Emotional Eating Tips
Monday, February 08, 2010
Listen to your body. Tune into physical cues that tell you whether you’re really hungry or just letting your emotions take over. Is your stomach rumbling? Do you feel dizzy or light-headed? These are signs of true hunger. On the other hand, if you ate less than two hours ago, you’re probably not really hungry. Give the craving at least 10 minutes to pass.
Identify your emotions. The key is to find other ways to express your emotions rather than eating. Start writing down the emotions you’re feeling when a craving hits. Are you sad, lonely, angry or bored? Starting to recognize patterns can help you anticipate and avoid triggers.
Distract yourself. Call a friend. Go for a walk. Clean out the cabinets. Get up and move around to take your mind off your craving.
Avoid sitting in front of the TV. Studies show that people who eat while watching TV consume considerably more calories. Have your regular meals at the kitchen table without the TV on. Sit down. Savor every morsel.
Eat at regular intervals. Eating smaller meals every four hours can help you avoid feeling deprived.
Try to make a healthier choice. All too often, we reach for foods that are high in calories and unhealthy fats when we are stressed (nobody ever reaches for a carrot!). Try an apple instead of apple pie or unbuttered popcorn instead of potato chips.
Be patient. If you do succumb to emotional eating, don’t beat yourself up. Go back to the suggestions above and resolve to start anew tomorrow.