This particular problem does affect quite a lot of people and can prevent them from trying to lose weight, some habits in particular this one are in fact very hard to shake off and overcome.
Here are some tips that hopefully that will will be able to help you if you’re one of those people that does have a problem with emotional eating.
What causes it ?
As with any kind of addiction normally you will probably find there is a root cause behind the particular problem, it is probably fair to say that some people do realise that they are doing it while others probably don’t.
As people our whole being depends on one thing survival, now the thing with food is some foods will give more of a euphoric feeling than others do. And you will probably find this is a starting point as to what is making you do it.
As with many addictions this is purely a habit based around a learned behavior as in you eat a particular food and it makes you feel good.
This is what is behind most habits/learned behavior you can apply this model to almost anything whether it be smoking, drinking or any other overindulgence that you may have.
Something say might have happened in your past it could be way back in your childhood so far back that you might not even remember.
I mean I dare say that we all remember how good we felt when someone gave us some sweets to eat, when we were feeling a bit miserable one-day and this somehow managed to cheer us up. This how habits become formed later on in life.
Emotional eating will stop people from feeling less anxious and or distressed, eating quite a lot of food will reduce blood sugar levels which in turn reduces the uncomfortable feelings. Over eating will eventually stop the pain that the person may be suffering from.
Some ways to prevent it
This list is by no means exhaustive but you may find that some of these, methods may help you with your emotional eating however some may not, but as with everything in life there is no harm in trying. I myself have always been an advocate of trying alternative different methods to stop particular learned behavior. So here are some ways that may be able to help you with your emotional eating.
Ice cream: try this instead, put a banana in the fridge with the skin off it may not taste as sweet but, is a very good healthy alternative to ice cream.
Pizza: if you’re wanting to eat pizza have a go at making your own you can buy wholemeal flour and then top it with lots of vegetables, such as green and red peppers, mushrooms, just make sure that you use low-fat cheese for the topping.
Chips: we all like chips I do especially, but have a go at trying this healthy alternative get a sweet potato and cut into thin slices so you have potato wedges, put them on a baking tray with some cooking oil brushed lightly over each side. Sweet potatoes are full of goodness and a good source of fibre and many of the nutrients.
Hamburgers: If you have a bit of a Mc-D habit then try this healthy alternative instead, buy some of your own seeded buns wholemeal ones, then add some sliced turkey with lettuce and low-fat mayonnaise.
Chocolate:Havedark chocolate instead of plain chocolate also there is a chocolate substitute that you can buy from health food shops. You can use this to make the your own chocolate treats it will probably work out cheaper as well doing this.
Sweets:This may be one of the hardest things that you might want to stop as regards emotional eating, instead of eating hard-boiled sweets, substitute these for fruit such as pears, bananas, grapes, pineapple, cherries, strawberries, peaches and nectarines.
Keep a emotional eating diary
This is an important part of realizing when and how and what is causing your problem in the first place. If you can see in black and white that you are emotionally eating and once you become aware of it,it’s far easier to stop it.
The swish pattern
involves visualization the way it works is this you see the person you are eating the food that you shouldn’t be eating, in a picture in your mind then what you do is in the far right-hand corner of the image, there is a small dot of a picture of you eating a healthier option, what you have to do is quickly swish from the image to the other also attach the feelings associated with the problem to how you want to feel eating the better food and attach negative feelings to the other you eating the emotional food.
If you can’t get to grips with this then go to this website where there is a audio explaining how to do it properly swish pattern.
The picture frame
As a experiment try this think about eating something that you will eat when you’re feeling emotional. For example imagine that you are eating a cake one with sugar coating on the outside think about how it would feel as you are eating it. See yourself putting it into your mouth and the feeling of the sugar as you eat it.
You will probably find that you will start to get cravings for this particular food which goes to prove that it’s a associational thing, as well as being associated with a particular emotion also.
What you need to do is this imagine the food in a picture frame and remove all the colour so it is black-and-white, at the same time remember the emotion attached to the food what you could do also is add some hair to it so that your mind would think that you are eating the hair as well.
EFT (emotional free technique)
This involves acupuncture but without using needles what you do is tap various parts of your body in order to collapse the negative feelings associated with the food, here is a diagram so you can see which points you need to tap and also a link to a site which has videos on it that you can watch in order to try this method. It’s far easier to do it this way than explain it by typing.