Mar 07

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Taking Control of Emotional Eating

Taking Control of Emotional Eating


Taking Control of Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is the use of food for other purposes that go beyond hunger. It is defined as the desire to use food to feel better, deal with stress or give a reward. The American Psychological Association reveals that 38 percent of adults overeat because of stress. In addition, these adults share that overeating and eating unhealthy food has become a habit that helps them deal with stress.

Although stress is one of the most common reasons for emotional eating, it is not the only factor. The Mayo Clinic reports that relationship problems, fatigue, financial worries and health issues can also play a role. In addition, emotional eating can be used as a distraction or a reward system. However, generally negative emotions are at the center of the problem.

Consider these steps to take control of your emotional eating:

1. Identify Your Triggers
What compels you to overeat or turn to unhealthy food? It is important to identify your emotional triggers and evaluate how you deal with them. You cannot make changes without paying attention to the problems.

2. Use Self-Compassion
You may be tempted to rebuke yourself for eating during an emotional time, but it is better to have compassion. You want to approach the problems from a gentle perspective because adding more guilt and shame will not help you.

3. Find Alternatives
What can you do instead of eating ice cream, chocolate or chips during a stressful episode of your life? You want to find easy alternatives that help you fight stress and other negative emotions. You may want to consider exercise, reading a book or calling a friend. You can also replace the unhealthy food in your house with better options, so you are not tempted to reach for them. The key is to find a way to deal with your emotions without overeating.

Let me know in the comments what helps you!

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