Our moods have a lot to do with our eating habits.
Emotional problems, such as unemployment, divorce, loneliness, or health problems can either decrease our appetite or encourage emotional eating. Even a simple change in our daily routine can sabotage our weight loss efforts.
When we feel stressed or emotionally unstable we often look towards junk food for comfort. It has been well known that food serves as an excellent distraction from daily troubles. So what steps can you take to reduce your dependence upon emotional eating?
One way to stop emotional eating is to recognize true hunger. Often times when we are stressed, our hunger is only emotional. We are not really hungry but we still turn to food for comfort. This is why it is important to be aware whether your hunger is physical or emotional.
For example, if you ate a couple hours ago and your stomach is not rumbling, then you are probably not hungry. Try to keep track of your meal times and judge for yourself whether you are in fact hungry. Often times, we may feel hunger, but it could simply be you are dehydrated and need to drink fluids. Stay away from sugary drinks! Fill up on water, coconut water, or herbal teas.
Another way to reduce your emotional eating habits is to be aware of what triggers your hunger. Simply write down what you ate, how much you ate, when you ate, how hungry you were, and what emotional state were you in. By keeping track of these things you might be able to figure out some sort of an eating pattern.
If you find that you are going to the snack machine or Bodega more often than you should, try putting the money you would spend on a ‘snack’ into a jar on your desk or at home somewhere highly visible. At the end of the week, you will see just how much you’ve spent on ’emotional eating’ junk foods. Or, what I call ‘wasted calories’.
Just think — you could have gotten a manicure and pedicure with that money.
Fill your refrigerator with healthy fruits and snacks such as nuts and popcorn when you feel the urge. If it’s not in your home, chances are you will eat what is available so stock up on ‘healthy snacks’.
And lastly, try to look elsewhere for comfort. There are many different things which can just as easily occupy your mind. The weather is great, so take a walk, network with others, talk with a friend, or join one of my fitness classes.
Just get up and MOVE. So if you ever feel like emotional hunger has taken over your life, try to plan some enjoyable events for yourself in order to relieve some of the tension.
Stay STRONG! See you in class!
Theresa Racine – Fit to the CORE
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer/Health Coach
Follow me on facebook @ Fit to the CORE or Theresa Racine