Breaking Free From Emotional Eating

Doctors and nutritionists warn that obesity is a growing problem in today’s world. Unfortunately, people are not living long and healthy lives because of the problem, and children are growing up unhealthily as well. So what causes people to eat more than the healthy amount needed for their bodies? The answer to this question is emotional eating.

You may think emotional eating means eating when you are stressed, angry, etc, but emotional eating even stretches to the times when you eat out of boredom. Many people go to the fridge and eat without even thinking about what they are doing. Eating has become a time-filler in today’s world. Also, eating when you are craving something can be described as emotional eating. How many of us have been watching television and suddenly craved a hamburger or soft drink? TV commercials have programmed our brains to eat!

There are a few things you can do to beat your emotional eating habits, and even though some ways are harder than others, you should be able to do them all without too much difficulty.

1. Turn off the television. I’m not suggesting that you give up your favorite shows, but it is a good idea to mute the TV during commercial times so that you don’t get drawn in by those tempting food ads. Advertising gets into your subconscious, and it is very hard to overcome those kinds of cravings.

2. Talk to someone. Many of us bottle up our emotions, and try to keep everything inside. This is not healthy for anyone, and usually results in emotional eating. If you’ve had a hard day at work, call up a friend or talk to your partner about it. If life has been hard and you are feeling like you need more than friendly support, there is no shame in seeing a therapist. They are professionals who will know how to get to the root of your problems and help you into a healthier and easier state of mind.

3. Get down to the root. Most often, the reason that people are emotional eaters is something not at all related to food and cravings. It would surprise you to know the root cause of emotional eating, and you should delve deep to find it. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to ever stop emotional eating, and you will never be able to lose the weight permanently. Root causes could be things like low self-confidence, childhood traumas, insecurities, fears, and the list goes on.

4. Get involved. Joining a team or activity group can give you something to do in your spare time. This will help you stop your “boredom eating.” Getting into a hobby or two that you are interested in will also help you in this area.

5. Forgive and forget. Emotional eating is often stemmed by anger and frustration at another person. Chances are, you care about that person, or you wouldn’t be so emotional over it, so you resort to eating. Forgiveness is always healthy and rewarding, and bitterness can actually shorten your life. Bitter people are not happy people, and happy people live healthier, longer lives. Choose to forgive those who have hurt you, and then choose to forget about the hurt. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling, but after you have made the right choice, your feelings will follow.

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