Sometimes, we don’t just eat to satisfy hunger, turning to food instead to relieve stress, cope with sadness or reward ourselves. But emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems —it usually makes them worse. Read more below about how you can recognize and overcome emotional eating.
Keep a food journal. Do you turn to food when you’re stressed, lonely or bored? Starting a food journal to keep track of your mood when you eat, which foods you eat, what time of day, etc. will help you identify your emotional eating patterns and choose other ways to feed your feelings.
Use a hunger scale. Learn to recognize your physical hunger and ask yourself “Am I really hungry?” before automatically tossing something into your mouth. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being starving and 5 being full. Don’t wait till 1 or 2 to start eating, but avoid eating when you’re at a 4 or a 5.
Take a time-out. Pause when cravings hit, and process your negative emotions. Learning to accept your feelings without using food to avoid them gives you power back over your actions. Don’t be scared to learn more about the things that make you sad, scared or happy.
Develop healthy lifestyle habits. Exercising regularly can help reduce stress, depression and anxiety — some of the most common emotional eating triggers. When you’re physically strong, healthy and rested, you’re better equipped to handle the curveballs that life throws without turning to food.
Stay positive. If you experience a setback in overcoming emotional eating, then forgive yourself and start fresh tomorrow. Focus on the positive changes you’re making and, use your setback as a learning experience.
Experience body-transforming results safely, quickly and affordably. Call Cordova Medical Clinic today at 901-888-1000 to see how we may be able to help with your weight loss success.