Emotional eating is basically when you eat to make yourself feel better at times when you are feeling stressed or upset about something.
For some this is an occasional habit, but for others it can become more than occasional, which could potentially lead to weight gain.
People eat to take their mind off a certain problem. Unfortunately though once the food has been consumed the problem is probably still going to be there.
Chances are you will probably feel guilty for your indulgence too, which could lead to even more emotional eating.
It is a vicious cycle to fall into, but it is possible to take control of emotional eating. Read on to find out how.
#1: Keep a food diary
If you keep a note of everything you eat and how you were feeling at that time you will over time start to see the patterns that link what you eat to what you feel emotionally.
#2: Cut stress
If you lead a stressful life then it is quite likely that you will suffer with emotional eating from time to time.
To combat this, you could take steps to help cut your stress levels without using food.
For instance you could start doing some yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises to relieve the stress.
#3: Get support
If you are feeling emotional then instead of reaching for the junk food, see if you can get some support from a family member or a friend.
Just a nice chat can sometimes be enough to make you feel better.
#4: Fight boredom
Many of us eat just because we are bored and have nothing better to do. Well, unsurprisingly this is not going to be good for those who wish to lose a few pounds.
If you are bored then do something a little healthier. Take a walk, or do a little exercise. Boredom is not an excuse to eat.
#5: Remove temptation
If you suffer from emotional eating and are struggling to control it then a simple way to ensure you do not ruin your weight loss efforts by eating junk is simply to remove it from sight.
It is also best to avoid doing your food shopping when you are feeling emotional as those treats will be hard to resist adding to your basket.
#6: Don’t deprive yourself
When you decide that you want to lose weight it can be tempting to cut out all of your favourite foods. After all it is not healthy for you to eat them, right?
Well, while this is a good idea it is likely going to be too hard for you resist, which will ultimately lead to you binging.
To avoid this happening I would suggest that you continue to eat your favourite foods, but in moderation.
Doing so will ensure you do not become bored with your diet, and will be able to resist the cravings and the subsequent guilt that will occur once you give into them.
#7: Snack healthily
If you feel the urge to eat between meals it can be tempting to reach for a chocolate bar or packet of crisps.
However, this is not the best idea if weight loss is your goal.
If you have followed my tip above then any junk food will be out of sight. Instead you should replace it with healthier alternatives, for instance some fresh fruit or a handful of nuts.
#8: Learn from setbacks
If you have indulged in a bout of emotional eating and are feeling guilty about it then stop.
We all make mistakes from time to time, but instead of feeling sorry for yourself try to learn from the setback and perhaps next time you will be able to resist.
#9: Seek professional help
Sometimes we will need to talk to a professional about our problems.
If you are struggling with emotional eating and are worried about your weight and health then speaking to a professional could be the answer.
You will be able to discuss your issues and what is causing you to emotionally eat. They will also be able to teach you some other coping skills not mentioned above.