Emotional overeating is a common joke in our society. TV shows, newspapers, movies and the stereotypes resulting from these make us laugh a lot about how may kilos of ice cream is needed to get over a relationship and how many packets of chocolate will help overcome rejection. But emotional overeating is not funny at all for those who are suffering from it.
But first be honest with yourself and acknowledge if you have this problem of emotional overeating or not. Given below are three methods to help you know if you are an emotional over eater.
How to spot emotional overeating
Keep a food diary and in this diary you record whatever you eat and what was your emotional situation when you ate something. Were you angry, sad, joyful, elated etc. But do not start judging yourself or being harsh with yourself by looking at the entries in there. This is not to prove anything yet or to impress anyone. What you are trying to do is to get an honest picture about your eating habits. You will see a pattern emerging after a few weeks.
Do you feel a lot of stress? Have you noticed weight gain when you are undergoing a stressful period? Many different other factors also contribute to weight gain. But stress is one factor which needs to be considered if you are trying to judge if you have this emotional eating problem or you are free from it.
3. Visit a therapist
If you can not spot it yourself, seek help from a therapies who will correctly diagnose if you have become a victim of emotional overeating.
How to overcome emotional overeating?
If you identify that you are suffering from emotional overeating, then these tips may help you overcome this problem.
Get stress relief
If your response to stress is overeating, you should look for other ways to get relief from this stress because management of stress is important here. Yoga, meditation, martial arts or other types of physical exercise and relaxation techniques will help reduce your stress which acts a trigger for your overeating.
2. Goodies swap
Try to substitute your unhealthy food rewards or comfort foods which you turn to in case of feeling emotional, be it negative or positive. Having something ready helps a lot. You may also keep a list of these healthy foods with you to which you may turn to in such situations. Sometimes other forms of emotional pickup like a short walk, reading a book or a magazine, or even trimming your nails can be very useful to cheer you up and reduce your emotions.
3. Ask question
Whenever you are about to eat, ask yourself this simple question that why you are eating it. Are you really hungry? One feels fatigued and hunger in the stomach area when truly hungry. So do ask yourself if you are eating food because you are really hungry or you are looking for food for comfort.