Emotional eating is quite a common problem, but it shouldn’t be treated lightly. Beyond the consequences it has on your health: weight gain and any medical issues associated with it, it can also be a sign of deeper psychological problems. Food addiction is just as serious as any other type of addiction, though not all people who experience food cravings are also food addicts. Battling with emotional eating takes determination, but you can definitely come out as a winner.
No meals skipping
This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind if you’re struggling with emotional eating. Skipping meals will cause your blood sugar level to drop significantly, and you’ll begin to feel moody, depressed and sad. Once those feelings settle in, you’re one step away from digging into your favorite comfort food. To avoid any of this try and be consistent with your meals, have a light snack every 2 hours and always carry a little bag of nuts with you to nibble on when you’re feeling cranky. By having regular small but healthy meals you’re giving your body nutrients and energy so you’ll be in an cheerful mood.
The importance of comfort
Basically, emotional eating means eating for reasons other than hunger: eating because you’re feeling depressed or sad and some foods bring you comfort, eating because you are bored, eating because you associate a certain type of food with a “feeling good sensation”; in how many movies you’ve seen a woman sitting on a couch, feeling sad and eating from a huge box of ice cream? Many! So by that logic, if you’re in a generally good disposition, you won’t need food to make you feel better. Every time you feel a bit down, try and make yourself comfortable in other ways: put on some nice music, cuddle up in bed with your favorite book, have a chat with your best friend and share your feelings, dance, do a bit of shopping, anything that puts a smile on your face is welcomed. By creating a relaxing atmosphere around you there will be no need for ice cream to make you feel better.
Feeling stressed out and being overwhelmed with anxiety can easily lead to emotional eating. Stress can occur due to numerous reasons: pressure at work, moving in to a new place, family problems, financial difficulties, or any combination of these factors. The best strategy in this case is to try and reduce any stress that’s interfering with your normal activities. Take deep breaths, stay calm, try and approach every problem in a rational way: work to find solutions instead of stressing over them and letting anxiety take control. This will not only prevent emotional eating but it will also significantly improve the quality of your life.