Almost all women at one point or another will find themselves emotionally eating. Whether it’s because you feel exhausted, stressed, depressed, or anxious, sometimes it seems like the only thing that will make you feel better is to indulge in (usually unhealthy) food. It’s not exactly salad we’re craving – it’s salty, sugary, and/or fatty items that are the foods of choice. So it’s fair to say that most of us have had cause to wonder how to stop emotional eating.

What is wrong with emotional eating?

We’re constantly being told to listen to our bodies. But emotional eating is not a healthy cue based on our body’s needs. Rather, is a psychological impulse that should be controlled. The problem with emotional eating is that it often becomes a habit, a behavioural pattern leading to weight gain. It also then forms yet another obstacle to effective weight loss.

If you want to know how to stop emotional eating, you need to understand why you’re an emotional eater

The first step in mastering how to stop emotional eating, is to learn how to manage your emotions. This is not the same as suppressing your emotions. Rather, it’s about learning to deal with your emotions so that you don’t end up being quite so distressed. Be aware of patterns of negative thoughts, such as self-criticism, low self-esteem, etc. These thought patterns can be changed if you are aware of them. It’s these thoughts that lead to the negative feelings that prompt emotional eating.

Combat emotional eating with mindful eating

Have you ever sat down with a plate, packet, or carton of food, and then suddenly realised that you’d eaten all of it without realising? This is called mindless eating, and often occurs when you’re emotionally eating because your strong feelings distract you from being aware of what – and how much – you are consuming. Be mindful of your meals and snacks at all times. Eat slowly and savour each mouthful.

Adopt healthy alternatives to emotional eating

If you want to control your weight and learn how to stop emotional eating, find healthier ways of dealing with your feelings. Emotional eating is purely a matter of distraction, so find something else to distract you. Hobbies, exercise, relaxation, and socialising are all great ways to keep your emotions in check without piling on unwanted calories.

Hopefully these three tips will go a long way in guiding you through the emotional pitfalls of life, and empower you to cope so that you can learn how to stop emotional eating once and for all.

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