How to stop emotional eating
How to stop emotional eating is a very common search criterion on Google and other search engines. Emotional eating, also known as stress eating, is when humans consume food to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, bad feelings, agitation, and other emotional disturbances.? People worldwide are asking and, unfortunately, can’t find a good answer. The problem is that stress eating is a pathological response of your body to environmental and psychological changes around you.
In this article, I, Dr. Victor Tsan, will explain how to stop emotional eating, the nature of emotional eating, aka stress eating, and the best ways to take control of this inappropriate “behavior.”
Hopefully, I will find the precise answer on how to stop emotional eating and show you the best ways of doing that. I said “hopefully” because no one has found the right answer so far.
What is emotional eating?
Emotional eating is eating out of control—eating in response to your emotions rather than your need to replenish your food supplies. Hunger is a programmed response, a survival mechanism to keep us alive and healthy.
Hunger is initially felt when there is a drop in blood sugar levels. This is our body’s way of notifying us that our fuel is running low. It’s like that light on your car’s dashboard that comes on when the gas tank has just a few gallons left.
And like when you fill that gas tank and the light goes out when you eat, blood sugar returns to normal, and hunger disappears.
That’s how it naturally works, unless you learn different unhealthy responses.
If you have gotten caught up in emotional eating, you have learned to deal with some emotion by distracting yourself from the emotion by eating.
Perhaps you learned it when you were a lot younger, and your mother would feed you whenever you felt out of sorts. Or maybe you learned it when you went to the doctor for shots, and after the trauma of getting stuck with needles, the nurse gave you a lollipop to stop your crying.
However you learned it, you found that distraction worked to deal with your emotions.
Most people have eaten for emotional reasons at one time or another. It can be the go-to thought when there is stress.
Eating to manage emotions over a long period of time can have some negative consequences. One of the biggest problems with using food to manage emotions is that it can lead to weight issues, and many more problems come with weight.
Eating for emotional reasons is used to quiet any of several emotions, such as sadness, anger, frustration, loneliness, or boredom, to name a few. Emotional hunger is not the same as physical hunger (the valid reason to eat), and you are looking for food to satisfy the emotional need.
Emotional eating means that you eat for reasons other than hunger. You may eat because you’re sad, depressed, stressed, or lonely. Or you may use food as a reward. Food can be soothing and distract you from what’s bothering you.
If you are an emotional eater, you may not listen to your body’s natural hunger and fullness signals. You may eat more than you need or want.
Emotional eating can interfere with making healthy food choices. And it can keep you from losing a healthy weight and staying there.
What are the triggers for emotional eating?
There are different ways to stop eating stress; for instance, keep a food journal and write down the times you feel like eating. You should start to see a pattern that will help you identify your triggers for emotional eating.
You need to find an activity that can replace eating at your most vulnerable times. Exercise is a great way to burn calories, get in shape, reduce stress, and feel good about yourself. Exercise does not have to be about lifting weights or spending hours in the gym; find something fun you will enjoy, such as a dance class or a game of badminton.
Also, learn to relax much more, as stress often leads to a poor diet. Take long walks or an herbal bath, and make some quiet time each day just for you. You can break the cycle of emotional eating with positive action. Now that you know the common causes of emotional eating, change your lifestyle and avoid those common triggers that cause you to overeat.
What are the causes of binge-eating?
Emotional eating, or binge eating, is a massive problem for many people who struggle with weight and usually highlights a person’s unhealthy relationship with food. You can only break the habit of binge eating if you identify what causes you to snack in this manner; you must discover the situations and feelings that trigger you to lose control of your eating habits.
Listed below are the causes of binge eating:
- Poor self-esteem.
- Unhappy with your body shape?
- Marital or relationship problems.
- Financial worries.
- Lack of energy and inactivity.
People rarely satisfy their emotional needs with a fresh green salad or excessive amounts of fruit. Emotional eating involves consuming copious amounts of junk food, convenience foods, and sweet snacks such as cake and chocolate.
Symptoms of emotional eating
The starting point for emotional eating is to know if you engage in it. Truthfully, many people are unaware of what they are doing, thinking they are simply overeating. The foods chosen for emotional eating tend to be those that you would consider comfort foods: high in fat, salt, and sugar. Here are some signs of emotional eating:
- Eating when you are not hungry.
- Eating when you are experiencing feelings.
- Eating and feeling guilty afterward.
- Overeating and not knowing why.
- You crave food for no apparent reason and think you cannot live without it.
Other signs and symptoms of stress eating are:
- Eating will soothe your feelings.
- Using food as a reward. (For example, “That was a tough job, assignment, or argument. I need some ice cream, candy, or popcorn.
Activities to promote and stabilize emotional or stress balance:
- Take some time to define what makes you happy and what makes you upset. Increase the happy things in your life and try to avoid the things that cause you upset.
- Get enough sleep to wake up feeling rested and ready to tackle another day.
- Put your emotions into words and express yourself orally or in writing. This gets the emotional energy out of your body, where it can do potential harm.
- Breathe deeply to relax your body, and meditate or pray daily. This will help to remove stress from your life.
- Be intimate and appropriately express love.
- Reflect and identify the great things about yourself to boost your confidence and security.
- Develop and nurture friendships, have fun, laugh, and celebrate the little things in life.
- Make a conscious effort to turn every negative thing you might think or say into a positive.
- Maintain a conscious monitor of how you are doing emotionally every day. Be the watcher of your thoughts and emotions.
- Increase your daily time outside. Connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of simplicity.
- Give yourself 30 minutes daily to find your center and clear your mind.
- Use meditation, prayer, yoga, and other relaxation procedures to guide you toward a relaxed state.
- Try to avoid going to bed feeling stuffed from eating.
- Maintain a positive attitude and a sense of control over your life.
- Drink more water.
Therapy for emotional eating and how to stop emotional eating
There are different types of therapy for emotional eating. Listed below is an effective form of emotional eating therapy.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioral therapy is focused on balancing and accepting your eating disorder. DBT stresses having compassion for yourself as you are while challenging yourself to make changes in your behavior. It also offers concrete tools for managing strong feelings, improving relationships, and learning to live in the present.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you understand the thought patterns that keep you stuck in your eating disorder. You may have received messages that you aren’t good enough or that it doesn’t matter how hard you try. You might even think, on some level, that you don’t deserve to be happier than you are. CBT helps you to discover and rewrite these damaging mental scripts.
Psychodynamic therapy understands our present as rooted in our past. A therapist works to help you address issues from childhood and throughout your life that may play out in your relationship with food today. A psychodynamic therapist can help you find healthier ways to meet your needs by determining what drives your eating behavior.
Hypnosis is the best way to stop eating emotionally.
Using self-hypnosis for emotional eating is a quick way to regain control over what type of food you eat and when you eat. It is a way to regain control over all aspects of food and eating that seem out of your control.
The problem got out of hand because, since that feeling had nothing to do with hunger, no matter how much you ate, you would return to feeling unsatisfied. After all, eating was only a temporary distraction. So, you feel bad, and then what happens? That’s right; you go right back to eating again. So, do you see how this gets out of hand and how easy it is to overeat? There’s no regulation on feeling full. Your body works to find room for the extra food you take in, and you become overweight or obese and out of shape.
With hypnosis for emotional eating, you learn to respond to that emotion in a way that satisfies it rather than distracting you from it. Let’s say that the feeling is coming up because you are sad, not hungry. Well, did you know that every one of our emotions is a message from our inner mind? And it has a specific meaning.
Sadness means that you have lost something or somebody. And that doesn’t mean that you are hungry. It means you need to find a replacement for what you lost. With hypnosis for stress eating, you get to identify the feeling that causes your distraction from food. And once identified, you can address the feeling in a way that will satisfy it.
Said? Then, find a replacement. And when you do that and the feeling goes away, you won’t have any need to eat because there’s no feeling you need to be distracted from.
You can then use self-hypnosis for emotional eating to start building the natural habits of a healthy and fit person.
Using mental rehearsal in a relaxed trance state will build the habits that will lead you to regain control over those behaviors that have caused you to gain weight.
And over time, you will lose that weight and learn to live a healthy and fit life.
How to stop emotional eating in Philadelphia, PA.
Emotional eating is a severe problem because it will lead to being overweight or obese and, as a result, to chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, etc. If you are suffering from emotional eating and are still looking for the answer on how to stop it, if you believe you need professional help, contact our office at (267) 403-3085 to set up an appointment and discuss with Doctor Tsan if hypnotherapy for stress eating is the right treatment choice for you.