Emotional Eating and Medical Weight Loss
A grumbling stomach isn’t the only thing that makes us want to eat. When we’ve had a stressful day or feel down in the dumps, anxious or bored, we can unwittingly find ourselves in the kitchen, drowning our emotions in aptly-named comfort foods.
During medical weight loss in East Brunswick, emotional eating is a common problem, but you don’t have to let it ruin your weight loss efforts. Negative emotions can cause you to overeat and wreck an otherwise healthy diet, but you can learn to control them. Emotional eating is just one more bad habit to overcome during your medical weight loss program, and you can start by learning how to recognize it.
- Emotional hunger can hit you in an instant. True hunger comes on slowly.
- Emotional hunger will leave you feeling guilty. True hunger will give you no regrets after eating.
- Emotional hunger demands instant gratification. True hunger can wait to be satisfied.
- Emotional hunger will make you crave specific unhealthy foods. True hunger isn’t picky.
Sometimes, the realization that your hunger is emotional can be enough to overcome it, but this won’t always be the case. There are many strategies that can help you avoid this habit during medical weight loss, like:
- Finding the trigger. Each of us has certain situations that are guaranteed to dredge up bad emotions—learning the ones most likely to spark your emotional eating can help you stay strong in times of potential trouble. When you find yourself reaching for an unhealthy food, ask yourself if emotions may be the cause. If so, what may have led to those emotions? Do you feel angry, sad, lonely or stressed out? Keeping a journal of your eating habits and tracking each time you feel emotional hunger can be a great way to pinpoint the causes.
- Doing something else. Once you know that your hunger is caused by emotions, try to find a different way to deal with your feelings. If boredom is the cause, explore a hobby or do something engaging that has nothing to do with food. If anger or stress is the cause, try working off some steam with exercise, or talking the situation out with a close friend. Instead of making a poor eating decision that will ultimately make you feel worse, take control of the situation and do something positive that will make you feel better.
- Controlling your environment. Making your home healthy for medical weight loss can help you take some power away from emotional hunger and be a huge benefit to your diet. If you don’t have unhealthy comfort foods around, you won’t be able to indulge in a moment of weakness.
Emotional eating has hampered the efforts of many dedicated dieters, but you don’t have to let it do the same to you. What other strategies have helped you beat emotional eating during medical weight loss in East Brunswick? Share your experiences in the comments below!