How many times have we grabbed a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps when we feel lonely? Do you buy tubs of ice cream and stuff yourself after a breakup?I’m sure in most of these instances you would have reached halfway and then realized you had no control of your action and that you polished off a pack without actually being hungry.All this eating when we are undergoing an emotional turbulence is called emotional eating.It’s alright to resort to emotional eating. But if you see a pattern developing, you need to find a new way to calm your mind and emotions.
Here is some time and tested steps that help you curb emotional eating:
Differentiate between actual hunger and emotional hunger
You need to learn figure out whether you are eating because you are actually hungry or to satisfy an emotional void.
Tips to differentiate them:
- Emotional hunger is instant, whereas physical hunger can wait.
- Emotional hunger comes with cravings, whereas physical hunger can be satisfied with a variety of foods.
- Emotional hunger comes with guilt which is not there is actual hunger eating.
- Emotional hunger doesn’t end even though your stomach is full, whereas physical hunger stops when you’re full.
Understand your emotions
Emotional eating is done without any actual hunger and is you tend to eat like an automated robot.
So ask yourself the following questions before you dive into that bag of potato chips:
- Am I hungry?
- What am I feeling now?
- Why am I feeling hungry even though my stomach is full?
Deal with your emotions
Emotional eating is caused by eating caused by conflict of emotions or an emotional void. You need to learn how to deal with your emotions both bad and good. So if you are feeling lonely and are planning to attack the refrigerator, think again. Distract yourself when you feel the need to eat when you need to control your emotions. Find an alternative method to calm those emotions.
Try dancing, listening to music, exercise etc… to deal with those crazy emotions that make you eat unnecessarily.Once you start controlling your emotional eating, your body will soon learn to use a healthy method to respond to your emotions.