When hunger is not the only factor that drives you to eat, and you are driven by your emotions towards eating, you are faced with a problem. Emotional eating is one of the leading causes of gaining weight; especially because emotional food is usually composed of junk food filled with sugar and lipids. It is possible to stop this health threatening habit with the following steps:
1. Keep a Food Journal
Different people have different reasons for emotional eating. Reasons include social and situational motivators like gatherings and food advertisements; emotional reactions to anger, loneliness or a negative self-image; and physiological reasons like becoming really hungry by missing a meal. Track your reasons by using a food journal. Knowing the triggers will help you avoid them later on.
2. Distract the Urge
Engage in another activity when you are faced with the urge to eat for reasons other than hunger. Remember the chores that need to be done and do them; occupy your mind by reading an interesting book or dancing to your favorite music; play an online board game to pass the time; or chat with a friend about life, love and all that jazz.
3. Clear Your Home
Get rid of all the junk food that might cause you to eat. Fill your fridge with the season’s fruits and vegetables in order to have a better thing to eat when you can’t stop yourself. However, take care that some fruits are filled with sugars too.
4. Seek Help
If the above steps are not enough to refrain yourself from emotional eating, there is no shame in consulting your doctor for the proper steps to deal with emotional stress. Remember to reward yourself whenever you get over an urge to eat by buying a new accessory or going to the movies with friends.