Are you an emotional overeater?
April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month – prompting many of us to empathise with this issue.
Emotional eating doesn’t just refer to eating too much, but it also choosing to indulge in the wrong foods. To achieve and maintain your ideal weight and feel at your very best, all food needs to be eaten in moderation, making healthy choices the majority of the time. Sometimes we can find this incredibly difficult, which can be down to a number of reasons:
- Low mood
- Lack of satiety
- Feeling powerless
Emotional eating can be linked with both positive and negative emotions. Many of us will reach for a fat laden snack if we are feeling low, and likewise, just as likely to open a chocolate bar by way of reward and happiness. This can quickly turn into a vicious cycle, leaving us feeling out of control and inevitably looking for comfort all to often on our dinner plate.
Understanding our triggers for emotional eating will help to put you back in the drivers seat, and feeling far more comfortable with the control you have over food choices. We have several straight forward tips for you to follow to make it easy to identify your triggers and weaknesses when it comes to emotional eating, allowing you the opportunity to combat them head on.
1. Food and exercise diary
Keeping track of everything you consume will help you to identify not only when, but the quantity of food that you are eating. It is common for people to underestimate their daily intake by up to 20%. Make things even easier for yourself and jot down your mood when you have something to eat – this may highlight a certain time or habit that you defer to when it comes to unhealthy food choices.
2. Delay the food craving
When a craving for your favourite snack hits you like a brick wall, stand strong. Distract yourself for 5 minutes, and then see if you still have the same craving. This puts you back in control.
3. Construct healthy habits
Putting healthy habits in place throughout the week will help to lift your mindset and shift your focus. This could be something as simple a 30 minute pamper, a short walk with friends or take the dog/children somewhere different to usual. A fresh look on things can do wonders for your morale, and taking some time out for you will help to recharge your batteries.
4. Feeding your emotions without food
We all go through a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the week, however this is where we can often come unstuck when it comes to emotional eating. Learning a new go-to reaction to stress rather than opening the snack cupboard will help to reinforce positive habits. This could be something simple such as playing with your pet/child, going for a brisk walk down the road, or taking up a new creative hobby to get the brain working.
Knowing your triggers is the key to unlocking a problem that can often perpetuate into something far greater than it needs to be. Instigating tools and strategies in combating this will enable you to live a life free of eating for emotional contentment.
To discuss our Employee Nutrition Services, call 07778 218009 or email Anna.