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Emotional Eating - Solutions to Help You Conquer the Problem

You might have been there… Coming home after a trying day and succumbing to stress eating. While the cycle is intricate, it is escapable when inheriting the solution and applying tips to stop stress eating.


You might have been there…

Coming home after a trying day and tempted to eat those feelings away. Unfortunately, the abundance of processed, innutritious foods adds extra temptation and withdraws any willpower.

But eating for reasons other than hunger and succumbing to those negative emotions can cause unwanted side effects, weight gain and feelings of guilt included.

The cycle is intricate, yet escapable, especially when inheriting the solution regarding how to stop emotional eating.

What Causes Emotional Eating?

Humans are emotional in nature and eating is often a byproduct of these emotions during assorted occasions.

Think about it: We eat cake to celebrate another year of precious life. We gather around the dinner table with loved ones during the holidays. We cheer with champagne to applaud a work promotion.

On the contrary, though, emotional eating is oftentimes fueled by negative reactions. Also known as stress eating, emotional eating is exactly what it sounds like: Eating based on stress and emotions rather than physical hunger.

Emotional eating can be triggered by a number of factors, including a major life event, work stress, a relationship conflict, and financial worry, and lead to the consumption of "emotional food."

Emotional Food – What is It?

When stress, anger, worry, and other negative feelings emerge, food is sought out as a comfort measure for immediate pain relief. Emotions likewise have a strong tie and bond to diet choices and, unfortunately, the chosen foods tend to be rich in sugar, fat, and calories and consumed in large volumes

Emotional eating can be further fueled by dopamine, also known as the "feel good" hormone. Especially in strong emotional bouts, taking to food can release dopamine and activate the reward and pleasure centers and potentially diminish the efficiency of satiety cues, which likely causes excessive food intake.

Nonetheless, the cycle can be complicated, tiring, and lead to weight gain. So if wondering how to stop emotional eating and lose weight for good, breaking the cycle may include a nutritionally-balanced diet program.

How to Stop Emotional Eating

The best diet for emotional eaters is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather a tailored, nutritionally-balanced meal program that satisfies personal needs and preferences.

A structured meal delivery program can break the cycle of stress eating by reducing added stress and regulating hormones.

A Meal Delivery Program Reduces Added Stress

Whether changing career paths or, stress can compact and trigger And amidst a busy schedule, skipping out on the drive thru and preparing a healthy meal may seem like a feat.

A meal delivery program can take one task off your list by providing meals directly to your doorstep. You can enjoy proportioned, nutritionally-adequate meals to ensure the body is acquiring the nutrients it needs to function optimally without the need for regular grocery shopping and meal prepping.

A Meal Delivery Service Helps Regulate Hormones

Limiting stress in itself helps control hormones, especially cortisol. The addition of wholesome foods can further regulate hormones through the provision of vitamins and nutrients that support them.

A number of nutritional deficiencies can compromise hormone function, and a balanced diet helps to ensure nutritional gaps are filled.

As a general rule of thumb, a well-composed eating pattern emphasizes whole grains, lean and plant-based proteins, fruits and veggies, and healthy fat sources.

Nervous Eating - Additional Tips

In addition to considering a meal delivery plan, there are additional tips to help conquer stress and nervous eating.

Ask Yourself If You Are Truly Hungry

Too often we turn to food based on anger, sadness, boredom, and monotony. Therefore, rather than automatically heading to the kitchen in the presence of negative emotions and absence of distractors, take a step back and ask yourself if you are truly eating based on hunger.

Unlike cravings, which are more of a mental desire, hunger is a physical need for food and results to a growling stomach, headache, and loss of energy. Hunger is often not exclusive to one food, and individuals are more apt to feel satisfied after eating.

So if you ask yourself whether or not you really need to eat, you will be able to better determine if you are eating based on true hunger or just upset, bored, etc.

What’s more, nutritionally-adequate meals are a great way to regulate the kind of food you should eat compared to the kind of food you want to eat for that quick, sugary fix.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating encourages its followers to eat based on intuition, which includes paying attention to the senses and identifying hunger and satiety cues.

Mindful eating shows success in the treatment of disordered eating and weight management, making it a valuable approach to hinder emotional eating and consequences of weight gain.

Practice mindful eating with the following tips:

• Sit at a designated eating area
• Be free of distractions, including the television and cell phone
• Acknowledge the way food smells, tastes, feels, etc.
• Eat slowly, or at least 15 to 20 minutes
• Pay attention to hunger and satiety cues

Restructure the Environment

Rather than filling the cabinets with processed foods and having a candy dish at your desk, restructure the environment so it is conducive to healthier eating practices.

To illustrate, keep freshly cut veggies in the fridge and swap out the candy dish for a fruit basket.

Interrupt Triggers in their Tracks

Being able to identify and interrupt trigger foods and responses is imperative to deter an emotional eating bout.

Consistently disrupting such thoughts and actions can start diminishing such negative habits and cultivate new, healthier ones.

Find New Ways to Relieve Stress

So if eating to relieve stress or fill a void, confront it and fill it with a positive action, including:

• Going for a walk
• Calling a friend
• Stepping outside for fresh air
• Journaling
• Reading a book
• Meditating
• Practicing yoga

Ultimately, make life more fulfilling by paying attention to what might be lacking, whether it be focusing on your career, family or significant other or reconnecting with an old friend.

Enjoy Life's Indulgences

Following a restrictive diet can be tantalizing to food cravings, which ultimately heightens temptations and the risks of emotional eating binges.

So rather than constantly settling to deprivation, allow yourself to enjoy life's indulgences and special occasions. Eating based on true hunger and during positive emotions fosters healthy, balanced living!

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on July 15, 2013. Updated on February 07, 2019.


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