Many people use food as a crutch. When they feel overwhelmed with life’s stressors or are triggered by any past trauma, they may feel the urge to eat to absolve themselves of the emotions that feel too intense for them to sit with in the moment. This can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and oftentimes leads to weight gain. Emotional eating can be triggered by a number of things, including stress, anxiety, boredom, depression, anger, or past traumas. Today we will talk about emotional eating and give you tips on some steps that you can take to start overcoming this habit.
Eat on a Routine Schedule
Creating a routine for your eating times can be helpful to avoid emotional eating. People have a higher tendency to emotionally eat when they don’t have structure in their lives. Waiting too long to eat in-between meals can also lead to shifts in your mood. When your mindset is changing throughout the day you may feel even more overwhelmed with little stressors or feel more depressed, which are both things that can trigger emotional eating. Plus, eating at routine times throughout the day can help prevent you from having food cravings for unhealthy food that oftentimes leads to overindulgence. Drinking enough water throughout the day and eat healthy snacks in-between meals can also help prevent unhealthy food cravings, so prioritizing these things can also be helpful.
Choose to Participate in a Healthier Habit Over Binge Eating
It may be helpful to focus on swapping in another healthier habit instead of indulging in eating when you feel the trigger to eat based on an emotional response. For example, you could try going for a walk, doing breathing exercises, or engaging in yoga. Sometimes we just need our mind to shift gears and replacing the habit of eating food with something else can relieve the stress that triggers you to eat in the first place.
Choose Healthier Foods When You Do Eat
A lot of times, the issues that arise from emotional eating, such as weight gain, are because of the choices we make when we do eat based on an emotional trigger. So instead of indulging in processed foods such as salty chips or refined sweets, try to focus on eating a healthier snack. Snacks with a balance of macronutrients, or snacks that contain a good amount of fiber, such as fruits and vegetables are a good idea. These options will keep your blood sugar levels stable and will be healthier for your body in the long run than satiating your desire for sweet or salty food.
Seek Therapy If Needed
If your emotional eating is rooted in deep trauma that you have experienced, it may be best to consult with a professional therapist. Sometimes we need to focus on the root of the emotion that triggers eating to really see the change we want. Willpower can only take you so far, so you may need to work on healing from past events that trigger your emotional eating.