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Tips for Emotional Eating

By Shpernik088 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

More than likely, we’re all guilty of comfort eating every once in a while. Sometimes, a person will emotional eat due to having a stressful day or others do it because of boredom. While small episodes of comfort eating aren’t generally a cause for concern, it can result in weight gain and become problematic when it’s the main way a person comforts and calms themselves.

Emotional Eating: Signs and Symptoms

It’s well know people don’t always eat out of hunger and when food becomes a crutch for emotional upset, it can wind up becoming a big problem. You should know the signs and symptoms of emotional eating, because it can help you realize if it is something you’re doing:

• Eating when you’re not hungry
• Experiencing cravings when you have anxiety, anger or boredom
• Having difficulty finding food that satisfies you
• Eating mindlessly and not enjoying or tasting the food you’re eating

Emotional eating isn’t something that can be quelled through food. Eating might make you feel good for a little while, but often it winds up making you feel guilty later on. When a person emotional eats, it results in the inability to deal with problems in a healthy way and it can cause feelings of powerlessness over food and feelings.

Emotional Eating Causes

People emotional eat for many reasons. Some of the most common causes for emotional eating include stress, stuffing emotions, boredom, emptiness, childhood habits and/or social influences. A good way to identify the reasons behind emotional eating is for a person to keep a daily food diary. Once the reasons for emotional eating are recognized, it becomes possible to establish a pattern and find healthier habits.

Finding Other Ways to Vent Emotions

People who emotional eat often can’t vent their emotions in a healthy manner. Going on a diet will often fail because of a person’s inability to control eating habits for a long period of time. In order to get control and stop emotional overeating, a person will need to find other ways of releasing emotions. It’s important to have other alternatives to food that can provide emotional fulfillment and understanding the cycle of emotional eating is the key to making it happen.

Stop When Cravings Hit

Most people who engage in emotional overeating cannot control their cravings. When a craving hits, it becomes something a person will think about obsessively. The key to controlling cravings is to realize you have the ability to resist and pause before you eat, it can give the craving the chance to pass by and you won’t break down and give in.

Emotional Eating & Healthy Lifestyle Habits

The best way to combat emotional eating is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you are physically strong, well-rested, and relaxed it will make you better equipped to deal with stress and anxiety. Getting regular exercise, adequate sleep and leading a healthier life, will help you be better prepared to make it through difficult times and not resort to emotional eating.