Get a Handle on Emotional Eating
The Secret Sabotage of Your Program
-- By Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer
Ever been angry or upset one minute and then on your couch eating the next, unable to remember why you started eating or how long you had spent munching? If so, then you have entered the world of emotional eating. It’s something than can happen to anyone, and one of the most common dieting obstacles out there.
Emotional eating at its best passes after a few minutes. At its worst, it can take over your life and cause you to eat uncontrollably for extended periods of time. And according to nutritional experts, 75% of overeating is caused by emotions. So don’t worry, if you suffer from emotional eating, you are not alone.
People often eat to relieve stress or to get something off their minds. The kicker is that stress, and the insulin jump that goes with it, may actually cause you to crave high sugar, high carbohydrate foods – foods that go straight to your waistline and cause you even more stress.
Rather than munching, it's better to develop new skills for dealing with boredom, self-esteem issues and stress. Try to pinpoint the major reasons for your stress or unpleasant emotions, and see how you can turn the tide. Here are a few suggestions to combat your emotions:
- Get your trigger foods out of the house, get your crutch foods out of arms' reach
- Go for a walk or jog. Physical activity relieves stress.
- Do deep breathing and relaxation exercises
- Keep a reminder of your goal handy
- Talk to a friend
- Visit and post on the support message boards
- Surround yourself with positive reinforcers, like pictures and people
- Keep a journal that includes your best personal accomplishments
- Track your eating patterns, including when and why you pick up food.
- Apple or orange slices
- Carrot sticks
- Whole wheat toast
- Bran muffin
- Fruit smoothie