When my best friend broke up with her boy friend the major change in her was not emotional, but it was physical. She had gained a lot of weight.
I couldn’t believe it at first because she is a fussy eater. But then it came to my notice that she has been in the “emotional zone” of their break up for a long time.
She found comfort only when she ate something. The emotions dwell and made her give up against calorie based food items. The emotional eating is more prone towards sweets and deserts. Thus it results in gaining more calories with every scoop of ice cream or with every bite of chocolate.
This story, alas, is repeated throughout the world… a million times!
There are many dieticians and psychologists who have explained and stated clearly that Emotional Eating is simply a problem when people consume food in large quantities, often overeating.
But the problem is that this eating behaviour is in response to emotional feelings… not of hunger. They also estimated that 75% of over eating by anyone is due to emotions. These emotional eaters don’t realise that food can give comfort only for the short-term.
In any case, I was really worried about my friend and to help her out of this habit I spoke with therapists and some reputed psychologists. They did throw their technical jargon but they also made me see the positive side. They made me understand that it can be controlled and one can overcome the habit of emotional habit.
It was necessary to identify how this kind of eating was getting activated. There are 5 symptoms that one should notice in someone else or in your own self.
The 5 symptoms are:
- The social pressure of being encouraged to eat unhealthy.
- The time where eating becomes the response of emotional feelings like fatigue, loneliness, anxiety, etc.
- The time when you think negative and you feel like eating.
- The moment when you see a food ad or pass a junk food corner, you get tempted to eat.
- The instances where you get hungry when you have a headache or any physiological instances.
These are some instances or can say symptoms that indicate the emotional eating. It isn’t something to get scared about if you can relate to the above symptoms. It is very important to remember that nothing is impossible.
So to overcome this emotional eating behaviour one has to be determined to make some conscious efforts to eradicate this from the lifestyle.
There few tricks and hacks that are proven to be affective on the emotional eating behaviour.
Find a good diet program. This first step cannot be overstated. To control your food intake, you need to a find a good nutrition program. Our recommendation highly goes to the Beyond Diet, a new gluten free diet that makes it very simple for you to transition from your current diet. Read more about this diet.
Next, it’s time to supervise your stress: In the busy life it is very much difficult to even manage our daily schedules, but in these stressful schedules there is no place to be yourself.
Make a deliberate effort to have a relaxing “ME” time. But the “ME” time should exclude eating. There are activities like yoga, gym, swimming, etc. that would give the desired peace to think straight and not trigger the emotional eating behaviour.
Why are you eating that? It is very much necessary to spot the triggers. Just because your boss yelled at you that doesn’t give you the reason to eat something! You should have control over eating it should not be situational based. Next time when you are sad or agitated don’t put food in your mouth.
Friends in need: Now, whenever you are feeling low and you know that you are about to intake a food item, pick up your phone and talk with them.
Let that friend help you and be there for you in your tough times. This will make your friendship go stronger and your relationship with eating will be despaired.
Make your diary your best friend: There are few things that we don’t want to share with anyone, and that is the time when you should write it down everything.
Lock this diary and keep the key with you, tell this diary everything that you feel, why the emotional eating triggers, and when the eating desire tries to overcome what you did that time? How you fought it? Tell the diary everything. EVERYTHING!
Read to forget the Desire: Books are proven to be very helpful not only to improve knowledge and language but to divert one’s mind. I always gave my friend to read when she felt like eating, and she felt even more relaxed and charged with the words in the books than the sugar in Kit Kats or any desert.
Remember, emotional eating is not a disease that can’t be cured; it is an unhealthy urge that needs to be tamed.
I helped my friend by doing so; you can help yourself or even your dear ones by following some of these basic steps. All the best.