I am here to tell you there is hope and it all starts with awareness of your behavior. Negative emotions can trigger emotional eating and you can take steps to control the feeding frenzy and keep your weight loss efforts moving forward. Head Over Meals: How Love Makes You Fat
Here are some useful suggestions to help control emotional eating:
- Reduce your stress. If stress contributes to your emotional eating, try exercise like yoga or breathing relaxation. Also, dealing with the stressor head on and solving the issue rather than letting it smolder in the background is always a sound strategy.
- Are you really hungry? If you ate just a few hours ago and do not have any physical signs of hunger, than you are probably not really hungry. Drink a full glass of cold water first and give the craving a little time to pass.
- Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you are feeling when you eat and so on. Over time, you will see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between your mood and food that you choose to eat. Diary Of A Former Fat Girl: Sex And The Scale
- Find support. You are more likely to suffer from emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Looks towards your family and friends or consider joining a support group. Associate with other health focused people.
- Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you are not hungry, discover an activity to distract yourself. Take a walk, listen to upbeat music, watch a movie, read a book, surf the Internet or call a friend.
- Remove the food. Eliminate supplies of comfort foods in your home. Also, if you feel emotional, delay your trip to the grocery store until you have calmed down.
- Reward yourself. It is important to reward yourself for the goals you accomplish along the way. It is neither reasonable nor healthy to restrict your calories for too long of a time period. Having a favorite food or meal once every week while trying to loose weight is good for your body and soul.
- Eat healthy snacks. If you get hungry between meals, choose a snack such as apples, berries or celery. Or try low-fat cottage cheese with fruit.
- Get enough sleep. Getting adequate sleep is important to decrease cravings for carbohydrates and sugary junk food. Some of my worst food frenzies came when I was stressed and exhausted from being over worked. Learn to relax and rest your body every night. I'm Exhausted! Why Can't I Sleep?
- Consider counseling. If you have tried these options and you still can't get control of your emotional eating, I would consider seeking therapy with your health care provider. Emotional eating therapy can help you understand the motivating factors behind your emotional eating and help you discover new coping skills. If you have an episode of emotional eating, learn from the experience and the very next meal eat healthy.
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