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Tips On How To Stop Emotional Eating
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Every now and then, we all eat for comfort. Some of the tell-tale signs of emotional eating is eating when you are not physically hungry, lack of satisfaction, emotion-triggered cravings and compulsiveness. While a bit of stress eating may not be potentially dangerous, it can certainly develop into a habit that leads to weight gain or impedes your weight loss endeavors. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome emotional eating before it gets out of hand. Practice and creative solutions will help you stop emotional eating by reconditioning your brain.
The first step is self awareness. Studies show that most people who engage in stress eating do so unconsciously. Before you start working on overcoming emotional eating, you need to keep a journal that records when and where you comfortably eat, including late at night, at the office, or when you are alone. You will begin to notice patterns. When you eat, ask yourself, “on a scale of 1-10, how hungry am I?” If it is below, say 3, are you comfortable eating. 6-10 is it okay. Realizing you have a problem is, of course, the first step to stop emotional eating.
The next step is replacing your emotional eating behavior with a constructive behavior. Make a list of all the activities, apart from stress eating, that help you elevate your mood when you are felling low. Some alternative mood-elevating, non-calorie activities that can help you overcome emotional eating include;
Sipping black tea; A Journal of Psychopharmacology study found that individuals who drank black tea underwent a 47% drop in cortisol levels, the stress hormone that triggers food craving, compared to those that drank a placebo.
A foot-rub; In order to stop emotional eating, you can try self-massaging your foot. Sit down, take off your shoe, and place your foot over a tennis ball. Rub your foot over the ball until it is feels soothed and relaxed, then do the same with the other foot.
Breathing exercises; A quick breathing exercise can help clear your mind of stress related to daily commotions, and is therefore an effective form of emotional eating help. You can trick your body into thinking you are going to sleep by slowing down your breathing. Close your eyes and focus on the blackness while slowly breathing in and out. Count each breath until you get to ten.
Finding active and healthy ways of clearing your mind the best way of how to overcome emotional eating. Comfort eating happens when you mindlessly eat to sooth raw nerves and numb out emotions. Munching gives you a momentary escape from daily commotions that lead to stress.
Finally, you need to practice. There are a number of effective ways of how to stop emotional eating, including writing journals, structured meditations, working with a support group, distracting yourself, self-massage, visualization techniques and pampering yourself among others. Incorporating these activities into your lifestyle will make it easy to fall back on them when you are feeling low – instead of engaging in emotional eating.
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