How to Stop the Stress/Emotional Eating Cycle

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By: Krystle Crossman

Stress eating and eating your feelings is a common problem. Many people feel that they need to turn to food when they need comfort. Some people eat when they are bored because there is nothing else that they feel like doing. Many people eat while they are doing other things because they feel the need to multitask. There are different things that you can do to limit the amount of stress or emotional eating that you do so that you can limit the amount of extra calories you take in:

1. Don’t grab any snack that you can find while you are sitting down and watching television or reading a book. When you are distracted with something else while you are in the process of eating food you will overeat. Make sure that you sit down with nothing else to distract you and focus on the food that you have in front of you. This way you will be able to see the portion that you are eating as opposed to mindlessly chewing away.

2. Before sitting down for a full meal take a few deep breaths and calm yourself. When you are stressed you may eat more than you normally would so try and get rid of some of the stress that you are feeling before you sit down.

3. Make sure that you are enjoying the food that you are eating. Step back and think about what it is that you enjoy eating the most. Don’t eat foods that you don’t enjoy. You won’t eat enough and then will go back for more unhealthy snack foods later.

4. Once you find the food that you enjoy eating make sure you take the time to savor it. Eat slowly. Enjoy every bite that you are putting in your mouth. There are plenty of foods that you like to eat so make sure that you get to enjoy them to the fullest. If you rush through you will end up eating more than you want to because it is gone too quickly.

5. Think about why you are about to eat something. If you are bored, try and find something else to occupy you that is away from food. Take a walk, do some housework, or read a book. You may think that you are hungry but if you are bored as well, chances are that you are being fooled by your brain. If you are sad or in a bad mood, watch out for the sweets. Many people turn to sweet foods when they are down in the dumps.

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