Don’t Let Emotional Eating Destroy You

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Without a doubt the number one New Year’s resolution most people make is beginning a new diet. But for many people, who have the habit of emotional eating – there is no diet that is going to be successful until they change their mindset. In this article, we’ll look at how to identify and conquer emotional eating.

Emotional eating is why so many diets fail

Some people who suffer from emotional eating are completely unaware they are doing so. They try diet after diet with no success. For ultimate success, these people, rather than look to a diet as a “magic bullet,” need to deal with the root causes that drive such behavior.

Understanding emotional eating

Emotional eating is using food as a way to make yourself feel better or change your emotional state. That’s why emotional eating is also called stress eating.

Rather than eating because they are hungry, people who engage in emotional eating will reach for food when they need to change their emotional state or mood.

When emotional eaters feel stressed, they may reach for ice cream or pizza as a way of relieving their anxiety.

Short-term fix

Emotional eating only provides a short-term fix for your anxiety. You get an initial “high” from that chocolate, but that feeling is only temporarily.

If emotional eating causes you to overeat, then the elevation of your mood only lasts while you are eating. Once you are finished, you then feel too full, and you may feel even worse than you did before.

Addressing the real problem

People who suffer from emotional eating reach for food when they feel emotions such as: Anxiety, stress, loneliness, sadness, anger, boredom, fatigue, exhaustion and many other feelings. What you need to do is recognize what is driving your thoughts, feelings or mood. Rather than reach for food, look for other ways to deal with your emotions.

Techniques to reverse emotional eating

1.  Work on your mindset

Ways of dealing with the problem is to practice mindfulness, positive thinking, or analytical thinking. Have an inner dialogue with yourself and ask yourself why you are having such feelings. Then, ask yourself what you can do to change it, and take positive action – without reaching for food.

2.  Delay eating

Another technique is to try to put off eating for five minutes to see if your cravings for food will go away. This is one way of determining whether you are actually hungry or only reacting to your emotions.

3.  Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry

Don’t allow yourself to eat when you feel a craving and are not experiencing actual hunger.

Emotional eating warning signs:

  • Ask yourself if you eat when:
  • You feel stressed or anxious.
  • You are angry, sad, frustrated, or overexcited.
  • You are tired or low on energy.
  • You are worried, nervous or fearful.
  • You want to reward yourself or celebrate.
  • You want to relax, feel comforted, or feel happy.
  • You aren’t hungry.
  • You’re already full.

If you feel powerless and unable to control yourself when it comes to food, that may be a clear sign you are an emotional eater. You may be at a stage that would make it difficult for you to deal with this problem alone. It would be highly advisable to seek a professional counselor to help you deal with your emotional eating.