Tricks for Overcoming Emotional Eating
Who hasn’t had one of those days? Or one of those weeks? Or even one of those years. Been there. Those moments when you’re feeling sad, angry, stressed, anxious, scared or all of the above because of something unsettling or troubling going on in our lives. These emotions often lead to overeating and cravings for comfort foods. You know that binge-eating is destructive and only going to make you feel worse, but in that moment you just want something to give you immediate gratification. Here’s how to fight those temptations before they start:
Avoid trigger foods.
Whatever your weakness – cookies, potato chips, ice cream, cake – get in the habit of not having those foods stocked in your pantry or fridge. You can’t eat what you don’t have, right? When you go grocery shopping, steer clear of the junk food aisles and spend more time along the fringes of the store where the fresh meats and produce are. And at the drugstore, don’t even look at the candy shelves. Nothing to see there!
Have a support system.
When you’re feeling down, instead of reaching for junk food, reach for your phone and text a friend. Not the person you’re stressing about! I mean a compassionate friend or relative who can help you work through your feelings. Even better, call that friend (imagine that) or meet in person for an important one-on-one connection. Bonus points if you go to the gym together or meet up for a run or bike ride.
Keep a journal.
Some people are better at writing down their feelings than sharing them aloud. If that’s you, that’s OK! Create a digital journal or buy an old-school notebook and jot down whatever’s on your mind. You’ll probably find it’s incredibly therapeutic and will help you sort out what’s making you reach for unhealthy temptations.
Find healthy stress relievers.
A Netflix marathon of rom-com or action flicks might sound like a good way to unwind, but hours of sitting on your butt will eventually lead to hours of mindless eating. Not so good for your physical or mental health. Instead, spend your time doing something active (go to the park or a yoga class), create a playlist of your favorite dance music, or check out a new exhibit or that one touristy thing in your town you’ve never done. You may just discover a new passion.
Take a vacation.
We all need a mental break at some point, and a change of scenery can be just the trick to getting us back on track. Whether you fly to the Caribbean (great motivation for slimming down) or take a day trip to a nearby town, a vacation should make you feel rested, relaxed, and recharged. Just don’t forget to leave your worries behind!