Emotional eating is a natural phenomenon. Lots of people have issues with emotional eating. It's standard in the United States. A study done in 2013 found that nearly 50% of Americans reported emotional eating at least once a week. And of those who reported emotional eating, 22% said they did it daily. So, if you're struggling with emotional eating, know that you're not alone.
Millions are also struggling with this issue. Emotional eating is not just about being lazy or lacking willpower. Some actual emotions and triggers lead to emotional eating. And it's essential to understand what those triggers are so that you can learn how to prevent emotional eating from happening.
Here are six reasons why you might be emotionally eating and what you can do to stop it:
If you're eating because you're bored, finding other things to do that will occupy your time is crucial. For example, try reading, walking, or talking to a friend. Find something that will take your mind off food and make you feel good.
Stress is a significant trigger for emotional eating. If you reach for food when stressed, try to find other ways to de-stress. For example, take a hot bath, listen to soothing music, or do deep breathing exercises.
Sadness is another emotion that can lead to emotional eating. If you want to eat when you're feeling down, try to do something that will make you happy instead. For example, listen to your favorite music, watch a funny movie, or call a friend.
Anxiety can also be a trigger for emotional eating. If you want to eat when you're anxious, try to find ways to calm yourself down. For example, take some deep breaths, do some relaxation exercises, or talk to someone about what's making you anxious.
Loneliness is another emotion that can lead to emotional eating. If you want to eat when you're feeling lonely, try to find ways to connect with other people. For example, call a friend, go out and socialize, or join a club or group.
Fatigue is another common trigger for emotional eating. If you find yourself wanting to eat when you're feeling tired, try to find ways to increase your energy level. Take a nap, get some exercise, or eat a healthy snack.
If you find yourself emotionally eating, it's essential to figure out the trigger. Once you know the trigger, you can find ways to prevent it. In addition, by understanding your emotions and motivations, you can learn how to control your eating and make better choices for your health.
To Find Out If You Are Truly Hungry Or A An Emotional Eater, Use A Food And Mood Diary
An excellent way to discover if you are emotionally eating is to keep a food and mood diary. Write down what you eat, when, how much, and how you feel while you eat. You might find patterns that reveal the connection between your moods and eating.
A food diary focuses on your eating patterns. By identifying these patterns, you can be more aware & will be able to manage the challenges better. Try using this diary for three-four days, preferably two or three weekdays and one weekend day. Most people tend to overeat on weekends.
Use this journal to keep track of everything you eat and drink for the duration of the challenge. Make sure you write how you felt before you ate after you ate, AND
how you felt WHILE eating.
An example would be 9:00, late for work, missing breakfast, and feeling hungry and stressed. At lunchtime, I had a meeting; I shoved something from the vending machine in my face
and ate while making copies, feeling overwhelmed.
Keeping a detailed journal like this will give you insight into your eating patterns. You can get your Food & Mood Journal here.
If you are ready to stop the emotional eating cycle, make a change. Please book your free consultation call with me. Together, we can devise a plan to get you the desired results with a program that fits your lifestyle and schedule.
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