You might have come across this term, emotional eating, quite a multitude of times, but how many of you actually have experienced it? About 99% of the people across the world fall prey to this phenomenon. When you eat under the influence of a certain feeling – anxiety, sorrow, stress, anger, or frustration – the process is christened emotional eating. You eat not because you are hungry in the truest sense, but it is an urge to overcome the particular emotion you are feeling at the moment. While negative emotions, in general, cause this process, there are times when you just can’t stop bingeing when you are brimming with happiness. Either ways, emotional eating is not good for health.
So, what exactly can you do to prevent emotional eating? How can you overcome this eating disorder? Put your worries at ease and read through this article to know how you can handle this eating condition.
6 Effective Tips To Prevent And Stop Emotional Eating
1. Listen carefully to the hunger cues body sends you!
Your body sends you the signals when it is hungry. When did you eat last? 10 or 15 minutes back or is it already 2 to 3 hours? If it is the former, then do not fall prey for those signals as they are false alarms with claws hidden, ready to pounce on you and finish you off! You can even come up with some experiments. Try rating your hunger cues on a range of 1 to 10 and keep reminding your brain that only a rating of 6 or above indicates true hunger.
What I do: Take a red, juicy apple and if I really feel like eating it, then I am sure I am hungry!
2. Be aware of what you are eating!
In other words, be a mindful eater. Try to each every and every bite using your five senses. Stop your distractions while eating. Switch off your television; keep away the books, newspapers, and not to forget, your iPads and mobiles. The mental presence is equally important to ensure that you are mindfully eating. Start practicing this and you will find yourself not succumbing to the emotional eating devil.
What I do: Sit down on the floor in cross legged position with no TV, no paper, no books, and no mobile to distract me. I pray and keep aside a small portion as an offering. Enjoy the different colors on my plate with my eyes, inhale the aroma of the food through my nose, use my hands to transfer the food, in small portions, to my mouth, and use my teeth to bite and release the juice and nutrients. The way the food trickles down my throat makes me happy!
3. Learn to substitute!
There are times when you are really stressed out or anxious that, food is the ultimate way to put you at ease. Instead of filling you up with some high calorie refined or processed foods, opt for a warm cup of lemon tea or green tea [without sugar] and sip it. You can even sip a glass of water to help you calm down. Women out there, you can distract yourself by putting up your face pack when the emotional eating devil is ready to strike you.
4. Do yoga!
Yoga offers benefits to your body and mind in a zillion ways. Along with keeping your stress levels low, this low impact aerobic exercise is also known to help you control your thoughts and mind. Studies suggest that regular practice of yoga is known to lower the levels of cortisol, the stress triggering hormone, a prime culprit behind overeating and emotional eating. If your ever feel like bingeing under the influence of some emotion, then just sit into Balasana [Child’s Pose] and relax. A couple of minutes is enough to calm you down.
5. Meditate regularly!
Meditation is a simple technique that gives you an opportunity to know your true self and get connected with it. When this connection is established, you will be able to understand you body and soul in a better way, thereby handle the emotions and their impacts in a more effective way.
6. Practice breathing techniques!
There are numerous breathing techniques that you can practice to gain a better control over your mind. It pumps up the oxygen levels, boost blood circulation, and thus, ensure better absorption of nutrients. This, on the other hand, enables the brain to function in a better way and take decisions in the right way.
There are no tricks… Keep practicing these tips that have been outlined above and overcome your emotions. You should choose the menu consciously; never let your emotions do it for you. Eat healthy and stay healthy!