How Emotional Eating Adversely Affects Your Life And How To Overcome It
Emotional eating sucks!
It’s almost impossible to lose weight if you’re eating emotionally.
Not sure if you are an emotional eater?
Then keep listening and find out.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the feelings associated with food, right?
The trouble is, it’s mostly food that’s damaging your health. It’s time to get excited over eating a fresh garden salad and other good-for-the-body foods, don’t you think?
But seriously, if you don’t come to terms and fix your emotional eating habits, all your weight loss efforts will be in vain.
You’ll be forever riding that dieting roller coaster, which is excellent for the folks selling diet plans and weight loss supplements. For you? Not so great!
What Is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating is what you do when you’re avoiding negative or upsetting emotions that you’re experiencing.
It’s how you try to cope with your life. It’s not about eating for nutrition or because you’re hungry. It’s a terrible trap, and the adverse effects continue accumulating. I’m sure you’ve experienced a habit becoming stronger and having more power over you as time goes on.
That’s why it’s so important to regain control so you can prevent emotional eating.
Emotions that can drive overeating could be anything.
Maybe it’s anger causing you to overeat. It can also be other emotions like fear, depression, boredom, anxiety, fatigue, loneliness, or feeling discouraged. Some people also use food to calm themselves down when they’re overly excited or happy.
Any time you eat when you’re not hungry is usually because you’re an emotional eater. Here I mean real hunger, not cravings that are driven by emotions.
Emotional hunger can make you do strange things to stop your cravings, like driving long distances for the food you desire or driving to the store even though it’s close to bedtime. If you get hungry quickly and need to eat like, right now, it’s emotional eating.
If you’re an emotional eater, you’re likely to choose foods that give you comfort. For example, salty, sweet, or junk foods.
Yeah, I know, right? All the foods that aren’t healthy. Not only that but there’s also an anxious feeling behind the need to satisfy the craving and get the food in as soon as possible. Binge eating is a part of this too.
Some people constantly eat throughout the day as a way of coping.
They usually have lots of snack foods close by, so they feel safer. The body has natural signals that tell you when you’ve had enough. But because an emotional eater isn’t eating to satisfy true hunger, they push past or totally miss these signals.
They’ll eat until they feel sick, creating guilt or regret.
While you might feel that emotional eating is not such a big deal, consider what can happen when it starts to take over and control your life. You’ll never be able to maintain a healthy weight. You’ll lose confidence and have low self-esteem.
The effects on your mindset are the most troublesome as your health deteriorates.
You lose confidence in your ability to control yourself. This stresses you out. It leads to more negative emotions and, consequently, more eating.
I understand that for you, it might not be so severe.
I’m not trying to scare you at all. But I am trying to get you to see that this thing called emotional eating exists and can sneak up on you quickly. You might not even be aware you’re doing it.
I’d just like to bring awareness and understanding to the situation so you know to guard yourself against this enemy.
Becoming aware of what triggers emotional eating
Knowing what’s driving your emotional eating habits will give you the power to control them.
You’ll be able to make the correct choices and stick to a healthier diet.
A powerful way to recognize your triggers is by keeping a food journal. It will help you become more mindful about what you’re eating. It will help you become aware of your emotions when you have something to eat.
Maybe you ate something at a particular time because you were nervous or angry. You’ll notice if you were experiencing emotions you were trying to numb.
How you do that is by making notations in your journal by time.
Write down what food you ate and what feelings or emotions that were present at the time. What happened to cause the feelings you had before you got the craving, the trigger, and how you felt after you ate the food? Maybe you felt regret or guilt after you ate.
Doing this for a while will put you in touch with your feelings and emotions around food.
You’ll begin to notice patterns. You can then take steps to counteract your cravings. It’s super valuable for your success with losing weight.
Everyone experiences emotions, so this is not about somehow suppressing yourself from feeling them.
It’s more about learning to work with them and then using better methods to deal with them instead of turning to food.
By using this way, you’ll have a better understanding of yourself and what makes you tick.
You’ll love and respect yourself more.
You shouldn’t feel shame or regret being an emotional eater.
But that doesn’t mean you should accept it. It’s a habit that needs to be stopped to regain your physical and mental well-being.
I’m not trying to suggest that you should never eat snack foods, ice cream, chocolate, etc.
It’s about changing the context of how you go about eating this food. You don’t want to be addicted to it. Imagine eating ice cream or some chocolate while your emotion is stable. You’ll enjoy it more and eat less.
I remember when I was an emotional eater.
My wife could buy a chocolate bar and eat one piece and put it away for a later day. Not me! I’d have to eat it all and then want more. And the chocolate that my wife was saving? I could hear it calling to me from the fridge. LOL!
Get comfortable with discomfort and ignore all the triggers. They will stop over time.
Start eating healthier foods to satisfy cravings. Your body will appreciate it.
Have some celery sticks with delicious dressing instead of that bag of chips. Imagine them satisfying you completely!