If you're an emotional eater, you must take measures to deal with it right away.
If you don't handle it, it's very unlikely you'll lose weight and keep it off.
Learn to eat for the body's needs, not for any other reasons.
Emotional eating is when you eat for any reasons other than actual hunger. Think about how you respond when under any kind of emotional stress. Do you crave certain kinds of food at these times?
People usually seek comfort in certain things as an emotional response. Like when a family member or friend’s death causes you to never leave your house. You feel uncomfortable being alone.
People will also seek comfort from food because of their situation or emotional feelings.
There are certain factors that trigger emotional responses. Emotional eating is the result of these factors.
Let's take a look at five points that could indicate emotional eating issues.
1 – Your Self Control Is Lousy
When you don't have self-control you'll do things you don’t want to do. You do them anyway because it just seems easier than not doing them.
You need to really begin to understand yourself as a person. You have to be fully present and confident in yourself to have self-control.
Try keeping a food journal that includes all the feelings that come up regarding food. Write down everything you're eating and reflect on it. Make a firm decision to change what you're doing.
You really can take back control of yourself if you put your mind to it.
Practicing gratitude will also help you do this. Every day write how grateful you are for yourself, your body and your food etc.
2 – You feel you don't have any way to deal with your problems.
We sometimes use food to replace exercise, meditation, therapy etc. because it can give us pleasure!
You have to decide to deal with your issues in the correct way. Healthy interaction and light exercise are a couple of important factors in successfully handling your issues.
Coping skills are the best way to avoid overeating because it occupies the mind and places it on other things.
I have to mention practicing gratitude here again. Gratitude will help you cope and give yourself support. You just need to do it and do it regularly.
Just a couple more points on gratitude. Don't just say or write your gratitude. You need to really feel it from the heart. Deeply from the heart until you feel it in every cell of your being.
Did you know that you can also be grateful for things that haven't happened yet? You can be grateful for what WILL happen in the future. If you can really feel that, it's powerful stuff. Try it today!
3 – Are you eating or craving when you're happy, Sad, Bored, Stressed, Anxious etc.
If you spend your day desiring picking up that Coke or eating those tasty chips, then you're emotionally eating.
Anxiety and stress create emotional eating. Think about a time when you were stressed and that warm feeling you got from food made you feel relieved. It just reinforces the habit.
We have to develop good eating habits and this starts with making a healthy eating plan and sticking to it.
Instead of reaching for comfort food when you feel stressed or anxious, try drinking a big glass of warm water. Do something to calm yourself down. It could be as simple as deep breathing until you feel better.
There's a calming breathing technique where you breathe in for a count of 3 and then hold for a moment, then breathe out for a count of 6. The exhale is always twice as long as the inhale. So it could be in for a count of 4 and out for 8. Get the idea.
This really works to relieve stress and calm yourself down. Use it regularly.
Use good affirmations any time to put your mind in a better state. A good one is “Every day, in every way I am getting better and better, calmer and calmer.”
Get control and change your habits so you reach for healthy snacks instead of garbage.
4 – Don’t You Realize When You Are Overeating?
This is the most obvious and the most frustrating reason. The emotional habit is consuming you at this point. There is just no realization and therefore no action taken to counter this issue. There's a serious disconnection between your mind and your actions.
If you're at this stage, help or an intervention is very necessary. Don't be ashamed to reach out to someone like a friend or professional to help you restore your self-image and give up your negative habits.
The serious side effects are simply not worth neglecting emotional eating habits. Take charge of your health!
5 – Are you affected by your environment or culture?
Where you grew up and how the people around you eat, could be an indicator of your emotional eating habits. In many cultures it is customary to always eat when offered food. This could lead to eating when you're not hungry. Friends and family may be over eaters and you’ve developed the habit from your environment as a way to not feel left out.
I remember eating with an Italian family. As we were enjoying our meal a couple came to visit. They were asked if they wanted to eat something and join us. As they sat down at the table they replied no they had just eaten dinner and were full. Food was then placed in front of them and without a word they just started eating. I was very amused!
A study was done and it confirmed that people will naturally, subconsciously match the equivalent quantities of food as the people they're eating with.
Be sure to pay attention next time you’re in this situation.