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Stop Emotional Eating Fast

Stop Emotional Eating in its Tracks

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Knowing how to stop emotional eating from sabotaging your healthy nutrition and weight management can feel impossible, but it is often a matter of knowing the right proven strategies to help you get control of those habits.

Why Try to Stop Emotional Eating?

It’s common for food cravings to strike when we’re feeling at our lowest emotionally. After all, when something else in your life isn’t working, our favorite foods are still there to provide us with a positive feeling we can rely on. Yes, the difficult problem is still there, we’re still stressed, or boredom is still heavy, but chocolate is still chocolate!

However, it’s important to take a look at these habits and learn how to stop emotional eating if it’s become anything more than a very rare occasion to self-soothe. If it’s something you never really do unless you’ve just gone through something astronomically awful, you’re likely fine. If it’s a habit you’re leaning on more frequently when you feel stressed, unhappy, lonely, worried or bored, it’s time to learn some alternative habits to help you instead.

5 Tips to Take Control over Food Cravings from Negative Emotions

Use these five proven tips to help stop emotional eating and take back control over the ways you deal with your negative emotions.  Remember that this list is just a jumping off point. Use it to help yourself get started and keep learning new ways to get back on track and stay there.

  1. Keep a food journal – Use an app or a physical notebook that you keep with you. Jot down everything you eat, how much of it, when you had it, how hungry you were at the time and how you were feeling. This will help you to identify your personal eating trends.
  2. Ask yourself if you’re hungry – Use your food diary to make you more aware of your habits, giving yourself the chance to decide if you really want to eat that food or if you’re fine without it. Enter your food before you eat it, so you can take that extra second to think about whether your tummy is actually grumbling, or if it’s a food craving that doesn’t necessarily need a response.
  3. Do something else – It’s all well and good to say that you want to stop emotional eating, but food cravings can be powerful. If you’ve decided your inclination to eat isn’t hunger-driven, do something else. Start by drinking some water, then do something to help distract yourself. Go for a walk. Talk to someone. Watch a movie while knitting or doing something else that keeps your hands busy. Read a book! Whatever it is you like to do, go do that.
  4. Tackle your stress – Despite your best habits, nothing will make stress disappear. However, adopting healthy practices such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can make a meaningful difference. Even just occasionally reminding yourself to lower your shoulders can make you feel just a bit better. As a result, you can stop emotional eating drivers before they happen.
  5. Hide temptation – Make it inconvenient to see or get your comfort foods. Eat before you grocery shop and don’t go when you’re feeling low. If those foods must be in your home, don’t keep them where you can see them. In fact, even if they’re in your cupboard, place them up high and in the back. Don’t keep them in your desk drawer at work. You should always have to make an effort to get them. That way, there are more opportunities to decide not to have them.