Sometimes the strongest food cravings hit when you’re at your weakest point emotionally.
You may turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when facing a difficult problem, feeling stressed or even feeling bored.
Emotional eating can sabotage your efforts to reach your ideal weight.
It often leads to eating too much — especially too much of high-calorie, sweet and fatty foods: Nuts, nut butters, cold cereals, pasta, “healthy” chips, crackers, vegan cheese and cookies.
Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness.
Major life events or, more commonly, the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your efforts to reach your ideal weight.
The most common triggers I see with my clients include:
Work or other stressors
Although some people eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you’re in emotional distress you might turn to impulsive or binge eating, quickly consuming whatever’s convenient without enjoyment.
In fact, your emotions can become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a treat whenever you’re angry or stressed without thinking about what you’re doing.
Food also serves as a distraction. If you’re worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.
Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same.
The effect is temporary, the emotions return and you likely then bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your goal weight.
This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle — your emotions trigger you to overeat, you beat yourself up for getting off your weight-loss track, you feel bad and you overeat again.
How do you get back on track?
When negative emotions threaten to trigger emotional eating, you can take steps to control cravings. To help stop emotional eating, try these tips:
Keep a photo food diary. Photo what you eat. Over time, my clients see patterns that reveal the connection between mood and food.
Tame your stress. If stress contributes to your emotional eating, try a stress management technique, such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing.
Get support. You’re more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on us here in this group.
Consider doing some coaching click this link and book a free consultation sherigoodmangraham.com/call Having someone there one-on-one to consult with you can be very dynamic to your results.
Skip weighing when you know you have had some challenging days. This is just a painful way of continuing to beat yourself up.I recommend weighing every 2-4 weeks when you feel thin and good about yourself.
Try to learn from the experience and make a plan for how you can prevent it in the future.
Focus on the positive changes you’re making in your eating habits and give yourself credit for making changes that’ll lead to better health.