The term Emotional eating may sound new to you but it is in fact something that you have gone through your life at some point or the other. When instead of your body, your emotions and feelings start dictating what to eat and how much to eat, you are caught in the phase called emotional eating. It is a common problem seen in most men and women across the world and it accounts for about 75% of overeating.
Emotional eaters turn to food when they are stressed. They eat food when they are depressed, confused or are looking for a way to avoid thinking of a particular situation. At most times, emotional eaters are unaware of the fact that they are eating for a way to escape or combat negative feelings. Stress makes the insulin levels in the body go up and hence the body craves for food that is high in sugar and carbohydrates. But little do they realize that the same food will hit their waistline and increase the stress levels even further.
If answers to the following questions below for you are mostly in the positive, then you are an emotional eater. Beware!
- If you eat without the realization of the fact and later feel guilty about eating.
- If you end up eating at places which are irregular – like in a parked car or in a quite place somewhere alone.
- Even if you aren’t hungry, you still end up eating after going through a horrid situation. For e.g., you depend on foods like chocolate when you feel sad.
- If you eat out of boredom.
The first step to counter this problem is to identify your habits and develop skills to deal with situations which make you turn to food. These skills are simple but extremely effective. All you need is a bit of awareness and self-discipline.
- – Be a fish! Drink more water, as, at most times we confuse our thirst with hunger and end up consuming unnecessary calories. Water will help you quench your thirst and hunger and help you cut down on the unwanted sugar and carbs.
- – Having a routine of regular exercise helps control stress levels in the body. Exercise brings about more energy in the body making you feel good through the day.
- – When you feel down, you can always turn to a friend or a close one. This will help you divert your mind from the intake of avoidable food and also help you relieve you from your emotional turmoil.
- – Next time you feel the urge to eat when you aren’t hungry; listen to your favorite music. This way you will be able to soothe yourself as music is amazing when it comes to lifting the spirits of someone feeling low.
Make the experience very personalized depending upon what helps you relieve you from your concerns. Try and experiment with new ways of coping with emotional eating. There are a number of options out there which are worth trying. All it needs is diligence and patience to break out of this vicious circle. Continue to work on such alternate methods even if you see yourself failing. Be persistent and you will see the results.
Ensure that you distract yourself in a positive way every time you feel like binging on food. Once you overcome your problems of emotional eating, you will be amazed to see yourself in a new avatar which is free from any unconscious dependency to tackle negative emotions.
Best of health,