Tools to stop emotional eating
Most food companies specialise in targeting emotional eaters to buy their products. These products are often high in calories, fat and sugar and provide no nutritional benefit to us.
Eating these certain food types provides emotional satisfaction, reducing the negative emotions we may be experiencing.
Here are some top tips to combatting emotional eating:
1. Discover the trigger for your eating:
The key to stopping overeating is to not hide yourself away when negative emotions appear.
Tell yourself that it's normal to feel sad, mad, scared or tired. Also, discover what is making you feel these emotions. If it is financial problems, then why not try budgeting at the start of each month and being more cautious of your spending. If it is stress at work, speak to your boss or find ways to manage your workload.
2. Find things that increase your life pleasure:
Simple small additions such as adding fruit to your water, wearing comfortable clothes, taking a bath after your week of work or going for a run gives your body new ways to experience positive emotions, overriding the negative emotions.
3. Prepare for hunger:
Before you reach the beginning of hunger, ensure you are prepared with real, wholesome foods that will benefit your body. Having healthy snacks such as carrots and humus ready in the fridge can prevent you from grabbing a bar of chocolate or bag of crisps in the first sign of hunger.
4. Keep your house healthy and temptation free:
Instead of having cupboards and drawers filled with crisps, biscuits and chocolate, remove all temptation and fill your cupboards with healthy snacks, vegetables, fruit and plain popcorn. Reducing temptation will mean you would need to travel to the shops to get your fix... and can you really be bothered with the hassle?
5. Keep a food diary:
Tracking what you eat at the exact time you eat it will prevent you overeating. Tracking each chocolate button you eat will make you more aware and should stop you from consuming the entire bag in one sitting.
A powerful test for realising if you are emotionally eating or hungry is the broccoli test. When about to reach for a snack, ask yourself if you are hungry enough that you would eat a piece of broccoli. If the answer is yes, then you are hungry and should go ahead with eating. However, if the idea of eating broccoli is not appealing, then you are about to emotionally eat and should stand back from the fridge.
Finding ways to distract yourself is powerful in eliminating emotional eating. So next time you go to open the fridge, why not go and paint your nails, wash the car or head outdoors for a run. This will take your mind off eating and help you lose weight.
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