Emotional eating

What is emotional eating and why do we do it?

Emotional eating is a common behaviour where people use food to manage their emotions, such as stress, sadness, anxiety, and boredom. While food can provide temporary relief, emotional eating can lead to weight gain, poor nutrition, and other health problems.

Here are some tips on how to stop emotional eating and build healthier habits.

Identify your triggers

The first step to stopping emotional eating is to identify your triggers. Triggers can be situations, emotions, or people that make you want to eat. For example, you may feel stressed at work, and that triggers your urge to snack. Or you may feel sad after a breakup, and that triggers your craving for comfort food.

Take some time to reflect on your eating patterns and identify your triggers. Write them down and think about how you can avoid or cope with them in a healthier way.

Find alternative coping strategies

Once you’ve identified your triggers, find alternative coping strategies that work for you. For example, if you feel stressed, try going for a walk, doing yoga, or practising deep breathing. If you feel sad, try talking to a friend, writing in a journal, or listening to music. Find activities that help you feel calm, relaxed, and happy.

Eat mindfully

Emotional eating often involves mindless snacking, where you eat without paying attention to your hunger or fullness cues. Eating mindfully means paying attention to your food, savouring each bite, and stopping when you feel full.

To eat mindfully, try to eat at a table without distractions like TV or phone. Take small bites, chew slowly, and savour the flavour and texture of your food. Notice how your body feels as you eat, and stop when you feel satisfied.

Plan your meals and snacks in advance

Another way to prevent emotional eating is to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. When you have readily available healthy options, you’re less likely to reach for junk food when stressed or bored.

Plan your meals and snacks for the week, and make sure to include a balance of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Pack healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, or veggies, and keep them with you when you’re on the go. Read more…

Practice self-care

Finally, practising self-care can help you manage your emotions and reduce your urge to eat. Self-care means taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. It can include things like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, spending time with loved ones, and doing things you enjoy.

Taking care of yourself makes you less likely to turn to food for comfort. Instead, you’ll have healthy habits and coping strategies to help you manage your emotions and feel your best.

If you tend to emotionally eat, please remember, you are not alone. Perhaps you would like to chat with one of our mentors about managing your emotions in healthier ways. We can also advise you on how to build healthier habits and feel your best by identifying your triggers and finding alternative coping strategies.  Read more…



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