If you were ever asked if you overate due to emotional reasons, what would you answer? Most people tend to answer with an emphatic no. They do not believe they eat too much due to emotion.
However, once most individuals explore the root causes of their weight gain, they begin to unravel the mystery and start to see that their reasons for being overweight are not due to simple and occasional indulgences but rather are the result of emotional issues.
Here are some of the most common signs of emotional overeating:
- Sudden onset of hunger, even after having recently ate
- A feeling of urgent hunger
- Cravings for specific foods
- Feelings of hunger immediately following upsetting emotions
- A reluctance to stop eating and no “full” feeling
- No physical hunger, i.e. stomach growling; you feel the need mentally but not physically
- A guilty feeling after the meal is finished
Emotional eating plagues millions of people. Luckily, there are many ways to avoid eating emotionally.
Top 10 Tips to Combat Emotional Eating
- 1: Recognize the feelings of legitimate hunger. If you do not feeling the actual hunger pangs in your stomach, you should recognize that your “craving” to eat is strictly emotionally based.2: When eating, slow down so that you may recognize a feeling of satisfaction – i.e. being full.
3: Purge your home of junk foods like chips, snack cakes, ice cream, etc, so the temptation to fall back on a crutch is removed. Emotional eaters are not likely to hold onto a negative emotion long enough to travel for a “fix.”
4: Eat away from the television in order to focus on the meal. Focusing on outside factors when eating will result in mindlessly shoveling food into your face.
5: When struck with any urge to eat, make sure you prepare smaller portion sizes when following through. Emotional eaters are often for-the-moment eaters, and going back for seconds can be more easily avoided.
6: Do not attempt to outright eliminate foods you do love – i.e. fried chicken, roast beef, pork chops, mac ‘n’ cheese, etc. Just control the portion sizes.
7: Eating in bed or on the sofa is a big no-no. Emotional eaters love to feel comfortable when eating. In fact, they’re eating for comfort. Force yourself to sit at the kitchen/dining room table.
8: Eating healthier will have a ripple effect in your body. Treating your body with more respect will help to curb future emotional cravings.
9: When struck with a craving, work in reverse to find the trigger. Was it stress? An argument with a family member or spouse perhaps? Work to find the trigger and you can conquer these episodes.
10: Lastly, deal with the triggers you find by adding another response different than eating. If an argument usually prompts a pint of ice cream, take a brisk walk around the block instead to deal with the episode.
While these tips are very useful, emotional eating is a hard thing to recover from. You will need to recognize that you are eating emotionally in order to stop it. You need to plan around your emotions and avoid falling on food as an out.
If you can implement these easy tips and learn to recognize what prompts you to eat, you can begin to conquer this issue and experience the weight loss you have always desired.