Every day of our lives we go through a vast array of emotions. You can be overwhelmed with happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety, frustration, stress and a wide range of other emotions. People find different ways to deal with their emotions. However, if you keep finding yourself eating when you are stressed, sad, angry, anxious or worried, chances are that you are an emotional eater. Many people tend to use food as an agent to comfort themselves and relieve them of the emotions; however, we find that we are only destroying our bodies when we engage in this mindless activity of eating without any limits. You may be feeling powerless over your feelings and over food; however one can always find healthier ways to deal with our emotions and regain control over our mind and body. Below are some steps which you can adapt to deal with emotional eating:
- Fill your Body with the Right Kind of Food.
Many a time we pay absolutely no attention to what goes into our body. If it tastes good then it must be good for me is the notion many of us follow. However the food we eat also influence the chemical balances in our body. When we start eating clean and healthy our hormonal imbalances also get rectified and we tend to have fewer cravings for food. Eating fibre rich foods, good carbohydrates and avoiding sugary foods will ensure that your insulin levels are in check and ensure that you remain fuller for longer.
- Learn to Manage and Control your Emotions.
This is easier said than done, but learning to control your emotions is absolutely important and this is one of the most crucial steps in learning to deal with your emotional eating. Be aware of when your emotion strikes you and how you usually control them. Simply make a list of when your emotion gets triggered and how you deal with them and how you can deal with them in a more healthy and effective manner other than eating. Practising this tip daily will help to re-train and re-map your brain and eventually it will become a habit.
- Write Down your Thoughts.
This might seem pretty boring and pointless to some, but writing down your thoughts can actually be a good way to channel all your emotions into a paper. When you start writing down your mind is forced to slow down and you take everything one step at a time. This will help you to understand yourself better, control your feelings and emotions better and keep you honest with yourself. When bad times strike you can always go back to your writings and use it to deal with your emotions instead of going to food.
- Handle Your Stress.
Everybody gets Stressed Out. When you are under stress your body tries to handle stress by releasing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone which works by directing the brain to search for rewards in order to make us feel good. Most of us associate rewards with food, so while under stress we naturally gravitate towards food to reward ourselves. Therefore we need to have as little stress as possible, but stress will always stick with us no matter what, so when under stress one can use handle it by going out for a walk, listen to calm and soothing music, read a book, pray, drink a cup of tea etc.
- Hit the Gym.
Physical Activity is also one very effective way to keep control over your emotions and also keep your cravings for food at bay. Exercising is known to lower the levels of cortisol and ghrelin, the hunger hormone in your body. It also promotes the release of endorphins the feel-good hormone. Exercising regularly can also help you burn extra calories, improve your general well being and make you feel good at the end of it.
- Eating should be the last thing on your mind.
Bad days are bound to arrive no matter what and there’s no denying it. However, when you’ve had a tough day, make it a point to yourself that eating should be the last thing on your mind. There are always better and healthier alternatives than eating. Many of which have been detailed above, so stick to them and don’t give up even when you slip sometimes. Learn to forgive yourself and start afresh focusing on the positive side.