Sometimes, people eat to satisfy their happy or sad feelings. Emotional eating refers to the practice of consuming large amount of food to feed the feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that emotions contribute to over seventy-five percent of overeating all over the world.
Studies prove the food’s ability to bring comfort especially for short-term needs. As a result, many people turn to food as the solution when faced with emotional problems, which can lead to overeating as well as unwanted weight gain. This practice can become a habit hindering then from learning other skills that resolve their emotional distress more effectively.
Luckily, individuals can substitute this practice with techniques that are more appropriate to manage their emotional problems and maintain healthy diets. To achieve this, they need first to identify their emotional eating triggers and then develop alternatives to this eating. Some of the common triggers include:
Stress is the main reason that leads many people to emotional eating. Experts found the hormone cortisol to rise in the body when one has stress. This hormone is known to make people crave fatty, salty, and sugary foods.
Idle persons tend to eat more than those occupied most of the time. In other words, a person may eat because he or she can do so.
Some people develop emotional eating patterns after following those patterns for sometimes. For example, some people must find something to eat after coming home from running errands or from work.
Tips to end emotional eating
As aforementioned, it is possible to stop these habits. Here are tips that can help people to conquer emotional eating.
Becoming a mindful eater
It is important to one’s brain when eating. Mindful eating can involve savoring every bite, eating slowly, and counting each bit before consuming.
Learning to develop impulse control
One can build an impulse control after training for sometimes not to consume everything food served for him or her. For example, one can practice saying no more in the middle of a drink.
Using the unusual hand to eat
Changing the dominant hand to eat can break up the mindless hand-to-mouth flow, which encourages a person to think about each bite.
Try to avoid cravings
Cravings for certain food such as chocolate can stimulate the brain to anticipate the flavor of that particular food. The trick to cool down cravings is by thinking about a different food that the tongue is not expecting.