This is a guest post by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topic of nursing colleges.
No matter if you attend the gym on a regular basis, if you are an emotional eater chances are you’ll never truly reach your weight-loss or fitness goals. If you are uncertain what emotional eating is, it is simply the act of eating when you are not hungry—meaning, you more or less eat just because it’s there. Emotional eating is triggered by an array of different factors, including boredom, stress, fear, heartache and anger. And while it’s better than reaching out to other vices such as drugs and alcohol to help cope, emotional eating is equally as unhealthy and destructive—it can affect you both physically and emotionally, especially for those who get upset once they realize their body has “transformed,” but not into the toned, statuesque figure that they wanted. To learn how you can avoid emotional eating and stay on track with your fitness goals, continue reading.
Listen to Your Body
The first way to avoid emotional eating is to learn how to pick up on body cues. Wait until your body tells you that you’re hungry before you start to snack. The obvious body cue will be a rumbling or growling noise. You might even experience a slight headache. But if you know that you ate just a few hours ago, instead of grabbing a bite to eat drink some water instead. Sometimes our bodies trick us into thinking we are hungry when in reality we are thirsty. So wait a while to see if the cravings or hunger surpasses before you attempt to head to the fridge. Regardless, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking the standard 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
This applies to both food and removing yourself from the location that may trigger your emotional eating. The first thing you need to do is get rid of all of the foods that you typically turn to whenever you experience heightened levels of stress or sadness. The only way to learn some self-control is to not have those items available to you in the first place. This is not to say that you have to go cold turkey and deprive yourself immediately. In fact, going cold turkey may backfire and cause you to binge eat even more. But you can replace your comfort foods with a low fat, low calorie alternative. You also want to make sure that if you find yourself cooped up in the house and you are bored, find something to keep yourself active rather than stuffing your face. This would be a good time to go to the gym, take a walk, go visit a friend or watch a movie.
Keep Track of Habits
It’s equally important to try to keep track of your eating habits. For instance, write them down on a piece of paper, in a journal, or use some computer software to document what you eat, how much you eat, and most importantly the way that you felt that day. In time you will most likely see a connection between particular moods and your love of food. By understanding the connection between your moods and eating habits, you might be able to learn what triggers this kind of eating behavior and learn how to control it on your own will-power. But before you learn the real connection, it’s best to avoid grocery stores and restaurants whenever you are particularly moody or emotional.
This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of nursing colleges. She welcomes your comments below, as well as any questions you may have!