How Do You Stop Emotional Eating

over eatingIf you want to know how to end emotional eating, congratulations. It takes a strong person to even recognize that they might be doing this.
To begin with, let’s identify what emotional eating actually is.

It’s eating when a specific incidence (or set of incidences) happen that produces a “high” or “low” feeling for someone.For example, someone might seek comfort in food after a bad day at work, a fight with a loved one or even something small such as having to sit in a lot of traffic before or after work.

Sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you’re at your weakest point emotionally. That is when many people may turn to food for comfort.

Conversely, one might emotionally eat when there are good things happening as well. People often gain weight when they’re in relationships because they’re so happy and comfortable.

It’s important to acknowledge that sometimes people get urges to eat food for reasons that have little to do with being hungry, but more of catering to our desires. We get desires to eat and we think that the only cure for these temptations is to eat fattening foods (and in actuality, there are more healthy things that can be done).

Emotional eating only leads to downward spirals because it makes the problem worse since it leads to feelings of guilt, packing on weight, and overall adding poor nutrition to the body.

Emotional eating can destroy anyone’s weight loss plans. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, especially too much of the wrong kind of food such as high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods.

But the good news is that if you’re prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.

Some things that you can do immediately is to figure out why you’re emotionally eating and what types of events make you do this. You can also figure out when you’re really hungry as opposed to when you’re wanting to just eat emotionally.

The main reason for emotional eating is to serve as a distraction from unwanted emotions. If you’re worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.

Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The unwanted emotions return, and you may also now feel the additional burden of guilt from your eating binge.

What’s is the solution to emotional eating?

Find other ways to release your feelings (both positive and negative). You can write in a journal, go shopping, indulge in a bath, or read a good book.

My favorite is to think a different thought. Since our thoughts usually drive our emotional eating binges, I chose to think a better thought. A thought that makes me feel good of course. Not those thoughts that got be to the point of an emotional eating binge.

The best thing is no one has to know what I’m thinking, move over Angelina… ;)

Good Luck

The mayo clinic has additional information on emotional eating and weight loss. Laurie has written an article called Overcoming the Craving to Snack Mindlessly that you might find helpful.