While everyone knows that food fulfills more needs than that of your stomach, the extent is seldom understood. When you are happy, you may crave a pizza.
When you are depressed or sad, a scoop of ice-cream or cookies may make you feel better. This shows that food does more than just satisfying your hunger.
Apart from satisfying your hunger, food also satisfies your feelings. If you choose for comfort, even if your stomach is not growling, it is considered emotional eating.
Emotional eating suppresses or soothes negative emotions like anger, stress, boredom, depression and also loneliness.
When you are trying to lose extra pounds, this abnormal eating pattern can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. If you have this tendency to overeat, don’t panic! There are many effective ways which can help you to gain your control on overeating behavior.
Effective ways to control your overeating
Recognize your true hunger
Learn the difference between real hunger and an emotional eating tendency. Recognize whether it is physical hunger or emotional hunger that is making you eat more. If you ate few hours ago and still have a gnawing feeling of dissatisfaction, it is possible you are not actually hungry. Let your food cravings dissipate and think about the cause rather than eating more.
Identify your eating triggers
Try to make a list of what you eat, when you eat, what quantity of food you need and also how hungry you are. By doing this, you will begin to recognize the triggers of emotional eating and accordingly be able to take the necessary action to avoid them.
Choose healthy foods
If you really feel the urge to eat between your meals, try to go for low calories, low-fat foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat unbuttered popcorn or go for low-calorie versions of your favorite foods to satisfy your food cravings.
Give your body enough rest
Never try to over-stress yourself physically or emotionally, as these can both trigger food cravings. Include daily physical activity in your regular routine and manage your mood to keep stress at bay.
Maintain healthy balanced diet
When your body doesn’t receive enough calories to meet your energy needs, you also stand more chance of emotional eating. Try to eat healthy foods at regular intervals and include basic food groups in your meals.
Remember that emotional eating is something that develops when you feel overwhelmed, bored, happy or depressed. Try to learn how to control your emotions and avoid undesirable weight gain and other health problems associated with emotional eating.