If you find yourself eating too much food or unsuitable food because you’re upset, the minute you realize you have a problem, you’re on your way to avoiding emotional eating, because you can now take steps to help yourself.
- Distract yourself. When you catch yourself in the act of going to the fridge to get yourself a snack, find something else to do. Phone a friend, write a shopping list – of course only for healthy food, or watch a video. In other words, do anything except eat.
- Snack cleverly. If you really can’t get through the rest of the day without a snack, make sure you have only healthy snacks in your fridge or cupboards. What is a healthy snack? Try fruit or vegetables. Sultanas are not just to put in cakes; try eating a handful when you feel the need to snack.
- Finding out your trigger points. Do you know what makes you emotion/comfort eat? If you don’t know your trigger points, how do you hope to win your battle with emotional eating? Start a Food Diary. Get a notebook and use a page for each day. At the top of each page put the day of the week. Then for everything you eat that day, make a note of the following:
- The time you eat.
- What you eat.
- How you feel? Were you feeling upset? What causes you to emotion eat?
- Did eating at that time make you feel better?
Do this for a few days and you should be able to see a pattern. For example, did you have a fight with your partner and so you were unhappy and found comfort in eating? That could be your trigger point. So knowing your trigger point, you now know why you are engaging in emotional eating. If eating does bring you some comfort, that is good. Now with a clear conscience, you can comfort snack. Just make sure that you snack on healthy foods. Rather than tucking into a packet of crisps or a cream cake, have an apple or chew on a raw carrot. These will satisfy your hunger without piling on the calories.
- Are you really hungry? If you had a meal two or three hours earlier and you then have the urge to eat, stop and think. Is your tummy growling at you? Is your answer, "no"? So you’re not really hungry. Wait half an hour and hopefully your craving for food will have passed.
- Do you eat a well-balanced diet? Does each meal consist of proteins, carbohydrates and fats? If you are not having enough calories for your body’s requirements, you may be inclined to eat more sweet sticky foods, thus filling yourself up with what could be called empty calories. Unfortunately, carbohydrates may make you feel full at the time of eating, but an hour or two later, you will be hungry again. Proteins are found in:
- Lean Meats
- Dairy Products
- Fruit and Vegetables
Fats are found in:
- Cooking Oils
- Processed Meats
Carbohydrates, the diet sabotagers, are found in:
To have a complete well-balanced diet, you need to eat something from each food group at each meal. If you can’t manage this, supplementation is recommended, i.e. vitamin and mineral supplements.
To avoid the blues. Get more exercise and rest. If your body is fit and you have adequate rest, you will be able to manage your moods much better.
Each day is a new day. If you had a bad day yesterday, don’t beat yourself up about it. Try to plan your shopping so that you buy healthier foods in the future. Emotional eating can be avoided if you know the triggers – forewarned is forearmed.
Eva Moffat the Weight Loss Expert can help you with your Weight Loss Problems.