How to Curb Emotional Eating

How to Curb Emotional Eating
Photo Attribution: 
Andy Reid

Emotional eating refers to feeding feelings instead of feeding hunger. It is the process of a person eating as a method of managing their mood. For example, an emotional eater may look to food for comfort or to relieve feelings of loneliness, stress or anxiety and anger. This type of eating can turn into a depressing habit that can negatively affect the person’s life.

It you are eating in order to control a part of your life that you deem uncontrollable, then you are using food as a bandage. The foods are acting like temporary cures or forms of medication that makes the problem more controllable or seemingly go away. This unhealthy method of self-medicating can invite other problems such as obesity, depression, isolation, loneliness, anger and fear. Emotional eating can be an ugly roller coaster that robs you of happiness and degrades your life.

Beating the habit of binge eating might be a daunting task much like trying to beat a smoking or drinking addiction. However, it is not impossible to overcome; all that is really needed is strength, determination and will-power in order to see success. Below are six tips to help you on your journey.

How to Beat Emotional Eating:

1. Admit to having a problem: The first step to beating any bad habit is to firstly admit to having a problem. The easiest way to determine if you are eating to cope with life’s disappointments is to start a food diary. In this diary you are to right down all the instances you eat, it won’t take you long to determine if you have a problem.

2. Get support: The people in your life should be aware of your emotional eating habit and respect your efforts to change by not eating at odd times around you. Having a great support system will help you beat this problem faster.

3. Rid yourself of Negativity: You might be binge eating because you are in a negative relationship or miserable work place or you might be eating because of stresses at school or because of low self-esteem. Whatever the reason, you will need to rid yourself of negativity or the problem won’t go away. Determine the source of your negativity and work on ridding your life of it.

4. Eat healthy all day: Emotional eating quickly turns into an addiction to food, so quitting cold turkey can result in feeling of depravity that might result in you relapsing. In order to beat the addition, you will need to eat up to seven small healthy meals a day instead of trying to eat three big meals. When you eat many small meals your body is always burning calories and you will never feel deprived. Your cut off time should be no later than 8:00pm, and some examples of healthy eating include fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, salads, dark chocolate and lean chicken and fish.

5. Stabilize your Mind: Your mind is a very powerful entity that holds the power to inner balance; you will be able to better cope with any of life’s challenges when your mind is at peace. Meditation, counseling, exercising and positive affirmations are great ways to stabilizing your mind.

6. Change your emotions: Perhaps the best way to cure imbalances of the emotions is to change your emotions, even if you have to fake it at first. So, try smiling when others try to get you down, laughing instead of crying and say “yes I can” when others tell you can’t. You need to learn to value yourself, because you truly are valuable and you deserve to live the best life possible.

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