Initially, weight loss can be quite easy. You might be following the right recipes, but what we often fail to factor in is our changing emotions as we start to shed the weight. Emotional eating is something that can affect us at any stage of our weight loss journey or general life journey. Here are 3 ways for how to stop emotional eating and keep on track with your weight loss goals.
Understand emotional eating
Each and every one of us eat for different reasons. Whether it’s to combat stress, feel better, or fight cravings, it’s important to recognise your emotional eating triggers so you can manage them. It’s also important to understand emotional eating and how it differs from physical hunger. Some of the identifiers of emotional eating is a hunger that:
- Comes on suddenly
- Craves specific “comfort” foods
- Leads to mindless eating that can leave you feeling guilty or shamed
The surest way to curb emotional eating is to become aware of it. In our daily lives when we are living without any thought to how and what we eat, it is really easy to ignore the motivators behind what we are consuming. Understanding what emotional eating is the first step to knowing how to stop it.
Keep a food journal
You might be following a weight-loss program, but consider keeping a food journal as a way to track your emotions and your emotional eating. You can do this in a number of ways such as:
- Writing in a notebook
- Doing a calendar entry on your phone
- Keep a pen and paper on your bedside table
Write things like – ‘Had to go to lunch by myself at work, felt lonely, wanted to eat junk’. Bringing the feelings and our reactions into consciousness via a food and activity journal is all part of the journey.
Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is an important skill to master when it comes to getting on top of your emotional eating. Don’t become discouraged if you fall off the bandwagon – remember, weight loss is a journey. If you find yourself falling back into an emotional eating cycle, it’s important to remember to:
- Be aware
- Be mindful
- Be accepting
Be kind to yourself – do not berate yourself for your thoughts or actions. For more information or help on how you can handle your emotional eating, get in touch with one of our Personal Health Educators today.