Food can distract you from your pain, but food cannot take away your pain. In fact, over-eating the wrong food can create more pain ……. By Karen Salmansohn.
Emotional eating is defined as overeating in order to relieve negative emotions. Thus, emotional eating is considered as a maladaptive coping strategy. If an individual frequently engages themselves in emotional eating, it can increase the risk of developing other eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa and bulimia. It is rightly said that it is difficult to change the way we respond to stress and emotional trouble in life. Some experts compare it to a smoker, trying to break the psychological cues that make him to reach for a cigarette. Emotional eating can be a direct result of not being conscious of what or why we are eating. Therapists call this as Unconscious eating because even our stomach is full our brain does not realize the feeling of fullness and unknowingly the person keeps on binging food. Try these tips to get control on emotional eating: –
1. Walk – Outdoor walk is a great way to get relieve from stress, boredom and even anger than a bowl of food.
2. Yoga and Meditation – Yoga and meditation really helps to overcome stress in daily life.
3. Eat only at the table – Researchers said that when a person is eating on the couch, at desk, in the car or standing, brain doesn’t always register the fact that he had a meal and that can lead to feeling of deprivation and overeating later in the day. Even during a snack time, a person should eat the snack sitting around a table. Basically, it forces a person to focus on the type of food consumption and registers it in the brain.
4. Avoid eating alone – Company of meal really matters, if a person is eating maximum meals with family or friends, he/she will enjoy the food more, will eat slowly and afterwards there would be feeling of fullness. Diet researchers have found that people who sit down for at least one meal a day with family are more likely to be thinner, eat healthier and have lower risk of major diseases like cancer and heart disease.
5. Relax and eat – Due to hectic schedule, there are chances a person may be tempted to grab crackers, chips, whatever’s readily available. Instead of such readily available food, devote 20 minutes to do something relaxing like play on the floor with kids, spend some time stretching, take a warm shower and relax. Have a proper meal according to the requirement.
6. Food dairy – Keeping a food dairy can help to identify situation when someone is more likely to eat because of emotional instead of physical hunger. Tracking food behavior is another way someone can gain insight into their eating habits.
Becker-Phelps, a psychologist says, “Greater self- compassion is the first step towards learning to comfort yourself in other ways. Beating yourself up over it only adds to your stress, which can lead to more emotional eating. Pay attention to the thoughts and feelings you have before you eat. The more aware you are of your inner experiences, the more you can choose how to cope with unconscious eating and turning it into conscious and healthy eating.”