Emotional eating is something I see a lot in my practice. Eating during times of happiness, boredom, sadness and stress is common, but there is a fine line between emotionally eating sometimes versus making this a regular habit for yourself. If you find that emotional eating is holding you back from losing weight or maintaining weight, it’s worth taking a deeper dive into to break this habit and lead a healthier, more balanced life. Here you’ll read about what emotional eating looks like and how to introduce healthier habits into your daily routine to stop emotional eating for good.
So, what does emotional eating look like?
- Recurrent thoughts about food that you just can’t shake
- Feeling a lack of control around food
- Eating even though you do not feel hungry and continuing to eat when you feel full
- Self-sabotaging your health and weight loss attempts
- Regular late-night snacking even if you are not hungry
- Reaching for food during periods of high-stress, anxiety or sadness
How do we break this pattern of unhealthy emotional eating?
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you feel hungry and go to reach for a snack…
- When was the last time I ate? Was it a small snack? Was it a full meal?
- Am I truly hungry or would something else satisfy me at this moment like exercise or a warm bath?
- Will I feel satisfied after eating this or guilty?
- Could something else be better for me than food right now?
- Am I reaching for food right now out of habit or out of genuine hunger?
Here are some habits to introduce into your daily routine to reduce emotional eating and establish healthy habits…
- Make sure to eat full meals at regular times – This will help to establish regular hunger cues and reduce the risk of overeating at any point during the day.
- Portion your food out, eat what is on your plate and wait a few minutes before going back for more – It takes a few minutes for your brain to recognize that you are full so don’t go back for second helpings right away.
- Keep a glass of water beside you when you are eating meals – Take small sips of water between each bite as you eat. This is a great way to stay hydrated too!
- Make sure to chew your food thoroughly – Take breaths between bites to slow down your eating time and give your body some time to rest and digest.
- Make sure you include a source of protein and a source of fat at most meals – This will help balance out your meals, keep you full for longer and reduce cravings later in the day.
- Journal what you are eating – Keeping a food journal is an awesome way to stay accountable to what you are eating.
Emotional eating is something that a lot of people deal with and in some cases, professional advice can be exactly what you need to break this habit once and for all. To schedule an appointment with me to speak about eating habits and get you back on the right track, call Shulman Health & Weight Loss at (905) 889 – 5326 today.
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