How to overcome emotional overeating in 4 easy steps
Do you find it tiring trying to lose weight only to have it come back with a vengeance, and seem to bring back a few friends with it?
By the time you’re through reading this post, you’ll be better equipped to handle the problem of emotional overeating, in 4 easy steps.
- Figure out your triggers.
- Try to eat only when you are hungry.
- Create Alternative Plans.
- Surround Yourself with People Who Care.
You may be happy to know that you are not alone and your weight concern may be the result of emotional overeating.
What is Emotional Overeating?
Overeating or overindulgence is a complex topic, however, it has essential elements that are easy to recognize. Emotional overeating is defined as disordered eating that is characterized by the compulsion to eat, even when you are full.
It is generally triggered by negative emotions or thoughts. It is also seen as a coping mechanism by those who are under stress or who have suffered abuse.
‘With 70 percent of the American population now overweight
or obese, who doesn’t need a change in diet? For people
with chronic mental illness, the rates of obesity are
Rates of diabetes are also higher
—in some cases, 300 percent higher.
People with chronic mental illness die about 25 years
earlier than everyone else, often from problems like
heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
They are losing one-third of their lives!
Presumably, a better diet could help.’
Will dieting alone solve the problem?
For the emotional over eater, food often provides comfort.
Even if the comfort is only temporary!
Sabotage Your Diet
Emotional overeating can sabotage your diet and weight-loss goals. It can also affect your health negatively.
There are easy steps you can take today to stop emotional overeating!
1. Figure out your triggers.
In many cases, emotional overeating is triggered by an event, thought or feeling.
(a) if you can figure out your triggers, then it will be easier to take control of them and stop them from encouraging you to overeat.
(b) The most common triggers are stress and negative emotions. Other triggers can be difficult days at work, fights with your family or spouse, as well as issues with friends or coworkers.
(c) You may want to seek professional help by getting therapy to help you deal with your triggers.
2. Try To Eat Only When You Are Hungry.
Teach your body to accept food only when you are starving instead of viewing it as a constant source of comfort.
(a) This step will take time because changing your eating habits are challenging. However, you can take small steps to make dietary modifications.
(b) Learn to listen to your body and pay attention to real hunger pangs. Drinking water at this time can really work miracles for you.
(c) Drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water per day. However, that might take some time to work up to. You might not be aware of it, but your body needs a whole lot of water. Water doesn’t just flush all the toxins out of your body, but it makes you feel better, fuller and healthier.
Benefits of Drinking Water
When you drink a lot of water, you just begin to feel fit and this is the motivation you need to lose weight. The best thing about water is that you can drink as much as you want because it has no calories at all. When you drink a lot of water, you eat less as well because you won’t feel like you are starving to death. Remember, when you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water first, and you’ll realize you were probably just dehydrated and not hungry at all.
3. Create Alternative Plans
For example, if you know that you overeat after a difficult meeting at work each week, plan ahead to prevent emotional overeating. Try substituting a more positive action that also brings you comfort or reduces your stress.
(a) By creating alternative plans that don’t involve eating, you will be setting yourself up for diet success.
(b) For example, you can plan a long walk or gym workout to get rid of stress.
(c) Instead of turning to your fridge and ice cream after an argument, you can binge-watch your favourite TV shows or get on the phone with a friend.
(d) The key here, is to find other ways to deal with stress and negative emotions.
4. Surround Yourself with People Who Care.
One of the main reasons many people turn to emotional overeating, is that they feel like they don’t have a support network.
Do you feel alone and isolated?
(a) Reach out to family, friends, coworkers, and others for help.
(b) Build a strong support network around you that can help you deal with negativity and stress. Find those who you can call or visit without worrying
that you’re intruding or upsetting them. In return, be open to offering support as well.
(c) It always helps to explain to friends or loved ones about emotional overeating, so they can understand why you overeat. Discuss effective techniques that can motivate you to stick to a diet or exercise plan.
They can remind you of these techniques when you need help, without being judgmental or critical, so you can get back on track.
So there you have it. Emotional overeating doesn’t have to control your life. You can fight it with these four easy, winning strategies.