Are you an emotional eater? Do you eat to feel better either when you are feeling down, sad, mad, bored or anxious? Do you eat more when you are stressed or reward yourself with food when happy?
If the answer to the above is yes, then you have experienced emotional eating at some point. Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better i.e. eating to fill emotional needs rather than to fill your stomach.
Using food sometimes to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing but when eating becomes your primary emotional coping mechanism when you are stressed, bored, lonely, upset or angry, then such a behavior is bad.
Emotional hunger cannot be filled with food. This will only lead to unnecessary weight gain because of the unnecessary additional calories consumed. You are also more likely to feel guilty because deep down you know you are not eating for nutritional reasons.
But when you eat to satisfy physical hunger, you are unlikely to feel guilty or ashamed because you are simply giving your body what it needs. People with emotional eating habits crave for specific comfort foods mostly sugary snacks or fatty food that provide that sudden rush.
They crave for things like chip, pizza chocolate or soda and nothing else matters. The cravings are more based on specifics like taste, smell and texture of the food they eat and as a results this leads to mindless eating.
Controlling emotional eating
Exercise: Make daily exercise a priority. Get involved in any physical activity you like because such activities boost your mood and energy levels leaving no room for emotional eating cravings.
ALSO READ: Why exercising may not help you lose weight
Re-energize: If you feel stressed or anxious, expend your nervous energy by working out, dancing, jogging or even swimming. Take some time off your busy schedule to unwind, decompress and recharge yourself.
Rest: Get plenty of rest. Have quality sleep for about eight hour per night. This helps to control your appetite and reduce food cravings. If you feel tired, treat yourself to a nice holistic massage or take a nice warm bath.
Get entertained: If you feel bored, explore the outdoors, turn to activity you enjoy like watching a nice comedy show or read a book. Connect with others too. Spend some time with family and friends or talk to any expert who can help you through your emotions. When you are physically strong, relaxed, and well-rested, you will be able to handle any curve-ball that life throws at you.