Tricks to Help You Avoid Emotional Eating
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Tricks to Help You Avoid Emotional Eating

Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Are you an emotional eater? These simple tricks might help you to avoid eating due to stress when you aren't actually hungry.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.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.