Tips to Avoid Emotional Eating
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- Identify the emotions that make you eat, and do something else to cope instead.
- Picture your goal weight the next time a trigger strikes to help you resist temptation.
- Find another joy/hobby to do that can help you when you are feeling emotional. Before eating a meal remind yourself of something you really enjoy doing and tell yourself you will do that after you finish eating. That way you won’t feel like your favorite hobby (eating) is over after you eat. You will have something else to look forward to instead of eating more food.
- If sadness is an emotional trigger, do something else that makes you happy. For example watch a funny movie, when you feel sad, and don’t eat while you watch it. Or pray or call a friend when you are sad.
- When a trigger or craving hits, reward yourself or comfort yourself right away with something else you enjoy. Ex: dance, read, other hobbies, shop, call a friend, see a movie, Take deep breaths or baths, go to spas, get messages, read a devotional, pray etc. These are great ways to reward yourself for not caving into the emotion.
- Visualize success.
- Pause and pray every time you are experiencing a strong emotion.
- Watch a movie when you are snacking due to boredom. This works better than TV, because you may want to eat while watching the movie at first, but soon you will be so into the movie you will forget about food. TV doesn’t work as well because you will start thinking about food during commercials.
- When stressed, exercise instead of eating. Exercising is one of the greatest ways to ease stress. Remember exercise suppresses appetites. Exercise also generates energy, relieves stress, and improves moods.
- If you like to snack when you are busy, stressed, or studying, have healthy raw veggies on hand.
- You can even have your snacks already portioned out ahead of time in snack size containers like Steelware Snap Seal Leak-proof Stainless Steel Snack Size Lunch Box Containers for Adults and Kids (12 oz. each).
- If food is your only source of pleasure, make sure to reconnect with other things you enjoy like sports, music, volunteering, or movies.
- Take up a hobby so that you can enjoy another activity in your leisure time besides eating. People who succeed at weight control tend to develop new hobbies, interests, and friendships.
- Accept your feelings.
- Don’t keep tempting comfort foods in the house. If you know you will eat a high calorie food when you are upset, don’t keep that food in the house.
- If you tend to eat when you are tired, try doing something relaxing instead like closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, and praying.
*If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.
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