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    Emotional Overeating and Breaking the Cycle

    Emotional Overeating and Breaking the Cycle

    We all have certain foods that go with high-stress, emotional situations. Ice cream, cupcakes, chocolate. Emotional overeating is so common, it even has it’s own month, April.

    We can partially blame biology for our emotional food indulgence. When we are stressed, our bodies release a stress hormone called cortisol, which increases cravings for carbs, sugars, and fatty foods. Although the food soothes us in the moment, later we feel guilty.

    How do you break the cycle? Try these 5 tips.

    1) Identify true hunger: How long has it been since you last ate? Are you in emotional turmoil, like stress, anger, depression, sadness? Try to identify if your body actually needs food or if you are just looking for an outlet to soothe your emotional turbulence. Although this can often be hard because most emotional eaters are unaware of the situation until later, identifying the difference in hunger can help. Many, after taking this step, find that they emotionally eat at specific times, like late at night or during the workday stress.

    2) Distract yourself: If you identify those cravings as stress cravings, try distracting yourself from hunger. Not sure howe? Try giving yourself a positive talk or calling a friend to discuss your day. You could write in a journal or simply read. Meditating or taking a short walk can work wonders as well.

    3) Eat balanced meals: This is almost a ‘duh’ tip. Balanced meals will help you feel full longer than eating tons of the foods you crave when stressed. Also, eat in moderation. If you just can’t live without that ice cream, just eat a small amount instead of the whole tub.

    4) Keep a food journal: Keeping up with what you eat and when can help you regulate your cravings. You will know if it is time for you to be hungry or if this could be emotional hunger. You also might discover some trigger foods or instances that cause your emotional hunger.

    5) Exercise and Rest: Exercise is the the most efficient and best mood enhancer. Exercising at least three times a week as well as getting a full night’s rest will make a huge difference in your mood and your life.

    We live in a society that supports being slim, sometimes to an extreme. Don’t put unrealistic ideals on yourself. Strive to be healthy instead of thin or skinny. If you have questions or concerns, contact Cory Lee at 662-282-4949.

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