The so-called emotional eating, on one hand, makes us feel satisfied, on the other hand, cause some serious problems to our health. Many emotional eaters feel trapped and eat to regain a sense of control over their perceived powerlessness. Emotional eaters can also eat because you are angry. Loneliness is another reason why emotional eaters seek comfort in food. Many people may feel more alone at night when you are less likely to be in the midst of people. Food provides comfort and many emotional eaters try to fill the void with food. If you come home from work and feel stressed, you tend to seek food for comfort and relaxation. The fear and uncertainty is another reason you overeat. When you are fearful, you can see the food as a ‘reliable’ friend. Therefore, it is important to distinguish the real need of food to that of purely emotional needs. Below are some suggestions to appease the psychological hunger.
Sometimes, when we see a dish that we like, we are tempted to eat it, even if, in reality, we are not hungry. To avoid this emotional eating, we can keep the food in the fridge or in a cupboard away from our sight. In this case, the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’, really works: the more the food will be out of our sight, the more we forget to have it in the house.
Junk food (candy, chocolate, ice cream, confectionery etc.) should be limited as much as possible. The easiest way to avoid overeating is to not buy high-calorie foods and sweets. When we go to the grocery store, in fact, it is good to resist buying these foods.
If you are a person who eats when they are bored, then try to avoid boredom, dedicating to activities that interest you. For example, you can do something useful or pleasant; clean the house, take a walk, go shopping, go out with friends, dedicate yourself to exercise, read a good book, watch a movie, or simply get out of the house so as not to give into the lure of food.
Chewing gum, at times, can keep us so busy that we forget to eat. Moreover, it helps us to prevent the desire for sweets and high-calorie foods.
When we’re bored, we can try to practice healthy exercises that will allow us to relax and achieve important results. Usually, after an intense workout, your body will want to eat healthy and nutritious protein-rich foods that strengthen your muscles.
When we’re bored, we can try to replace the bad food with something healthier and more enjoyable. Among the interesting activities that can engage and preserve us from emotional hunger, there are: reading books, watching movies, shopping and so on. Among the alternatives to high-calorie foods, however, we must not forget concentrates of fruits and vegetables (the so-called smoothie), low-calorie snacks, yoghurt, crackers and cereals.
Maintaining a food journal can be helpful. If you eat in the evening, begin to write the foods that you eat and your feelings at the time. With a diary, you may begin to notice a pattern of emotional eating. Identifying these feelings and learn to cope with these feelings in a different way before you reach for food as a source of comfort.