Emotional eating a common problem that many people around the world face. For most, emotional eating provides a release from discomfort, providing a momentary sense of pleasure and satisfaction when you’re feeling something you don’t want to feel. By overeating, you create numbing, softening effect on your unwanted feelings, taking your attention away from them. This unhealthy habit can strike at any time when you find yourself eating for reasons other than satisfying actual physical hunger.
This type of binge eating can become a dangerous pattern, especially if you are already overweight. But the key to ending this pattern is to not abandon yourself when your emotions go awry, but instead to invite them in and allow yourself to feel. Once you stop eating emotionally, you’ll also learn to start enjoying your food and your life in a whole new way.
1. Know your binge eating triggers
It’s important to know your triggers so you can create a strategy around them. If you know you eat more when you’re feeling lonely, plan to call a friend or go out instead. And if you do go out, carry some healthy snacks with you so that you never feel deprived. Create new ways to nourish yourself, pack your calendar with exciting things to do. Be disciplined about setting aside time for yourself to relax so you don’t feel stressed out and want to binge.
2. Only eat when you’re actually hungry
Emotional eaters tend to not eat when they’re actually hungry, which only makes them want to eat a lot later. So instead, whenever you experience physical hunger, make sure it’s healthy and nourishing foods. Doing so will teach your body that you are not in “starvation mode” so it doesn’t store fat and prevent your ability to burn it. This means that eating when you’re hungry will not only make you less inclined to binge, but it will also tell your body that it’s safe to lose weight.
3. Make room for more pleasure
The majority of overeaters binge because they are experiencing some kind of emotional pain. That being said, it is important that you make pleasure a priority in your life! Make your diet more enjoyable and flavor your water with fruit. Go outside when the weather is good and get some sunlight. Listen to your favorite happy songs, take bubble baths visit your friends. Give your body other ways to experience feeling good, aside from eating. If you do tempt to binge, try allowing yourself to fully enjoy it. Sit down and savor every bite instead of rushing through it. The more focused you are on how good it feels to eat, the harder it will be to eat to the point of pain. Many times emotional eating is just our body’s attempt at experiencing pleasure. So let it!