Tips To Avoid Emotional Eating
Emotional Eating or Comfort Eating is the habit of turning to food whenever under emotional turmoil. In other words, it is the response to feelings by way of eating, rather than physiological hunger.
It is an increasingly common problem with many of us lacking distress coping skills.
While it consistently adds to body weight, it also leads us to becoming avoidant.
[After all, it is much easier to munch and distract oneself than to face the unrest within!]
The sooner one learns to break out of this habit; the better it is for one’s holistic health.
At the root of the problem are feelings that probably are mismanaged. Hence, the solution inevitably lies in learning to channelize the emotions. But this is the end result that comes by after weeks of hard work. To achieve the same, we need to follow several small measures.
Here are a few tips that can help avoid emotional eating:
Every time you get the impulse to eat, hold on for 5 minutes.
Pick up something, ANYTHING, to do meanwhile. If it is an emotional craving, it is bound to subside within this time.
How hard can five minutes be, after all!
Practice saying NO to temptations. When being asked to eat or when food is in vicinity, it is extremely inviting to indulge. By saying No to yourself and others, you will boost your confidence.
At the time of craving, you need to divert your mind. Take up different activities, depending on your interest and mood. You could do any of the following:
Keep a record of what you are eating through the day. Your diary should have three columns:
By writing all this down, you will be taking your first step towards identifying triggers for eating. A slight analysis of this chart will tell you clearly how much of your eating is happening out of emotional needs. This will also give you a better insight of your emotional vulnerabilities.
Once the cause of turmoil is known, half the battle is won.
Let high calorie snacks, chocolates, junkies give way to healthier options. Having crispies like raw vegetables and fibrous fruits around will ensure that you don’t binge even in times of extreme impulse.
And then, you will be guilt-free when back in control. (We all know what it feels after we have already binged. This guilt is very-very capable of inducing a fresh craving! Better keep away from it.)
Remember to reward yourself when successful at exercising self-control. By doing this, you are reinforcing a good habit. You can opt to buy an accessory, take a small break from everyday routine or get a massage every time some nutritional management goal has been achieved.
Adaptations of the above listed tips will have helped you gain control over the habit, and also by now you are able to identify that what causes you to eat. You can distinguish between hunger pangs and emotional pangs.
The actual victory lies in effectively dealing with these feelings. Know your emotion by name. It could be
Believe and Remember that all the emotions can be channelized. You just need to decide on the right kind of activity to satiate them. For example, anger can be managed with the help of some physical activity; creative pursuits can help overcoming emptiness, social interactions, academic activities, etc. are very effective aids to dealing with loneliness and boredom.
Be brave enough to face your own inner self. It could hurt a lot in the beginning. But endurance of the same shall give marvelous results.
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