How to Overcome Emotional Eating?

‘Emotional eating’- as the very term suggests, is feeding your emotion and not your stomach. When the person eats due to anything except for hunger, it is termed as emotional eating. In such cases, it is not the hunger of a person that drives him to eat, but his feelings.

Though any feeling can trigger emotional eating, four prominent causes have been identified that lead to the problem. These are anger, hopelessness, boredom, feeling unappreciated and lack of control.

Now that the problem has been understood and the causes are identified, it’s time to look for a solution. Since emotional eating is a psychological problem, the solution also lies on the psychological level.

Determination and control is the key to avoid the problem of emotional eating. However, if you don’t think you are determined enough and have enough control over your emotions, here are a few basic strategies that will help you overcome the problem.

The first and foremost thing that you need to do to avoid the problem of emotional eating is to learn to recognize your hunger. Give yourself a clear idea of how hungry you are. Each time you reach out to something to eat, rate your hunger on a scale for 1 to5, considering 1 stands for a completely empty stomach and 5 stands for being full. In case your hunger scores from anywhere between 4 to 5 avoid food. This way you would be able to curb compulsive eating.

Make a food diary. This is the best thing for anyone who is more susceptible to eating due to emotional triggers. Keep a track of all the food you eat. Logging your food consumption makes you more accountable to yourself. Having the food that you consumed unnecessarily written in front of you is not a pleasant sight. Believe me this will help you keep off unnecessary consumption.

A three-food interference is another strategy to overcome emotional eating. Any time you tend to eat due to emotional indulgence, make it a point to eat three different healthy foods first before you reach out to the food you are carving for. You could go in for an apple, some yogurt along with a salad. Once you are done with these three foods, your craving would stop. If your craving still persists go on eating.

Look for alternatives to eating. Identify a list of activities that are appealing to you. Every time you feel the craving for food indulge yourself in one of these activities. You could perhaps go for a walk, talk to a friend, change your polish or take a shower. Other things like watching TV, organizing your closet, can also help in distracting you successfully.

These are just some strategies that will help you overcome emotional eating. Try to refrain from emotional eating if you do not want to be subjected to guilt and keep yourself away from putting unnecessary weight.
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