Are you engaging in emotional eating? Take back control with these ideas.
Emotional eating is a sure way to sabotage weight reduction by leading you to overeat, especially highly-processed, unhealthy foods. But the good news is that if you’re prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss and health goals.
Have you noticed that sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you’re at your weakest emotionally? You may turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when you’re facing a difficult problem, stressed out or just looking to make yourself feel better.
To curb emotional eating, try these ideas:
1. Tame the stress: If stress is contributing to your emotional eating, try a stress-management technique, such as yoga, meditation or walking after dinner.
2. Get support: You’re more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on family and friends who are committed to improving their health or consider joining a support group.
I know that for me it’s much easier for me to stay committed to a walking program if I have a friend to share my walk with.
3. Fight boredom: Instead of snacking when you’re not truly hungry, distract yourself. Drink a glass of water with lemon, watch a movie, listen to a podcast, read or call a friend.
4. Do not tempt yourself: Don’t keep comfort foods in your home if they’re hard for you to resist. Never mind, don’t keep comfort foods in your home. They are hard to resist!
And if you feel angry or upset, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you’re sure that you have your emotions in check.
5. Snack healthy. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a healthy snack- fresh fruit, vegetables with low-fat dip or unbuttered popcorn.
My personal favorite snacks: sliced red peppers with a hummus dip or fresh fruit slices with yoghurt.
6. Learn from setbacks. If you have an episode of emotional eating, forgive yourself and start fresh the next day…or the next moment. Try to learn from the experience and make a plan for how you can prevent it in the future. Focus on the positive changes you’re making over all and give yourself credit for making changes that’ll lead to weight reduction and better health.