The worst part about emotional eating is it actually causes your problems to multiply. Eventually, instead of avoiding the issues you're stuffing down with food, you've created another one altogether -- weight gain, guilt about eating, worsening health ... and then it starts all over again. Luckily it is in our power to change this.
If you tend to give in to emotional eating, there are a few tactics you can use to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track.
- Step One: Identify Your Triggers...with this you are going to need to track. Don't really worry about calories but what you are eating and how eating it makes you feel. Note if you ate if you were angry, upset, etc
- Step Two: Recognize Hunger Signals.....this one is really important. Pay attention to your hunger cues. Are you eating because you are actually hungry? Or is it a craving? Distract yourself for about 10 minutes if you think it's just a craving.
- Step Three: Limit Trigger Foods Stop stocking your fridge and pantry with the foods you binge on. I like to eat my trigger foods but I do it in situations that are more controlable.
- Step Four: Don't Skip Meals Skipping meals almost always leads to poor food choices and over eating. I know we all get busy but make sure you take the time to eat. You'll be less apt to emotional eat.
- Step Five: Create Alternatives to Eating Whether it's a bubble bath or curling up with a good book, planning other activities will help you relax and avoid binges. Hobbies are a great thing!
Stay tuned for Part 2! I'll go over some detailed techniques that have helped me :)