When it comes to emotional eating, here are some mind tricks that are guaranteed to work. The problem lies in your mind, not your kitchen. People who are watching their weight will always inform you that the main reason people eat is due to hunger – however, the people that are prone to having emotional eating issues are always at risk of making poor choices in their diets.
If you happen to be an emotional eater, you will face many instances of emotions that make you uncomfortable. You will give yourself treats when you are happy, and then turn to junk or sweets when you are upset. You are not alone in this though, so here are some tips to help you curb that urge the next time you feel like sustaining it.
Be aware of your feelings
The most powerful factor that changes everything is not refusing to eat, it is becoming aware of yourself. This approach is similar to that of a drug addict when they are trying to figure out their triggers, according to North Dakota drug and alcohol treatment resources. That is the main secret to overcoming emotional eating effectively because it assists you to know how best to handle your emotions.
Every case is different, depending on the individual and their circumstances. Knowing how the issue happens in your case is the next target. Keep in mind that emotional eating is literally ‘mindless’, because you are not in control over what you are eating or how you are consuming – your unconscious drives and habits take over your thinking process.
Before you set out to put mindful eating as your habit, it is important for you to be aware completely about how you feel at the moment, in addition to every moment before you start eating. One method of doing this is keeping a food journal – you can have it either as an app on your phone, or a physical book. You will begin to notice behaviors that lead to emotional eating, or find out you are eating for the wrong reasons, and this will help you figure out other approaches.
The body usually generates higher levels of cortisol when it is under stress. This hormone makes you begin craving salty as well as sweet foods, all the things that are not good for you in general.
When you go through stress regularly as a part of life and you are not doing relaxation techniques that can take your mind off what you feel, the cortisol levels increase and create cravings that are difficult to resist. Not only this, but also regular incidences of stress lead to other health problems that can affect you, especially later in life.
It is important for you to find a stress reliever. Create a stress reliever plan or use tools that can help you to deal with it effectively.
Look for healthier ways to cope
Healthier ways of dealing with negative emotions exist, it is not about eating mindlessly. These include talking to your close friends, exercising – this helps the body release endorphins that lift up your mood – and journalling.
Map out your emotional territories in advance
During your days off – for instance, over the course of the weekend – get a pen and paper and sketch out your week schedule, as well as all the paths you are likely to use.
It does not just involve highways and streets – every place you plan on making a stop is important enough for that map. These include meetings at your workplace, going for a doctor’s appointment, all the usual stops such as evening classes, in addition to any detours you will make like going to the grocery store.
Choose an icon that will represent your emotional eating, and then put it at one of these stops that is most likely to trigger emotional eating episodes. After this, make sure you plan ahead for all scenarios. For instance, when you are going to a restaurant, it can help if you study the menu and make a healthy choice so that you avoid binge eating.
Allow yourself to feel your emotions
Some events create discomfort in your life. Emotional eating is a form of release from these events and emotions, because it gives you a sense of satisfaction and pleasure when avoiding something.
However, you need to remember that this sense of relief is only temporary, and it will be back as soon as the food is over. A better approach would be to embrace those negative feelings you are experiencing, and allowing yourself to feel them.
Remind yourself that it is okay to feel upset about something, and it is okay to be bothered by an issue. Welcome these feelings, and find out what you can learn from them – every emotion has its own lesson and story to tell. When you make this a habit, you will notice that your body no longer wants to hide in the comfort of food to protect you, in addition to you learning more about yourself and what you really want.
Eat only when you are hungry
Contrary to some opinions, emotional eaters will tend to consume more when they are not hungry, and this results in them wanting to eat much more quantity later on.
Instead of this, insist on consuming nourishing, healthy and real foods during the times you feel hungry. This will teach your body an important lesson – you are not in starvation mode. What this does is raising the metabolism of the body, therefore making it have extra efficiency in burning fat and storing what it needs. When you eat properly, you are basically telling your body that it is safe to lose weight.
Remind yourself of your good nature
When you realize and remind yourself that you are perfect, you will not need to starve yourself or overeat just because you want to alter some aspect of yourself. You also have no tension to release, so you do not overeat either.
Emotional eating is something that begins in your mind, so you will need to beat it using mental strategies. It is time that you realize that you are sufficiently good the way you are, so ensure you feed your body properly and take care of it the best way you can.