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How to Avoid Emotional Eating

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How to avoid emotional eating.


We don’t always eat to satisfy our hunger. We also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward. Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. It usually makes you feel worse. Afterward, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating. Learning to recognize your emotional eating triggers is the first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive overeating, and changing the habits that have sabotaged your diets in the past.


Some people eat when they’re sad, some eat when they are happy or nervous. The trick is to find out what makes you emotionally eat and figure out how to avoid it. Yes, you may think it is easier said than done but you can do it.



Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to fill emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach. Every time you overeat or feel compelled to reach for your version of comfort food, take a moment to figure out what triggered the urge. If you backtrack, you’ll usually find an upsetting event that kicked off the emotional eating cycle. Take note of what it was you felt that made you eat out of emotion.


In order to stop emotional eating, you have to find other ways to fulfill yourself emotionally. It’s not enough to understand the cycle of emotional eating or even to understand your triggers, although that’s a huge first step.


You need alternatives to food that you can turn to for emotional fulfillment.


If you’re sad and feel lonely, call a friend who can always make you laugh.


If you’re anxious, hop up, turn on the radio and dance it out, take a walk or workout.


If you’re exhausted, take a hot bath or have a cup of tea.


If you’re bored, which is usually my trigger, read a book, watch a movie or turn to an activity you enjoy like a craft or something.


When all else fails, I brush my teeth, no joke. Nothing tastes good after you have just brushed your teeth. It takes away my urge and sometimes I forget about eating or what it was that made me want to eat.


There have been times that I have gone to bed or taken a nap to avoid emotional eating. I would catch myself doing it at night and still do sometimes. This way, I thought, no one would know. Well when they wake up and the cookies are gone, they know.


It’s not always easy to avoid it but if you know what it is that causes it you have to try to redirect it into something other than eating, or overeating. Finding an alternative is going to be your best avenue.


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Hey there, I'm Melanie. I help women DITCH THE DIET MENTALITY and reclaim their health through mindful eating, hormone balancing, stress management, and digestive healing.

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