What is Emotional Eating and How to Cope with it?

November 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured Weight Loss Articles

Emotional eating is a common problem that affects both men and women. When you start eating in response to your feelings and not because you’re actually feeling hungry, then you are an emotional eater. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling at the pit of your stomach that propels you to eat. You start craving for foods that are usually of the fattening or comforting kinds. Only eating makes you feel better and you cannot think of anything else.

Why does it happen? 

Emotional eating usually occurs when your emotions are in a state of turmoil. Sometimes a major upheaval could be the cause. If you are going through a divorce or have been fired from job, then it may attribute to emotional eating. Sometimes the daily stress and struggles may trigger emotional eating. A bad day at office, incomplete work, the traffic on the roads-all this frustrates you to the point of exhaustion and you turn towards food to feel better.

However, emotional eating, instead of being the solution is actually a trigger to a new set of problems. You turn towards emotional eating when you want to avoid problems. What you don’t realize is that you’re giving an open invitation to another problem i.e. weight gain. Stuffing yourself with food can only worsen your situation. Those unnecessary calories mess with your weight loss plans and will only worsen your health.

Steps to combat emotional eating

If you eat when there is nothing else to do; if you eat when you are upset about something or  just had a fight with someone; if you eat without even realizing what you have eaten – these are all signs that point towards the fact that you are an emotional eater. However it is very essential you let go of this habit and regain control over what you eat. Below are few pointers that’ll prevent you from being an emotional eater.

  • Start recognizing your emotional triggers. You should know what kind of emotional situations/feelings make you give in to emotional eating.
  • Identify the real hunger signals. You should be able differentiate between actual hunger and the hunger that originates because of emotional fatigue.
  • Reduce the consumption of trigger foods. If you eat chocolates or pastries when you are emotionally disturbed, then gradually decrease the quantity of these kinds of comforting foods. This can be done by not stocking your reserves with trigger foods.
  • Do not skip your regular meals. When you miss out on your meals, you actually tend to over-eat. Hence, always have your regular meals instead of having food at odd hours of the day.
  • Create suitable alternatives to eating. Let that alternative be anything but eating. Ultimately you have to feel better and not resort to eating. If you feel like curling up with a book or paint something or maybe write poetry, then just do it.

Once you’ve got in the habit of emotional eating, it’s not easy to let go of it. The key point is not to give up.

Be Sociable, Share!