Emotional Eating: Tips to Help You Overcome a Binge
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Your mind has been hijacked. You find yourself staring into the fridge looking for something sweet to eat; all because of the discussion you and your husband had. You just had dinner and aren’t even hungry, yet here you are.
Emotional eating is hard to overcome, especially once you take that first bite. Then there is the guilt that follows for throwing a wrench in your diet. The diet you have been working so hard at. Next thing you know you are giving into more temptation, “because you already messed up today.” And then the vicious cycle continues.
If you are an emotional eater, you know how hard it is to stay motivated and lose weight when you keep setting yourself back. Until you learn how to control it and not give in, it’s a constant battle.
So, how do you overcome emotional eating? How do you stop once it starts?
That’s hard to answer because what works for one might not work for another. Just don’t give up if one thing doesn’t work for you. There are many options out there to try. Keep looking, keep trying, you deserve it.
Tips to Overcome Emotional Eating
If you feel the power of the donut taking control, try these tips.
- Ask yourself some questions- Am I hungry? When did I last eat? If it’s hunger, then eat mindfully. Am I angry? Stressed? Lonely? Tired? Find ways to diffuse the situation.
- Take a step back- Leave the kitchen, the breakroom or where ever the temptation is.
- The art of distraction- Find something else to focus your mind on. Look for something that will fill that emotion in a similar way. Take a walk (releases happy endorphins). Get swept away in a good book. Call a friend, who knows, maybe she has good advice to help with your stressful situation.
- Take away distraction- If the food has that much control over you, don’t buy it, don’t keep it in the house. Maybe it’s time for a pantry overhaul. Toss out the junk—or donate the unopened items.
- Keep a food journal- Learn your triggers and do your best to avoid them. The best way to figure out what your triggers are is to keep a journal. Plus, it lets you see what you are eating, that in itself might be enough for you to overcome the binges.
- Don’t deprive yourself- When following a diet, we sometimes get caught up in it. Possibly not getting in enough calories, completely banishing treats and eating the same things regularly. This can increase your food cravings, especially in response to emotions. Eat a variety of healthy foods, allow yourself the occasional treat and eat mindfully.
- Brush your teeth- I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me want to eat less than after brushing my teeth. If you are having a hard time saying “no” to, brush those pearly whites.
So, what if you took that first bite? What do you do now? Keep eating because you already took a bite? Would you keep breaking traffic laws after getting a speeding ticket? No, so why toss the whole day over a donut? Stopping after that first bite sometimes calls for desperate measures.
- Step way for 15 minutes- Drink a glass of water and take 15 minutes—set a timer if you have to. After the 15 minutes is up ask yourself so questions. Do I still want this? Am I hungry? What would happen if I didn’t eat this?
- Throw it away- Toss it. Not on the top of the trash, stick it under other trash, make sure it’s crushed and inedible. Have problems throwing things away? Don’t let that voice trick you. You either waste it in the trash, or you waste it in your body, where you have to work it off in health problems, exercise and dieting later.
- Change what you are eating- If you can’t stop try adding in a healthier option in between Apples and peanut butter, some frozen grapes. You’ll eat less of the donut. Plus, it’ll change your taste buds, so it switches things up and takes your mind of the emotions that led you there.
- Keep thinking while you are eating- So you caved, that doesn’t mean the fight is over. Think of ways you could have overcome Look for the triggers that led you here; if you find some answers right it down. And remember, one donut has fewer calories than two donuts.
In a nutshell, have a plan. The urge is strong, don’t wait until you are about to eat to come up with a plan. You make it ten times harder on yourself to stop—avoid temptation, avoid that first bite, and avoid the triggers. Realize you are in control, not your emotions, sometimes we just have to dig a little deeper.