How do I overcome Emotional Eating? PART TWO
How do I overcome emotional eating?
The first step to overcoming emotional eating is to recognize it!
Comes on quickly and seemingly out of nowhere
Typically will have you craving specific foods
Comes from your mind, not your stomach
Isn’t satisfying even after you are full
Real hunger creeps in slowly, comes from the stomach and is satisfied once you are full.
Determine your triggers.
Understanding your triggers will help you better cut off emotional eating before it starts. Some common triggers are stress, sadness, boredom, habit/ritual or a desire to avoid or stuff your emotions. Once you have addressed your trigger - there can be more than one - you will be able to come up with some alternative ways to address the issue.
Replace the behavior.
Instead of turning to food for comfort or relief, try the following:
When you are stressed or depressed: go for a run, hit the gym, or do a quick at home workout. The endorphin rush will help you de-stress and you will be doing something good for your body. In addition, you can grab a notepad and start writing. A daily brain dump can significantly reduce stress and help you refocus your mind! If you are really feeling down, call someone you trust and talk things out. If you don’t have someone like that in your life, consider finding a local counselor who could help you walk through your struggles.
When you are bored: find something to do other than eat. Workout, read, write, research a topic of interest, call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, clean, or craft. There are countless options for occupying yourself when you are bored. Come up with a list, and keep it posted on your pantry and fridge. This way, every time you want to reach for something to entertain you, you have a host of other options!
Rituals and Habits: do you always grab a milkshake on the way home, or some ice cream when you sit down to watch TV every night? Change up your routine. Take a different route home, or make a protein shake at home after work and let that be your new ritual. Instead of ice cream, grab some apples and peanut butter. Same setting, different habit. Habits and rituals are hard to break, so you typically need to replace the behavior while keeping the same outcome.
Emotional eating can be challenging to overcome if you have been doing it for years. However, it is entirely possible to create new habits and patterns, and to look for new ways to cope. In fact, I invite you to grab your free download on how to change this negative mindset and overcome emotional eating. Again, if you find yourself needing more than these simple, quick fixes, consider talking to a counselor to help you better figure out the root causes of your emotional eating and address them more specifically.