Squash Emotional Eating

Do you eat to feel better or relieve stress? We don’t always eat just to satisfy physical hunger.  Many of us also turn to food to comfort, stress relief, or to reward ourselves.  There’s a reason people reach for foods like French fries or cookies when they’re feeling down.  It makes them feel better.  This cycle typically doesn’t end until you address the underlying issue.

Begin by finding out why you need comfort food. 
Does it calm you down, cheer you up, compensate you for a tough day, or some combination?  Recognizing these thoughts patterns can make it easier to resist giving in.  It is also helpful to realize the longer-term implications.  The best way to learn your triggers for comfort-eating is to keep a food dairy.   Record what and how much you ate.  Also, how you felt at that time.  Did you eat comfort food because you felt lonely, bored, stressed, etc.?  Did you eat because you feel you deserve it after a tough day? If you recognize the pattern, you can develop a strategy to break it.  Check our article ‘tips to control your hunger’ in our online support portal.  Remember that you also deserve to lose weight, feel healthy and be proud of yourself.

Distract yourself from the lure of comfort food.
Go for five-minute walk
Listen to music
Read a book
Do meditation to relieve stress
Take a hot shower or bath
Call your best friend to chat.
Get your hands engaged (knitting, crafts, etc.)
Sit outside in the sunshine

If you can distract yourself for a few minutes, the urge to eat should subside.  The more you think of to distract yourself, the easier it will become over time.  Exercise patience with yourself because it will take time to develop these new habits.  It is going to take practice.  Strive to create a non-food reward system for yourself across the board.  If you are having difficulty changing your eating behavior on your own, then it is time to get some help from the outside.