Do you often find yourself eating unhealthy foods out of anxiety, stress, boredom, or tiredness? If yes, you are an ‘emotional eater’. The term refers to people who feed themselves too much to suppress and soothe negative or unpleasant feelings. In some cases, people feel guilty post emotional eating but the damage cannot be reversed. It is one of the major causes of obesity in both sexes but especially in women.

Why do we opt for food when in distress?

When you are going through negative emotions, you feel an emptiness inside you. Foods fill that void and create a temporary and false feeling of fullness. Moreover, this activity is driven by your survival instincts. A human body doesn’t understand the difference between different types of stress as the stress of failing an exam and being chased by a lion. Then, it starts craving food to fulfil the quick demand for energy. As a result, you eat sugar and carbohydrate-containing foods. 

There are other factors too behind emotional eating. For example, not taking emotional support when needed, not engaging in activities known to relieve stress and anxiety, involving oneself in negative self-talking, etc. So, how to get rid of this problem? Let’s find out.

Ways to overcome emotional eating

The first step towards getting rid of this behaviour is to identify your triggers. One of the warning signs of emotional eating is a sudden feeling of hunger. This doesn’t happen when you are in physical need to eat. 

If stress triggers your emotional eating behavior, discover other ways like yoga, deep breathing, meditation, etc. to deal with this negative emotion. You can also read a book or do anything that you feel can relax you. 

If boredom is the reason behind the issue, substitute your emotional eating behavior with something healthier like listening to music, watching a movie, calling a friend, or playing with your pet. If your hunger seems unbearable, opt for healthy foods like fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.

If nothing seems working, ask for help. Talk to your friends and family and join a support group if needed.