Emotional Eating: A Diet and Weight Loss Difficulty

Posted: Mar 26 in Blog tagged by Staff

Emotional Eating: A Diet and Weight Loss DifficultyWhen you’ve had a stressful day or a lonely evening, have you ever found yourself rummaging through the fridge despite your lack of hunger? As you stay focused on your diet and weight loss efforts in Crawfordsville, it’s important to remember that an empty belly isn’t the only thing that can make us want to eat. Emotional eating is a hurdle that many need to overcome during medical weight loss, but it’s one that you can leave behind you with a little dedication.

As its name suggests, emotional eating can be the result of just about any emotion, good or bad. Stress and sadness are common negative triggers, but we may also overeat when we’re celebrating or excited. Wherever emotional eating comes from, it can tack on many extra calories to your diet, slowing weight loss progress considerably.

Because emotional eating starts with emotional hunger, eliminating it from your lifestyle starts by learning more about this precursor. Emotional hunger is dissimilar to physical hunger in many ways, and identifying its warning signs can help you stop it in its tracks. When you feel the urge to eat, ask these questions:

  • Can it wait? Emotional hunger hits in an instant and typically makes us seek immediate satisfaction, while we can often delay before eating when physically hungry.
  • Am I open to options? Emotional hunger tends to make us crave specific comfort foods.
  • Will I stop when I’m full? With physical hunger, we’re content when our stomachs are filled, but emotional hunger can make you keep eating.

It may take time to start seeing emotional hunger for what it is, but taking a closer look at your urges can help you keep hunger cues separate. If you think you may be experiencing emotional hunger, you’ll next need to ask yourself these questions:

  • What caused this? What event or feeling is at the core of your urge to eat? Think about your emotions and what may have contributed to them. Stress, anger, sadness, boredom, loneliness and happiness may all be emotional triggers for you, so start tracking your emotional state and eating habits in a journal to help yourself see patterns.
  • What can I do about it? Emotional eating may be the result of many years of using food as a coping mechanism, but remember that there is always a more effective solution to your problem. When you know some of your potential triggers, come up with solutions that solve your issue outside the kitchen—anger and stress can be effectively worked off with exercise, while boredom and loneliness are often solvable with a call to a good friend.

Like any bad habit, emotional eating is something you can put an end to during your diet and weight loss program in Crawfordsville. For more advice on ending emotional eating habits, speak with your weight loss doctor.

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