Calm Your Emotional Eating to Lose Weight
When you are attempting to lose weight, one of the greatest obstacles is the urge to eat out of emotional need. Almost everyone has done it from time to time, but when the weight keeps going up, it is time to re-examine the reasons behind the eating.
Grab Your Notebook
Begin by listing the occasions and circumstances in which you feel the most cravings. You’ll soon discover that you eat for many reasons. You may eat when you are happy, to celebrate a wonderful moment in life. You may eat out of anger, rather than express it. You may eat out of sadness— or even out of boredom. When you are bored, eating becomes a way to pass time. The biggest emotional trigger for emotional eating may be socialising. In social situations, we have to deal with complex emotions and unpredictable circumstances that we cannot control. The occasion may be a happy one, but the social situation may be less so.
To avoid emotional eating, remember this: we are meant to eat only when we feel true physical hunger. The key to reducing your emotional eating is to give more attention to your body’s cues, while more appropriately addressing your emotional needs. If you are sad, spend some time feeling the sadness. Perhaps keep a journal where you can examine and express your emotional life. If you are bored, perhaps you need more exercise and physical stimulation. Take up ballroom dancing or do daily walks in the park.
Your Real Hunger Signs and How to Satisfy Them
Once you have given your emotional issues their proper attention, consider your body and physical hunger. People experience physical hunger differently, so it may take a while to recognize your particular physical cues. Some people will get the “growling stomach.” Others get a gnawing sensation in their throat. Still others become irritable and short-tempered, or develop a headache. These are physical cues that you need to eat food to nourish your body.
When you have a clear physical cue to eat, have some food. However, observe and feel your body’s response to the food. Eat slowly and with attention to how your body feels. The trick is to recognize when you’ve achieved a physical sense of satisfaction, without feeling full. Once you are no longer feeling hungry, stop eating. If you listen to your body instead of your emotions, you’ll soon be eating more healthfully and losing weight, too.