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Overcoming The Bad Habit Of Emotional Eating

Overcoming The Bad Habit Of Emotional Eating

Eating is one of our basic functions in order to survive. It can be bad for us though if we get overboard and gain much weight. One of the causes for this is emotional eating.

Emotional eating is an outcome of stress. It ends with the scale but begins largely on the mind. When we get stressed or feel down, our brain looks for a way to cope with it. Some people sleep, others tend to eat.

Food is the best solution for some people because it is almost guilt-free. Eating seems like a lesser evil compared to taking drugs or binge drinking. It is a coping mechanism that doesn’t judge people, hurt them or reject them. A scientific reason why food is preferable is because it makes feel better as some foods are endorphin-releasers.

Food is used to relieve stress. Stressors range from mundane things like overtime at work to more grave ones like death or physical abuse.

How do you know if you’re using food as a coping mechanism? One of the first sign is weight gain. If you have been experiencing weight gain due to stress, then you might want to examine other aspects of your life such as:

  • Have you been stressed lately at home or in the office?
  • Have you been in a traumatic experience the past year?

  • Are you finding difficulties in solving a problem?

If your answer is yes, then you might be an emotional eater. You tend to eat even if you’re not hungry. The term used to describe the food you eat when stressed is “comfort food.” These include:

  • Foods rich in fats like French fries and other fried foods
  • Foods rich in carbohydrates like pasta and mashed potatoes

  • Sweets like ice cream, cookies, cake and doughnuts

  • Emotional eating has a cure though. The first step is by identifying that you are an emotional eater. Feelings of helplessness that you can’t find a way out of the habit, and guilt that you might be doing something that is bad for you rule emotional eating.

    The second step is by seeking professional help. Stopping emotional eating depends much on controlling your behavior toward food and your emotions.

    Visualization, problem solving, meditation and relaxation techniques and family support are things a counselor will suggest to you. Visualization will help you look at food as something that you need to survive because of its nutritional value, not as a scapegoat from your problems.

    Notifying your family of your problems will be of great help to you as they will learn about your stressors. They can also help you monitor your eating habits, and help you make healthy choices.

    Proper diet, exercise routines, and yoga will also be suggested to you by a counselor as they increase the strength of your immune system, positive thinking and blood flow. Yoga enhances the mind and body connection so you won’t think of eating when you’re not even hungry..

    Looking for ways to face your problems and deal with them will push emotional eating out of the equation. You’ll feel good about it once you’ve overcome food dependence.

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