Tricks to Help You Avoid Emotional Eating
Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am
How do you cope when you are feeling stressed out? Many people resort to emotional eating. They aren’t actually hungry, but the act of eating, and the taste of the food, brings some comfort. Emotional eating might lighten your mood but it can reach a point where it is unhealthy. Here are some tips to help you avoid emotional eating.
How to Avoid Emotional Eating
Try the Apple Test
Are you looking for something to eat because you are stressed out or because you are actually hungry? One way to figure that out is with the apple test. If you truly are hungry, an apple is going to sound just as good as any other snack option. If you don’t want the apple it means you aren’t actually hungry and are about to engage in emotional eating.
The apple test works because it forces you to consciously think about the motivations behind your sudden interest in snacking. Being aware of the reason why you are wanting food can help prevent you from engaging in emotional eating.
Don’t Bring It Home
Is there a specific food that is your go-to when you are experiencing emotional struggles? Don’t bring home that particular food. It can be super easy to grab something out of your kitchen when you are feeling stressed out.
The accessibility of the food brings instant gratification. If you don’t have your go-to food at home, you cannot possibly use it for emotional eating. It might not feel worth it to leave your home in order to obtain that food.
Healthier Versions of Comfort Foods
Another way to avoid emotional eating is to substitute your favorite comfort foods with healthier versions. This might help you to get the taste or consistency of what you are craving in a smaller amount (and possibly less calories).
Dark chocolate is a good substitute for milk chocolate. Choose a dark chocolate that is at least 85% cocoa. The rich taste of dark chocolate will satisfy your craving quicker than milk chocolate would – so you end up eating less. This is just one example of how to substitute a comfort food with a heather version.
Swap Food for An Activity
Have you figured out that you aren’t actually hungry – but still feel like your comfort foods are calling out to you? Swap that food with an activity. Play a quick match-three game online. Go for a short walk. Take five minutes to write in a journal. These easy to do distractions engage your mind in something unrelated to food.