If you find yourself reaching for a piece of chocolate cake during stressful moments it’s probably one of the biggest hurdles you are facing with weight loss or weight management. A lot of people turn to the refrigerator and food for comfort during moments of sadness, anger, anxiety and stress. Along with these additional calories comes an aversion to exercise at the same time in most cases. This means that you are fighting a double problem that is only going to cause you additional stress. Continuing on this path will lead you to an eating disorder.
Here are some tips that can help you avoid these food cravings during your most emotional moments.
1. Keep track of when you’re eating the most
In order to handle the situation you’ll need to first find out exactly what it is. Don’t assume that you are eating every time you get emotional because it simply may not be the case. During moments of anger you may not need that food while you may be reaching for calories when you are feeling sad or anxious.
Keep a journal of your diet habits along with your moods. By connecting up the two different components you’ll be able to see any trends that may be occurring. This will put you in a much better place to handle the habit since you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with. It’s really difficult to correct a problem when you’re not 100% sure what the issue really is.
2. Understand that it’s just temporary
When you’re in a moment of crisis it seems like your mood is going to last a lifetime. When you understand that your mood is going to be getting better soon and that what you are feeling is only temporarily pain, it will help you get through this need for food. Make some type of plan to keep yourself busy until you see a change occurring with your feelings. You’ll be trying to ride out the storm so to speak so that you can avoid taking in extra calories at this time.
3. It’s a vice
Food can be used as an escape so that you don’t have to face the problems that you have. Any time that you turn to a vice for support, you are lowering your own capabilities as a person. You are turning food into a coping strategy and once you do it often enough it can become a habit that’s extremely difficult to break. You will actually start believing that unless you have comfort food by your side you won’t be able to get through a situation. In this type of scenario you’ll need to look for your inner strength and believe in yourself more than you ever have before. You are a lot stronger than you think you are and you can pull on this strength within and put the food aside.
4. The excuses will make you fail
You know that you can stop emotional eating in its tracks if you want to. It’s just hard when you have all of your excuses lined up in a row and ready to grab when you need them. At a time when you are feeling upbeat write down all the excuses you give for eating when times are stressful. Make a pact with yourself that you will no longer rely on these excuses and you just may find that when the time comes to reach for the food you’ll remember that the excuses don’t count anymore and you will be able to turn away from it.
5. Switch your eating habits over to something else
There are probably a lot of things that you love to do and a lot of people in your life that support you. Turn to these people and these activities in your time of need. They will help you get through the problems in your life in a more positive way.
It is never a good idea to start dieting until you have this emotional eating under control. You will be tackling too many different situations at the same time. Give yourself a month to work out the emotional food pattern before starting any type of diet. You’ll find that it’s a lot easier to count calories and carbs once you have abandoned your reliance on food for emotional support.
By Anna Kaminsky