How to Quit Eating Your Feelings: Say No to Emotional Eating
We’ve all been there – whether we’ve had a bad day at work, have drama in our family, or are fighting with our spouse – nothing seems to alleviate emotional pain as well as eating. While food can be comforting, it is only short lived, and the guilt that follows emotional eating often leaves us feeling worse than before. Here’s how to kick the habit of emotional eating.
Identify your triggers
It is very important to be able to distinguish true feelings of hunger from emotional triggers. Before reaching for something to eat, ask yourself if you are truly hungry. If you are, prepare yourself an appropriate meal or snack. If you realize you aren’t actually physiologically hungry, take a moment to pinpoint exactly what feeling it is that is making you reach for the gallon of ice cream in the freezer. Is it stress from work or school? Fighting with a loved one? Boredom? Being able to understand exactly what it is that makes you look to food for comfort will help you tackle the problem at large. Once you recognize your triggers, you’ll be better equipped to stop yourself from indulging in food when you’re feeling emotional. This will help you gain more control over your eating habits.
Reach out and seek support and guidance
Know you’re not alone when it comes to feeling overwhelmed by emotions. Ask for support from friends, family, and co-workers when you feel yourself getting down. Simply talking about what you’re feeling will distract your mind from wanting food. Support from others will also help to fill the void that you’re looking to mend with food.
Replace one habit with another
Once you’ve identified your emotional eating triggers, talk with others about what to do the next time your emotions run high. While one alternative habit can be to immediately pick up the phone and call a loved one, another more effective one can be to exercise. I know a lot of times when we’re feeling depressed, getting out of bed and exercising is the last thing we want to do. But it really is the best distraction. Not only does physical activity alleviate boredom, but it also reduces stress and anxiety through releasing endorphins that make us happier. So don’t freak out the next time you’re feeling overwhelmingly emotional. There is way to tackle it and you will get through it.