Do you ever feel like you cannot stop eating even when you know that you’re full? When you get overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed out, do you find yourself turning to food to feel better? You may be suffering from emotional overeating.
Many people overeat to escape from the struggles of daily life and to numb unpleasant feelings. If you think you might have a problem with emotional overeating, just know that you’re not alone.
Thirty-eight percent of adults in one study acknowledged they had overeaten or chosen unhealthy foods due to stress in the past month according to American Psychological Association.
Emotional overeating is a real problem for many people, and there is no easy fix. I wish I could tell you to simply forget your troubles. Unfortunately, though, there are times in our life where negative emotions & stress are unavoidable, and, for many people, right now is one of them.
This year has brought an immense amount of stress and anxiety. Everyone is feeling the pressure of daily life right now. While we attempt to keep ourselves and our families healthy, many of us fall short because there’s simply too much right now. We’re trying to manage work while raising & educating children, dealing with a “new normal,” in addition to navigating a harsh economic climate and uncertain future. It is enough to make anyone turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like emotional overeating.
Even when we don’t have a deadly pandemic raging around us, life can be stressful. A mom’s life is often busy, chaotic, and emotional. But overeating is not the answer because it’s simply not healthy. It can lead to weight gain, put you at risk of health conditions like diabetes & high blood pressure, and contribute to low self-esteem.
Suppose you have a problem with emotional overeating. You can use the below seven tips to help you address the problem and free yourself from unhealthy eating patterns.
1. Understand Your Triggers
For many, emotional overeating is brought on by negative feelings. Identifying your specific triggers is a crucial part of the healing process. You may find that you are drawn to the refrigerator when you are over-scheduled at work or experiencing conflict with loved ones. It is essential to recognize these patterns so that you can break free from them. Therapy can help heal deep-rooted issues. It may also be a good idea to jot down the activities that trigger your overeating for a couple weeks to help you more quickly identify patterns.
2. Participate in Health Stress-Busting Activities
Make a list of all the healthy ways you deal with stress. What makes you feel good? Write it down! Some great ideas include meditation, walking, jogging, yoga, reading, calling a friend, or doing a craft project. Schedule these activities regularly. When you have plans to re-route that stressful, anxious energy to something that brings you joy, you are less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like overeating.
3.Listen to Your Body
Your body will tell you when it’s hungry. Contrary to popular belief, you are not necessarily hungry every time the thought of food crosses your mind. Give your cravings a little bit of time to pass.
4. Schedule Healthy Snacks
This is a no-brainer, but it is essential. Many people tend to skip meals or wait a long time between them when stressed or overwhelmed, leading you to overeat the next time you have time to grab a bite.
5. Embrace Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the simple act of slowing down and paying attention to your feelings and your environment. Mindfulness can help you accept your negative emotions for what they are without feeling the need to act on them by running to the junk food drawer. Try to practice short, simple breathing exercises throughout the day to help you develop mindfulness. You can count your breaths or recite a simple mantra as you inhale and exhale deeply. Don’t worry if your mind wanders; simply bring your focus back to your breath.
6. Make Happiness a Priority
Life is about balance. You need to make your well-being a priority if you are to conquer your emotional overeating. This means mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Be sure to take time for self-care, hobbies, and exercise.
7. Build a Robust Emotional Support System
You don’t need to do this alone. Take time to connect with friends & family and let them know that you have been struggling with emotional overeating. If you feel comfortable, designate one or two trusted confidants to hold you accountable on your journey to overcome emotional overeating.
Curing your emotional overeating will not happen overnight. It will take time and effort and bring you closer to living the life you want to live. I hope the above strategies serve you on your journey to health, happiness, and healing. If you’re looking for additional support to reduce cravings you may want to consider drinking Apple Cider Vinegar, and trying a product that has been known to help. Check out these articles: