Kung Fu Panda turns to food in response to a negative stimuli which is triggered by the fact that he is not living his dream. Bridget Jones comfort eats in response to emotions such as anger, despair and loneliness. How many of us stuff our faces in the hope of eating our angst away? sometimes unexpected things happens and life throws you a curve ball which comes attached with stress, grief and despondency. These are the moments when one often turns to food-usually the unhealthy, high-sugar bites as a coping mechanism. This phenomenon is widely termed as emotional eating. However, eating in response to emotions and not hunger can result in overeating, unwanted weight gain and even greater stress.
Farah Chabib, clinical Dietician, Medi Weight loss, contributes for my readers some useful tips to avoid emotional eating.
These are the foods you crave when you're upset. That doesn't mean we can't have these foods, but when they're in the house, access is too easy and we tend to turn to them quickly before dealing with our emotions. If you reach for the potato chips bag every time you feel frustrated, it may be a good idea to leave them out of your house and thus out of your cart on your next trip to the grocery store.
2. Plan your counter-attack
Put a list of the foods that trigger emotions in you. For instance if you notice that when you’re at work you behave very well towards food, but once you’re back home the fiasco starts, then try to find a way to release the stress before coming back home. For instance, get into your comfortable shoes and walk back home if possible or hit the gym after the office!
3. Plan your meals and snacks
If you wait until you are starved, you're more likely to reach for the wrong foods and to overeat. You may also find yourself nibbling all the way through meal preparation.
4. Make your refrigerator a healthy one
One of the easiest ways to ensure healthier eating is to leave you no choice but healthy food! Fill that refrigerator up with healthy nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk.
5. Reward yourself when you eat in a healthy way
Rewarding yourself will increase the likelihood that you will maintain your new healthy habits.
6. Get more sleep
Ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger, rises if you don't rest enough; a less obvious cause of emotional eating is lack of sleep. At the same time, leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, decreases. This could lead to overeating. Plus, being tired could increase irritability and cravings for comfort food. Make sure you`re getting your 7-8 hours of sleep daily.