Do you know if you’re an emotional eater? Emotional eating is driven by emotions instead of physical hunger. You might be an emotional eater if you:
- Have intense cravings for specific foods (high sugar, fat or salty)
- Eat for comfort
- Feel emotional relief after eating
- Eat when you are not physically hungry
- Your emotions trigger “false hunger”
- Suppress negative emotions with food
There are many ways to face your emotions and overcome emotional eating but today I will give your 3 tips to help you overcome emotional eating.
Face Your Feelings Instead of Suppressing Them
As children we express any and all of our feelings but as we get older we learn to suppress feelings of anger, shame and other negative feelings. Instead of dealing with these negative emotions we find ways to cover it up and avoid them. Some people suppress their feelings with food.
- Face feelings head on.
- Food is a source of energy and fuel. It is neutral.
- Find ways other than eating to cope with difficult people, situations and emotions.
- Realize that eating is not a coping mechanism.
Cope Instead of Self Medicating
When we lack the coping skills needed to navigate the ups and downs of life many will self medicate with food. Self medication is almost always a learned behavior that is used to protect us from the pain of dealing with difficult emotions.
- Talk with a trusted friend or family member
- Talk with a licensed counselor or health care professional
- Build a strong support system
- Develop appropriate coping mechanisms
- Learn to love yourself as you are
Make Peace with Your Painful Memories
We all have painful memories and past experiences that we would like to forget. Facing these memories head on with the help of a family member, friend of health professional can help you find closure and help you move on. When you are able to start your journey you will learn how to:
- Put the past behind you
- Love yourself as you are
- Repair your relationship with food and your body
- Set up coping mechanisms instead of relying on food.
What strategies have you used to overcome emotional eating?