Many people like to eat when they’re angry or under stress – this is called an emotional eating pattern, and is a harmful habit that can really put your health in danger.
Using food to suppress feelings is never a good idea, and can lead to uncontrolled eating and weight gain. According to Susan Roberts, this habit can also affect our brain’s ability to learn and adopt strategies, so it’s really a dysfunctional habit.
In general, emotional eating patterns need some kind of trigger. It can be stress, boredom, fear, anxiety, loneliness or depression, but sometimes, even excitement can cause it. If you’re too critical of yourself, you can also start eating more, so make sure not to be too judgmental or too harsh on yourself. Below you can see a few strategies invented by experts which will help you stop eating due to emotions and lead a healthier life.
If you can’t get a hold on yourself, have some food at hand which will calm you down. You can cut up baby carrots and put them in Ziploc bags for a nice and easy treat, or keep apple slices instead. Also, keep a bowl of fruit in the living room so you can reach for one whenever you’re stressed. This will keep you safe from overeating unhealthy food that can set off a chain of events.
Chewing gum will help you relax and subdue the need for indulging in food.
Learn how to relax
If you want to stop the emotional eating pattern, you need to learn how to relax. Listen to your favorite music or relax in a hot bath until you’re no longer craving food.
Mindfulness training can help you control your emotions and in that way prevent emotional eating. You can get a class from a nearby medication center.
Regular exercise will keep you safe from eating due to stress and is great for your health as well.
Shift your attention
Whenever you’re under stress or you’re feeling anxious, shift your attention to something else. Take up a hobby like knitting, visit a social site or at least play a video game. Anything can help you get you out of the current situation and help you control yourself.