Tips on Overcoming Emotional Overeating
Emotional overeating is almost a joke in our society – movies, TV shows, and the resulting stereotypes cause many of us to laugh about how much ice cream it takes to get over a boyfriend or how much chocolate we need to overcome rejection. But for those who actually suffer from emotional overeating, it’s anything but funny.
First, it helps to be honest with yourself and identify if you have this problem or not. Here are some tips to help you know if you are an emotional overeater or not.
Keep a food diary
In addition to noting everything you eat, this diary also notes how you feel when you eat – sad, angry, upset, elated, joyful, etc. Don’t judge yourself or make any changes to your habits when you begin keeping this diary; you’re not trying to impress anyone or prove anything. You are trying to get an honest picture of your eating habits. After several weeks, a pattern will probably emerge.
Are you under a lot of stress?
Do you find that you gain weight when under stress? Other factors can come into play, of course, causing you to gain weight. But this is something to consider if you are trying to figure out if you have an emotional overeating problem or not.
Get advice from a therapist or specialist.
If you really want to find out if you are a victim of emotional overeating, it is strongly recommended to seek professional help.
How Can Emotional Overeating Be Overcome?
If you have identified emotional overeating as something you suffer from, you may benefit from some tips on overcoming this problem. Here are some to consider.
1.Seek stress relief
If you overeat in response to stress, finding alternative ways to relieve and manage that stress makes sense. Meditation, Yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and other regular forms of exercise and relaxation techniques can help alleviate the stress triggering your overeating.
2. Swap goodies for goodies
Try to find substitutions for the comfort foods or food rewards you seek when you feel positive or negative emotions. Having something in place already is key – keep a list handy or another reminder that will prompt you to turn to the alternative rather than the candy bar. (Some alone time, a short walk, reading a magazine or book for pleasure, doing your nails, etc., are all little emotional pick-me-ups that you can implement in place of food.)
3. Why am I doing this?
Before eating, ask yourself why you are doing it. Do you feel genuinely hungry? If you’re starving, you may feel fatigued and, of course, feel the hunger in your stomach. Ask yourself if you really feel hungry or seek an energy boost or a calming effect instead.