How to Stop Emotional Eating

Emotional eating means “food for comfort”, when you’re feeling bored, lonely, anxious, frustrated, depressed, angry, or stressed. But emotional eating can also lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is a response to emotions..


Identify Your Eating Triggers

There are certain situations and emotions that cause you to eat, if you know those situations and emotions, you can plan better cure to escape from those food desire triggers. These triggers can be categorized into five types:

  1. Social

Being encouraged by others to eat or eating to fit in an environment

  1. Emotional

Eating in response to unpleasant feelings, like fatigue and anxiety or to fill the void due to loneliness

  1. Thoughts

Eating because of a negative self-image

  1. Situational

Eating because the opportunity is there, like when you see a food advertised or when you pass a bakery. You might also eat whenever you do certain activities, like going to the movies or watching TV.

  1. Physiological

Eating in response to physical cues, such as a headache or an appetite increased because you skipped a meal

To find out what your triggers are, keep a food diary to write down what and when you eat as well as what stressors, thoughts, or emotions you experience as you eat. You should begin to see patterns fairly quickly.


How you can Stop Emotional Eating

Till now you have identified a pattern, emotional eating has become a habit. To break that habit, try one of the following activities instead

  • Read your favorite book or magazine, or listen to music
  • Go for a walk or jog
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Do deep breathing exercises
  • Play cards or a board game
  • Talk to your friend
  • Do housework, laundry, or yard work
  • Wash the car
  • Write a letter
  • Do any other pleasurable or necessary activity until the desire to eat passes


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