Fight Emotional Eating To Stay Slim And Fit
Today most of the people are aware of the need to lose weight to live a healthy life. They are ready to do whatever they can to shed the extra pounds that they carry. They go on a diet, they follow a strict exercise routine and go for diet supplements, but they ignore an important issue. What is it? It is emotional eating. It is the main villain that prevents you from achieving your weight loss goals. It is a common problem faced by almost all people. Most of them don’t realize that they are not eating for hunger, but for emotion.
Fighting emotional eating is very important if you don’t want your dietary efforts sabotaged. How to fight emotional eating?
Identify the emotion
The first step is to identify the emotion that drives you to eat. The common emotions associated with emotional eating include stress, boredom, fatigue, sadness, frustration, happiness, loneliness, depression, anger, tension and deprivation etc. How to identify the emotion? Maintain a diary. Write down daily all points like when you eat, how you feel when you are eating and what you eat. Write down if you feel really hungry when you eat. Analyze your eating patterns and habits. You are sure to identify the triggers and avoid them if you maintain a diary.
Identify real hunger
When you maintain a food journal you can know the time interval between two meals. If you find that you ate just an hour ago and you feel like eating again, it is certainly not because of hunger. Wait till your stomach starts to grumble. Drink a cup of cold water. This will reduce the craving for food and postpone your eating.
Alternate to comfort foods
Most of the emotional eaters go for some kind of comfort foods. Some feel that their mood can be altered if they eat chocolate or ice cream or pizza or cookies or potato chips. The comfort foods may vary from one person to another and may vary from one trigger to another. For example you may crave for an ice cream when you are sad and go for a packet of chips when you feel bored. There is one thing in common for all comfort foods. All of them are rich in calories. Make sure your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards are not stocked with these comfort foods. Replace them with healthy snacks like cucumber, apple, banana, nuts, unsweetened yogurt and other healthy alternates.
Distract yourself with a hobby
Distracting yourself is an important solution to stop you from eating food for mood elevation. Everyone loves to do some activity or other. It could be gardening, painting, sewing, knitting, writing, drawing, listening to music, singing or dancing. Indulge yourself in a hobby that you love to do. This will keep you distracted and busy. Your craving for food will definitely be reduced. If you have no favorite hobby, you can call a friend and talk for some time. You can wash your car. Do your laundry. Clean your house. These activities can help you to forget your craving.
Keep yourself physically active
Physical activity not only improves your physical health, but also your emotional health. It improves your emotional balance. It is not necessary that you should sweat yourself and do exercises for hours. Go for a brisk walk or biking. You can go to a gym or you can buy home gym equipment.
Don’t keep your emotions bottled up
Whatever be your feelings, don’t keep them bottled up. Keeping the emotions shut can cause mental stress and emotional distress. Express them and let them flow out. This will prevent you from hunting from comfort foods.
Get relieve from stress
Stress is a major factor that triggers emotional eating. Go for stress relief techniques like yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. Yoga keeps you physically and mentally healthy. Meditation helps you to gain control over your mind. Breathing exercises relaxes your mind and body. Sleep well. This is very important to avoid stress.
Don’t lock yourself within four walls. Go outdoors. Enjoy nature. Watch people. Enjoy sunlight. Watch the moon and the stars in the night. This will give peace of mind.
Bring out the child in you
Everyone was a child before becoming an adult. There is some childishness left over in each and everyone. There is nothing wrong in jumping or pumping your fists in air when you feel happy. There is nothing wrong in playing with builder toys or clay. Bring out the child in you to avoid emotional stress and the resultant emotional eating.
Get rid of your inferiority complex
Everyone has some special talents. You surely are not an exemption. Never underestimate yourself. Appreciate yourself. Inferiority complex can cause emotional stress. This will lead to craving for food.
Don’t go for strict dieting
Dieting is good, but remember very strict eating can trigger emotional eating. When you deprive yourself from eating your favorite food, you feel emotionally upset and depressed. Treat yourself occasionally. Never skip meals. It is better to eat small quantities of food five times a day rather than eating three heavy meals.
Make yourself observant and curious
Observe what is going around you. The world has a lot in store for you. There are a lot of things to be learnt. Ask questions. Get answers. Discover new facts. Analyze what you have learnt. Share your thoughts and feelings about your new discovery and observations with others. This will keep you preoccupied. Moreover, you will learn that there are so many sufferings in life. You will start to understand that you are indeed blessed when compared to the less fortunate ones. This will lift your mental and emotional spirits.
Say NO to yourself
It is certainly difficult to say NO to yourself, but you can acquire the skill if you practice it regularly. It needs a lot of mental strength and will power. Once you gain the willpower, it is going to be easy to say NO when you crave for food when you are not hungry.
Drink plenty of water
Chewing gum may help you to fight emotional eating, but go for sugar-free chewing gum. Sweetened chewing gum can cause adverse effects.
Emotional eating is not a big issue if you learn to control your emotions. If you feel you are not able to take control over your emotional eating and if you recognize worsening of the situation, consult a doctor as soon as possible.