Overcoming Emotional Eating
Are you one of those people who reaches for food when you’re stressed, bored or anxious?
THE STORY: Being stuck at home can lead to stress and boredom which in turn leads to unhealthy behaviors including overeating. Taking comfort in food is a normal thing to do, but do it too much and it can negatively affect your health. Don’t worry though! There are plenty of ways to prevent stress eating and get back on the path of healthy eating.
OVERCOMING EMOTIONAL EATING:
1. Maintain a regular meal schedule: Just because your life schedule is different and you’re eating at home more than normal, it doesn’t mean you should change your meal schedule as well. Whether you’re used to eating 3 meals a day or 2 meals and a snack, keep to that same schedule. Even if you aren’t able to eat at the same times as you normally would, sticking to your regular amount of meals & snacks will go far in helping you avoid overeating.
2. Identify triggers: Do you get off a difficult Zoom call and immediately reach for a piece of chocolate? Do you go to sit down in front of Netflix in the afternoon and find yourself reaching for a bag of chips each time? A lot of the time we act on impulse, without even thinking about what we’re doing. Do that consistently and you’ve built a habit of emotional eating. Keep an eye on when you’re reaching mindlessly for snacks, then make the effort to NOT do so.
3. Pick an activity: When you find yourself reaching for a snack, take a moment to assess whether you’re actually hungry or not. A great way to do this is to have a go-to list of quick activities you can do. Pick 2, do them, then assess whether you’re still hungry. If you were actually just bored, you’ll find yourself in a more motivated mindset to move on to something that doesn’t involve eating!
4. Stay hydrated: We’re sure you’ve heard it before but oftentimes that feeling of hunger is actually a sign that you’re dehydrated. So, down a glass of water before reaching for food.
5. Prepare for success: Sometimes eating less or healthier is as easy as putting any junk food in the house in harder to reach places and keeping the healthy food readily available. Place the foods that tempt you most in closed cabinets or up high and store healthy snacks in see-through containers. You’ll find yourself reaching for the healthier stuff first.
6. Stave off boredom: Let’s face it, we’re all a little bored right now. Being at home - even with work - can lead to extra free time on our hands. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to take that online class you’ve being eyeing or finally starting the hobby you’ve always dreamed off. Starting something new will make you feel accomplished and lead to less stress and boredom.
THE ROUND-UP: If you’ve found yourself reaching for food more often due to stress or boredom, try these out and see how quickly you can break the habit. Want more ways to break the bad habit of emotional eating? No problem! Find more tips HERE.