The battle of the scale…For some people its a battle that never ends.
Its a battle that leads to unwanted weight gain and years and years of depression.
For millions of people all over the world, the cause of their weight gain can be traced back to their emotions, and how they use food to deal with traumatic, or extremely difficult situations.
What Is Emotional Overeating?
Emotional overeating is exactly what it sounds like. Its overeating based on your emotions. And though it sounds simple, its actually a very complex topic.
People who suffer from emotional overeating will usually eat even when they are full.
Their compulsion to eat is almost always a response to something negative that has happened in their life.
Emotional overeating is also a coping strategy people use to deal with stressful situations.
Why do we turn to food to deal with difficult situations?
Its simple…..food provides comfort.
The problem is the comfort that comes from the food is only temporary.
This means you will continue to overeat in an effort to maintain that level of comfort.
Its literally like a drug, just with food.
Weight Loss and Emotional Overeating
If you are trying to lose weight, emotional overeating will sabotage your results.
Even worse is the fact that constantly overeating will have a negative impact on your health.
How To Overcome Emotional Overeating
While emotional overeating can be a complex topic, overcoming it is not as difficult as you may think.
Here are four strategies that can help you overcome emotional overeating so you can live your best life!
Become Aware of Your Triggers
What type of situations trigger you to emotionally overeat?
Does it happen when you are around certain people? Or in certain environments?
Knowing what triggers you is the first step in overcoming emotional overeating.
The most common triggers are usually stressful situations and negative emotions.
Eat Only When You’re Hungry
Yes, I do realize this is a lot easier said than done. But you can do it!
Start teaching your body to only accept food when you are truly hungry.
Instead of looking at food as a source of comfort, view it as a source of fuel that is designed to keep you going.
Changing your eating habits can be a bit challenging. Expect this to take a little time.
Focus on making small changes.
In the long run those small changes will have a major impact on your overall results.
Have an Alternative Plan
In most cases, your best defense against emotional overeating is have a plan.
For example, if you know that stressful work meetings cause you to overeat, plan for those situations.
Find a way to get comfort, or reduce stress, without using food.
This can be done by taking a 10 minute nap, by meditating for 5 minutes, or by going for a walk around the parking lot.
After a long day at work, instead of grabbing for a pint of ice cream, hit the gym and reach for a dumbbell.
By having a plan in place you will set yourself up for success.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
One of the biggest reasons people turn to food for comfort is because they don’t have a good support system.
When you feel alone or depressed, who do you turn to?
Do you have friends and family members that will be there to support you?
Having a strong support system that can pick you up when you’re down is vital to your success.
Start working on building a strong network.
Who are the people you know you can call no matter what?
Please know you don’t need a ton of people in your network.
Just the few who you know will always have your back.
Also make sure you give them the same support they provide you in your time of need.
As difficult as it may be, its very important you take the time to talk to your friends and family about emotional overeating and how its affecting you.
Discuss ways in which they can support you and help motivate you.
When you need help they can remind you of the techniques used to help you stay on track.
When not properly dealt with, emotional overeating can take control of your life.
It can send you in a downward spiral that can end with unwanted weight gain and severe depression.
That’s why its so important you are proactive.
If you notice you are struggling with emotional overeating, get help.
Don’t be ashamed.
Use these four strategies in this article and you will be well on your way to defeating emotional overeating.
If by chance these four strategies don’t do the trick, please seek professional help.
Don’t let pride keep from from defeating this monster.
Get the help you need so you can live a healthier, happier life.