Do you feel you have a never-ending battle with the scale? Are you tired of gaining weight that stays with you forever? The cause of your weight gain might be emotional overeating.
Emotional overeating is a complex topic, but it essential elements are easy to recognize.
Emotional overeating is defined as disordered eating characterized by the compulsion to eat even if you’re full.
It is a response to negative emotions or thoughts. Those who are under stress or who have suffered abuse can use eating as a coping strategy, without realizing it.
Food often provides comfort for emotional eaters. But the pleasure is only temporary! Emotional overeating can sabotage your diet and weight-loss goals. It can also affect your health.
Luckily, there are easy steps you can take today to stop emotional overeating!
Figure out your triggers
There is always a trigger for someone to indulge in emotional overeating this is usually an event, thought, or a feeling.
If you can figure out your triggers, then it will be easier to take control of them and stop them from encouraging you to overeat.
The most common triggers are stress and negative emotions. Other triggers can be stressful days at work, fights with your family or spouse, and issues with friends or coworkers.
Therapy may also help you deal with your triggers.
Try to eat only when you’re hungry
Teach your body to accept food only when you’re hungry instead of viewing it as a constant source of comfort.
This step will take time because changing your eating habits is challenging. However, you can try to make dietary modifications. Learn to listen to your body and pay attention to real hunger pangs.
Create alternative plans
For example, if you know you overeat after a stressful meeting at work each week, then plan and try to prevent it. Try substituting a more affirmative action that also brings you comfort or reduces your stress.
By creating alternative plans that don’t involve eating, you will set yourself up for diet success.
For example, you can plan a long walk or gym workout after work to get rid of stress.
Instead of turning to your fridge and ice cream after an argument, you can binge watch your favorite TV shows or get on the phone with a friend.
The key is to find other ways to deal with stress and negative emotions.
Surround yourself with people who care
One of the main reasons many people turn to emotional overeating is because they feel like they have no support network. Do you feel alone and isolated?
Contact family, friends, coworkers, and others for help.
Build a secure support network around you that can help you deal with negativity and stress.
Find those whom you can call or visit without worrying you’re intruding or upsetting them. Be open to offering them support, too.
Explain to friends or loved ones about emotional overeating so they can understand why you overeat. Discuss practical techniques that can motivate you to stick to a diet or exercise plan.
They can remind you of these techniques when you need help, without being authoritarian or critical, to help you get back on track.