Emotional EatingPosted: May 31 in Weight loss by Staff
Do our emotions influence our eating habits? The answer for most people is an unequivocal “Yes, but I wish I had more control.” Think about the times you are likely to overeat. Happy occasions? When you’re sad, nervous, angry? What kinds of foods do you eat during these times of emotion?
We don’t often plan to eat emotionally — it just happens. What, as emotional beings can we do to minimize the caloric damage from emotional overeating?
The first line of defense could be to keep foods that we nosh on emotionally out of our living and working spaces. It’s pretty hard to eat a candy bar if there are none within reach. Grocery shopping when our tummies are full can help us to make more reasonable choices at the market.
A second solution might be to find lower calorie foods to treat our emotional hunger. If chomping on crunchy veggies would help you to get through an angry moment, plan to keep them in the fridge as a staple. Think about a hot warm cup of sweet cinnamon tea or a bowl of brothy soup when you’re sad or down. What healthy foods help you reset?
Another useful tool to deal with emotions is exercise. Slow ambling strolls can be good for treating sadness or working out confusing times. A hard run or a challenging hike can work for anger or frustration. Some people like to burn off their negative energy in the weight room! You can also try things that help you relax — a hot bath is just the best for an all around tough day.
How about making a list of healthier ways to deal with your more difficult emotion? Come on, eat happy!
-By Tracy Boykin, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist