Sometimes, when negative feelings overwhelm us, we can’t help but turn to our favorite junk food for comfort. After all, there’s no faster way to feel better than to head to the kitchen and reach out for that bag of potato chips or tub of ice cream. Unfortunately, this could quickly become a very unhealthy habit – and not to mention, add unwanted inches to the waistline.
According to research, stress obstructs ghrelin, which is a hormone that helps to regulate your appetite. What’s more, it causes your body to release cortisol, which increases your appetite. If you’re running on a lack of sleep, your feelings of hunger could be intensified. It comes as no surprise then, that we feel the need to munch on something whenever we’re stressed or having a bad day.
Are you guilty of emotional eating? Well, you’re not alone. We totally understand the frustration that comes with those bad days. And that’s why we’re here to help! Today, Evolve Daily shares 5 Ways To Stop Emotional Eating For Good:
1) Learn to practice mindful eating
Because we live in a fast-paced world, it’s normal to multi-task so as to get more things done within a specific period of time. Unfortunately, this causes us to sometimes eat while we work on our computers, or even when we’re watching TV. When you don’t pay attention to what you’re eating, you won’t be able to appreciate the food on your plate, and the worst part is that you’re more likely to overeat – because you’re distracted. On the other hand, when you actually think about what you want to eat and see it before you, you’re more likely to make healthy choices.
Instead of letting that stress affect you all day, why not let your meal be a breather, without any electronic devices whatsoever? Just you and your food, so you can focus on what’s in front of you and enjoy whatever you’re eating. It also helps to take small bites and chew your food properly, so you don’t end up wolfing down your food.
2) Take control of your emotions
Sometimes we get stressed because of the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves. So when things don’t go our way, we escape by binging on junk food. Instead of doing that, face your issues head on. What is it that’s causing you to feel this way? Is it something within your control? If it’s an internal issue that you have control over, then take charge of the situation.
Understand that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. After all, life isn’t a bed of roses, so there are bound to be bad days among the good ones. It also helps to remember that emotional eating won’t really do much for your wellbeing. So why not de-stress in a healthier way, like spending some time in the gym, or listening to some nice music!
3) Think about it for 5 minutes
Yes, we know. It might seem like a good idea right there and then to finish that whole tub of chocolate ice cream. But how will you feel after that? Are you really going to feel better, or will you end up regretting your decision when the guilt gets to you?
Well, most of us end up regretting. After all, emotional eating can only help to a certain extent. At the end of the day, we’ll still have to face those problems or negative feelings and tackle them ourselves – with or without that tub of ice cream. Psst! Emotional eating is usually something that comes automatically, so if you really think it through, you might be able to avoid it! The next time you feel the urge to binge on an unhealthy treat, why not pause for 5 minutes and think before digging in?
4) Be kind to yourself
When you stop criticizing and being so hard on yourself, you’re less likely to go on an emotional binge because you’ll be finding a solution to your problem instead of trying to run away (by turning to food). In moments like this, treat yourself like how you’d treat a friend. And if you’re wondering, yes, that includes the times when you end up succumbing to temptation and finishing that bag of chips. Understand that it’s not the end of the world and that it can happen to anyone! Although, of course, make sure it doesn’t happen again anytime soon.
5) If all else fails, have a small portion
As we said earlier, it’s okay if you end up emotional eating because it happens to all of us. But with that said, indulge mindfully – go back to #1. You can munch on your favorite biscuits, but make sure you limit yourself to a small portion and chew your food slowly, so you don’t end up overindulging! More importantly, enjoy every bite of what you’re eating and let yourself relax. Hopefully, you’ll feel better after that!
Remember, you don’t always have to surrender to emotional eating because you’re bigger than your junk food cravings. So go on, get into the best shape of your life!