Conquer Emotional Eating With These Simple Tricks

Emotional eating is the term used when people use food to hide from, deal with, or even celebrate intense human emotions. 

​Emotional eating can be triggered by stress, fatigue, boredom, or emotions like loneliness or sadness, among other things. If you turn to food for feelings of comfort or stress-relief, it’s important to know that you’re not alone.

Emotional eating is a habit that many people have developed as a self-soothing technique over a number of years. But, by becoming mindful of what you eat and why you’re eating will greatly improve both your waistline and mental well-being. In this short article, we’ll go over a few common triggers for emotional eating as well as some simple tricks that you can employ to overcome emotional eating for good!

Stress-Eating
Stress is one of the top triggers when it comes to emotional eating. Stressful situations and stressful inputs like work-related stress, financial stress or family-related stress can all potentially drive us to eat in order to relieve the feelings associated with the situation at hand.

To avoid stress eating, it is important to get in touch with your own hunger cues so you can recognize whether you are truly hungry or you are turning to food for comfort and stress-relief. When you struggle with the urge to open the fridge, use a mindfulness practice to be in the moment and observe what’s happening. The pause should help you to better understand the reasons behind your cravings.

Simple Trick 1: Take Deep Breaths
Yes, it sounds simple, but there is a reason that deep breathing tops the list of almost any meditation or de-stressing practices, and that’s because it works. Close your eyes and take long, deep breaths for 3 to 5 minutes, filling your belly with air and pushing it all out.

Simple Trick 2: Drink Water or Tea
Not only are water and tea both healthy and hydrating, but they can also distract you from any stress-eating hunger cues you might be feeling. Many of us mistake hunger for thirst, not just during times of stress but all the time. If you are feeling like you need something to eat, see if a tall glass of water will satiate you first.

Eating When You’re Exhausted
It is super common to crave food when you’re tired or fatigued. If you’ve been sitting at a computer for hours on end and can barely ask your brain to make one more decision, indulging in easy, convenience-type comfort food might seem like a common-sense answer.

Simple Trick: If you find that you turn to emotional eating when you are overly tired or burned out, a great way to distract yourself from this trigger is to take a break from the activity causing the tiredness. Take a nap, go outside, take a walk or do some household chores. Give yourself a chance to fully reset before returning to the activity in question

Eating When You’re Bored
Another common trigger is boredom. Between the constant influx of activities and stimulation from screens, we are no longer used to the feeling of boredom and it causes us to feel uncomfortable and alone. Without adequate coping strategies, boredom can lead to eating or overeating, because eating is, well, something to do.

Simple Trick: Have a list of potential activities you can do to relieve boredom. Think: read a book, play a game, do the laundry, do some gardening, etc. Keep this list handy for when the urge strikes. 

Conquer Emotional Eating With These Simple Tricks6/11/20210 Comments​Emotional eating is the term used when people use food to hide from, deal with, or even celebrate intense human emotions. ​Emotional eating can be triggered by stress, fatigue, boredom, or emotions like loneliness or sadness, among other things. If you turn to food for feelings of comfort or stress-relief, it’s important to know that you’re not alone.Emotional eating is a habit that many people have developed as a self-soothing technique over a number of years. But, by becoming mindful of what you eat and why you’re eating will greatly improve both your waistline and mental well-being. In this short article, we’ll go over a few common triggers for emotional eating as well as some simple tricks that you can employ to overcome emotional eating for good!Stress-Eating
Stress is one of the top triggers when it comes to emotional eating. Stressful situations and stressful inputs like work-related stress, financial stress or family-related stress can all potentially drive us to eat in order to relieve the feelings associated with the situation at hand.

To avoid stress eating, it is important to get in touch with your own hunger cues so you can recognize whether you are truly hungry or you are turning to food for comfort and stress-relief. When you struggle with the urge to open the fridge, use a mindfulness practice to be in the moment and observe what’s happening. The pause should help you to better understand the reasons behind your cravings.
Simple Trick 1: Take Deep Breaths
Yes, it sounds simple, but there is a reason that deep breathing tops the list of almost any meditation or de-stressing practices, and that’s because it works. Close your eyes and take long, deep breaths for 3 to 5 minutes, filling your belly with air and pushing it all out.Simple Trick 2: Drink Water or Tea
Not only are water and tea both healthy and hydrating, but they can also distract you from any stress-eating hunger cues you might be feeling. Many of us mistake hunger for thirst, not just during times of stress but all the time. If you are feeling like you need something to eat, see if a tall glass of water will satiate you first.
Eating When You’re Exhausted
It is super common to crave food when you’re tired or fatigued. If you’ve been sitting at a computer for hours on end and can barely ask your brain to make one more decision, indulging in easy, convenience-type comfort food might seem like a common-sense answer.Simple Trick: If you find that you turn to emotional eating when you are overly tired or burned out, a great way to distract yourself from this trigger is to take a break from the activity causing the tiredness. Take a nap, go outside, take a walk or do some household chores. Give yourself a chance to fully reset before returning to the activity in questionEating When You’re Bored
Another common trigger is boredom. Between the constant influx of activities and stimulation from screens, we are no longer used to the feeling of boredom and it causes us to feel uncomfortable and alone. Without adequate coping strategies, boredom can lead to eating or overeating, because eating is, well, something to do.Simple Trick: Have a list of potential activities you can do to relieve boredom. Think: read a book, play a game, do the laundry, do some gardening, etc. Keep this list handy for when the urge strikes. 
Emotional Eating From Loneliness or Sadness
Many of us use food to avoid feeling unpleasant emotions. Food can be a way to soothe our emotions as well as a way to distract ourselves from them. During the act of eating, you might feel some relief from the emotion, but as soon as you’re finished eating, the negative emotions will return.The best way to work through this emotional eating trigger is to get more comfortable feeling these unpleasant emotions. Remind yourself that emotions, even strong ones, are only temporary and that in time they will pass. You can also employ some other ways to distract or work through your emotions, like journaling, painting, exercising, or talking with someone about how you feel.Simple Trick: Try putting on some music! Make a go-to playlist that makes you feel good, energizes you and uplifts you.
Emotional eating is a very common issue that many of us deal with daily. It is important to take steps to understand as well as address your emotional eating, so you can find better ways to cope with intense emotions, boredom, or fatigue.​Overcoming emotional eating isn’t easy, so it’s important to be understanding with yourself on this journey. You most likely won’t be able to give up every bad food habit in one day, especially since they’ve been cultivated over a lifetime. Take it slow and practice addressing these common emotional eating triggers. Awareness of the trigger is a very important step in overcoming emotional eating. Go through this list whenever you feel the urge to self-soothe with food.

Remember, we’ve all been our own victims to emotional eating and drinking, and we’ll probably all do it again:) You’re not alone. But with a little help you can minimise the emotional rollercoaster.
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Eating Habits that Influence Good Mental Health

By Tonny Wandella

We’re taught from an early age that eating healthy helps us feel and look our best. What we aren’t frequently taught is that excellent eating has a huge impact on our mental health as well. A nutritious, well-balanced diet can improve our ability to think clearly & feel more awake. It also helps with focus and attention span.

An inadequate diet, on the other hand, can cause weariness, decreased decision-making, and slow reaction time. In fact, poor nutrition can increase, and even cause, stress and melancholy.

Aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as meals high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, to improve your mental health. Dark green leafy veggies, in particular, are brain-protective. Nuts, seeds, and legumes, like beans and lentils, are also fantastic brain meals.

What is the relationship between Food and Mood?

Food satisfies both the body and the intellect. We eat nutritious foods in order for our bodies to grow, repair, and function properly. Our brain requires nutritional nutrients as well. In reality, it’s extremely hungry – the brain consumes approximately 20% of our overall daily energy requirements.

When we eat healthy foods, we provide our bodies (and brains) with the building blocks they require to function optimally. All nutrients, from minerals and vitamins to healthy fats and fibre, play a role in brain health and performance.

Following healthy eating, a pattern has been linked to improved stress management, better sleep quality, higher focus, and overall mental well-being. Our eating choices have an impact on both our physical and mental health.

Foods to Eat to Improve Your Mood

There is no such thing as a superfood for mental health. It’s all about balance, variety, and consuming foods from all five dietary categories.

Fruits and vegetables include fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy intestinal environment. Fibre is a favourite food of the beneficial bacteria in our gut, which promote our overall health in a variety of ways. Fruits and vegetables also provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote brain function. Aim for two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables every day.

Wholegrains are another fantastic source of fibre for our good gut bacteria, as well as healthy lipids for brain function and slow carbs for a consistent supply of brain fuel.

Protein included in lean meats, fish, and eggs serves as a building block for various brain chemicals that might affect our mood. Fish, particularly fatty fish, as well as nuts, seeds, and legumes, are high in the beneficial fats and vitamins that promote excellent mental health and are believed to guard against dementia and depression. Dairy foods, such as yoghurt, contain living good bacteria (called probiotics) that can improve our gut health, which in turn influences our mood and also mental health.

Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, helps to prevent dehydration, which is a major cause of headaches, weariness, and ‘brain fog,’ which can impair our ability to concentrate. However, avoid soothing your thirst with sugary liquids, such as soft drinks.

it is important to remember that the causes of mental illness are many and varied, and they will often present and persist independently of nutrition and diet. Thus, the increased understanding of potential connections between food and mental wellbeing should never be used to support automatic assumptions, or stigmatisation, about an individual’s dietary choices and mental health. Indeed, such stigmatisation could be itself be a casual pathway to increasing the risk of poorer mental health.

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