One of the biggest obstacles to weight loss, for many people, is this idea of emotional eating. Emotional eating is a common problem, both for men and for women. In the most basic sense, emotional eating means that you eat based on when your feelings or your emotions – rather than your body – tell you that it’s time to eat, or how much you should eat when it’s time.
To truly hit your weight loss goals, you need to get a grip on emotional eating. First, its important to identify the kinds of emotional eating that may take place. For some people, emotional eating means that they eat or overeat when they’re sad, depressed or even confused. For them, eating becomes a way to escape from their problems, and a way for them to avoid having to take any action to solve those same problems.
One of the biggest difficulties with emotional eating, and the reason that it’s so difficult for weight loss, is that emotional eaters rarely turn to healthy foods. If you were to grab a stick of celery each time you were to feel like eating because of your emotions, you’d probably be all right. Unfortunately, unless that celery is covered in peanut butter and chocolate, chances are that’s not the food you’re going to be grabbing. We like to eat sweet foods, greasy foods or salty foods when we’re emotionally eating.
Here are some of the common signs that you may be an emotional eater:
- Emotional eaters often find that they’re eating even without realizing that they are doing it.
- Emotional eaters very often will feel shame or guilt associated with eating.
- Emotional eaters often eat by themselves or in strange places, so as not to be noticed by their friends or family.
- Emotional eaters often eat after a stressful event, such as an argument with their spouse or children.
- Emotional eaters tend to have cravings for specific sorts of foods when they’re upset. Chocolate is common, but so are other foods.
- Emotional eaters may eat out of sheer boredom at times.
- Emotional eaters tend to get a temporary boost to their mood when they eat.
If you’re an emotional eater, you need to address the issue from several angles. Start by choosing more healthy foods to snack on when you feel hungry, but also work on breaking the vicious cycle that comes from eating when you’re feeling down or confused.