Emotional Eating- Shedding Light on your Hidden Patterns

Are you hungry or is there something else going on when you think about food? There are various reasons for deciding to eat. Regrettably, not all of these are for sustenance, nutrition, or observing a balanced diet. If you’ve realized that you like to eat for other reasons, then it might be time to sort out the problem. One of the main reasons why you may find yourself eating is a way to avoid dealing with emotion. If this is an issue, then there are several ways to distance yourself from this type of eating.

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Telltale characteristics are implicated in emotional eating. You should recognize these, unless they lead you to ongoing weight gain, or being unable to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Often an emotional eater will eat when they feel depressed, angry, or stressed. Boredom is also a cause for overeating, and can begin the cycle of emotional eating.

Other factors are at play in emotional eating as well. For example, one who eats from emotion will often times head automatically for the refrigerator after they come home, without even realizing it. You may also find that it is hard to talk about emotions openly with others. Food takes the place of talking.

If you suspect that you do have emotional eating tendencies, there are a few things that you should do:

  1. Look at your feelings and try and discover which emotions are contributing to the problem.

  2. Monitor your behaviors and feelings when you are eating.

  3. Try to be more aware when you are eating behind a rise in your emotion.

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Crush your cravings…

When and How

Notice when you eat and how much you eat. Eating when you are not hungry, eating too fast, or eating while ignoring something stressful, are signs of emotional eating.

Change your environment

Move away from the food areas. You can go into a different where there is no food in the area until you calm down and allow your emotions to slow down.

Try breaking up patterns and habits

For example, having a quick bite when you get home from work. Recognizing your patterns is the first step to breaking them, and becoming aware is the first step to recognizing these patterns and moving away from being controlled by your emotions.

 It’s not just you…

When it comes to making changes, I understand how hard it can be. I often question why the candy in the check-out was so strategically placed right where I could easily throw it in my grocery cart? I would cave in quite often but it was usually when I had an emotional day. That sugar was calling my name and I would answer…and quite often! Finally, I decided to face the reality that my emotions were causing me to eat not as healthy and those choices were causing me to gain weight.

Does this describe you? Did you know that with some support you can change your eating habits? Click here to take the first step.