggles on a regular basis, which is why I’ve been compelled to share these tips.
The key is to figure out if it’s really hunger you are feeling or some underlying emotion.
Here are 5 ways to get your emotional eating under control.
1. WRITE IT DOWN IF YOU STICK IT IN (YOUR MOUTH) Take note of everything you put in your mouth, food and drink, for at least 30 days. Everything. Unfortunately, for many people there is a strong connection between emotions and food. Once you start writing down when you eat and how you feel at that time, you can then start to pinpoint emotions that trigger you to eat and figure out what strong emotion you are feeling that is causing you to eat when you’re not even hungry.
2. KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU TICK. Everyone has trigger foods. Some people can’t eat just one or two potato chips without eating the entire bag. And others can’t have just one piece of chocolate without eating anything chocolate in site. The bottom line is to become aware of what foods make you crave more, going past the point of real hunger.
3. GET RID OF YOUR ALL OR NOTHING MENTALITY. Tell yourself that you can have anything you want, you choose not to. That way, you don’t feel deprived. There are substitutes for everything these days. Find a healthier version of what it is you think you are craving. And don’t let a slip up turn into a complete binge for all your hard work the past several months. What takes you 4 weeks to lose, can come back in a few days of this all-or-nothing mentality.
4. TAKE A BIG GULP. Of water, that is. Find a big glass of water and chug the entire thing. Maybe even two glasses. Sometimes your body mistakes the feeling of dehydration for hunger. When you drink a big glass of water and wait a few minutes, you can then determine if it’s real hunger you feel.
5. BURN BABY BURN. When you catch yourself mindlessly grabbing for the refrigerator door, go run up and down some stairs, do 50 jumping jacks, or drop to your knees and do as many pushups as you can. Get the blood and endorphins flowing, and figure out if you’re brain just wanted some of those happy chemicals. You will almost immediately feel better and miraculously the hunger pains should subside, too.
The key is to be aware of your triggers and learn how to deal with your emotions in a more constructive, positive way. This will help you get your emotional eating under control once and for all.
Many people eat to fill voids in their life. This is a lifelong journey to health and the more you become aware of these behaviors, the easier it is to change. And yes, they can be changed.
Remember, food is meant to FUEL your body, not feed your heart.
By: Jamie Len Cumbo