Have you ever indulged in comfort foods? Some of us did eat for comfort in one way or the other. Eating chocolate chip cookies after a stressful day at work is something accepted as normal by society especially if you are getting hormonal. While getting pockets of stress can actually be beneficial it can quickly turn into a problem when nothing is done to keep it in check. Emotional eating is a habit that people do to reverse the gloomy feeling which can lead to unhealthy consequences if it is done quite often. The good news is that you can avoid emotional eating with few simple steps. If you are one emotional eater learn how to control this habit by following these expert tips:
Recognize emotional eating
Knowing what emotional eating is all about can help you avoid it and even curb it if you have been doing it to yourself. There are basically four symptoms of emotional eating. Try to check if you are exhibiting these signs so you can tell if you are indeed eating out of anxiety and stress. If you eat even if you’re not hungry, it is possible that you are emotionally eating. If the food you are eating does not satisfy your cravings and you eat after an emotional roller-coaster—there is a chance you are doing emotional eating.
Know the different types of hunger
Not many people know this but there are basically two types of hunger; emotional hunger and real hunger. Real hunger is characterized by hunger pangs caused by physiological need to replenish the body’s energy sources which is often done through eating food. Food is used to satiate hunger because the body needs to stay alive. Emotional hunger is hunger that comes all too sudden which is not located in the stomach but only exists in the mind. If you know where the hunger is coming from you will be able to prevent yourself from committing the mistake of eating out of emotions that can cause a lot of harm to your body.
Keep calm without food
Emotional eating comes as a relief used by many people to address anxiety symptoms or a sudden outburst of emotions. Yet there is plenty of non-food calming or relaxation techniques that are healthier and less harmful. Try to change the mood by using simple breathing exercises that can help the mind become less stressed and calm. Soothing your emotions with things other than food can be a challenge but it would do your body more favor if you clamp down on eating as a way to escape anxiety and stress. This will not come overnight but with practice you will surely be able to curb emotional eating.
Have a break before eating
Emotional eating can be mindless and it can become automatic. People that are engaged in emotional eating are unmindful of what they are doing. Before you open the refrigerator or lift the phone and order some pizza to be delivered, pause for five minutes and think if you are indeed hungry. The pause can help you avoid the temptations and the cravings that are associated with emotional eating. This will give you an opportunity to reflect so you can make a wiser decision.
Learn to work with emotions
Often people that are depressed find solace in emotional eating. Food becomes the answer because people are unable to face the emotions that are troubling them. Food becomes the safe harbor that emotional people turn to. But the truth is there are other ways to suppress the emotions and face the things that cause anxiety.
Try talking to someone
People that engage in emotional eating are often alone. They try to compensate the tryst with stress and their loneliness through food. It should not be the case. Try calling someone or chatting with a friend and pour your emotions. Unloading the stress from your mind can significantly reduce the anguish and even make you feel much better after. You don’t’ need food and what you actually need is a friend.
Emotional eating can be dangerous and it should be stopped dead on its track before it is too late. If you feel overwhelmed with the stress and emotions, try to seek professional help. A professional would know which therapy or treatment can help you become calmer and happier.