We eat food to survive, and we usually only eat when we are hungry depending on our biological clock or our diet habits we eat a compulsory breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But did you suddenly observe yourself eating non-stop? Do you munch on everything you get?
Yes, you might be in emotional distress. We often see ourselves or our friends who do emotional eating or stress eating. You just had a good meal, but you still feel the urge of eating something. You open an ice cream box and end up finishing the ice cream. If you have noticed the changes then that’s good now reading this article you will know how to stop or control binge eating. Even if you see your friend or someone close to you in under stress and are in a phase of emotional eating then this will be useful for them as well.
Know The Cause
Yes, many people do not even know they are in emotional distress. So first find out what is your cause. Just question yourself whenever you eat food even after lunch or dinner are you really hungry?
If you are in emotional distress, try to solve the issue or talk to a friend, and discuss it with someone. If not take the help of a doctor. Reach out for stress management, meditation, or other techniques.
Be Aware of Your Hunger
Once you are aware of your hunger you would avoid excessive snacking and will start conscious eating. Every time your hand reaches to grab a bite just question yourself. Am I hungry?
When you feel hungry just check if it’s physical hunger or emotional hunger. If it is emotional hunger give a little time for the craving time to pass. If you couldn’t make out the difference, then grab some fruit to eat not junk.
Check if Your Thirsty
Our body communicates with us in different ways. Every time you feel hungry does not mean that you are hungry you might be just thirsty as well.
If you enjoy eating the food then that is fine but after a certain point you know it is bad you eat like this, you know the ill effects of eating still you not able to control and eat it even after knowing it is bad for you then that will lead to health issues as well. Certain people could not control the urge and they will be compelled to eat the food until the box is emptied.
This feeling of helplessness or the situation you cannot control or something out of your hand, you cannot rectify, or you are powerless at that point, and you show that in food. You feel pacified munching something is better and suppress the feeling of helplessness towards things happening in life.
Many people regard food as more than just a source of nourishment when they are hungry. They will be an overwhelming want, and you will feel helpless when you see food. However, there are many things in your life that you may have accomplished with a great deal of devotion and control. You can do it again if you follow the techniques and discipline necessary to manage the impulse to binge eat.
People often overeat when they are bored. When they have nothing to do, restlessness would make them overeat.
When you are bored you might be feeling lonely or empty feeling will be there. Check out and why you are bored, indulge yourself in a fun activity or hobby.
I see people having a bag full of chips without any guilt while watching a show. Sitting on a couch having too many bags of junk food all around and eating whichever is available.
We need to figure out what’s causing your weariness; if it’s just boredom, going for a walk with your dog, watching a movie, or chatting to a friend could help. However, if these do not serve, you may become bored. Instead of overthinking that emotion and eating, attempt to address the underlying problem.
Avoid Guilty Pleasures
We often turn to food when we are depressed, when we are bored when we are angry when we are sleepy when we dislike something and we could not put our opinion out, to concentrate on something. We are dependent on food not just for hunger we seek emotional soothing support from food. Eating food relaxes you momentarily but when it turns into a habit then it could cost your life.
When we are stressed or overthinking, we utilize food as a distraction. Do not seek solace in eating, but instead deal with the matter calmly. Plan ahead of time, be confident in yourself and meditate when you are stressed. Seek advice from a colleague or a friend. If none of those things help, consider therapy.
If you are sleepy, your mind and body might be tired take a 20minute nap. A healthy nap is better than eating something unhealthy.
Unable to concentrate, try meditating. When you eat and try to concentrate you either can’t enjoy the delicacy nor can you concentrate. Initially from day one meditation might not help but slowly it works.
If you are tense about something, have some water to cool yourself and relax your muscles. Do breathe in breath out. Munching something does not change anything.
You are emotional and cried your eyes out why do want to eat a tub of ice cream now? You need to deal with your emotions.
To eliminate your emotional eating, I recommend bringing unconscious needs out of the dark and into the light, so they can be consciously challenged and worked through. You could want a therapist’s assistance as they might occasionally be challenging to recognize on your own. Food won’t be your go-to comfort when you discover new methods to deal with yourself and those underlying triggers. As opposed to that, it becomes a component of a balanced, healthy existence.
If you suddenly realized, you are binge eating or you’re eating a lot then do not start dieting. Even if you control eating in the initial days later you will start eating a lot. which leads to weight gain again.
Make A Note:
When you wanted to stop this emotional eating, you need to follow certain steps to stop the habit, you couldn’t come out of emotional eating abruptly. Keep a food-eating diary and make a note of everything you eat. this is not counting your calories and making you go on a diet again, but it is for conscious eating. You need to know what you are eating and how much you are eating and why you are eating so that you will be able to control the urge of eating.
Daily give some time to relax your mind. Meditation would relieve your stress. Daily do breathing exercises and do meditation for 20 to 30 minutes. Relax and decompress yourself.
Make sure you sleep 8 hours regularly. You need to sleep well to overcome your depression or strain. Good sleep will keep your brain active and will keep the fatigued brain at bay. Stop munching till the moment you sleep. Keep your bed neat and clean and food away from your bed. Don’t watch tv or phone till you sleep, if possible, read a good book till you hit the bed. Good sleep will help you to enable your thinking process, and appetite control and will reduce food cravings. When you don’t sleep well you often have sugary cravings.
Reduce your caffeine intake
When you cannot sleep well or when you are overthinking. People often end up having several cups of tea and coffee. Increased intake of caffeine will increase other problems.
A daily walk or do work out for 30-40 mins. Go for a regular walk to kill boredom and will keep the mind active.
It might be a habit of eating and you can’t stop abruptly. Now you can swap the food of junk food for healthy food. Replace the chips and biscuits and other junk food with fruits or salads. So initially replace junk food with normal food. It is better to have a tub of popcorn, than a bag of chips. Overeating processed food would lead to an increase in stress hormones. Stress, anger, or sadness will crave you for sugary food or junk food. Processed foods and sweets can make depression and other symptoms worse.
Whenever you feel like having food have a bowl of fruits handy, when you feel like ice cream keep some frozen foods handy to kill the sweet tooth and calm your mind.
Beat Out Stress with Herbal Tea
When you are emotional or stressed out you might crave to have food, then instead of food try to have herbal tea, green tea, or matcha tea which would help to soothe your nerves and reduce your stress, and will calm you down.
These teas will have antioxidants and L-theanine which would help reduce your stress.
Stock up food
Choose food wisely which would reduce your stress levels and food that is healthy. It is very hard to switch from binge eating all the time to perfect scheduled eating. But now that you realized you need to eat and overcome the emotional stress of eating you can do it slowly by replacing all unhealthy food with healthy snacks.
Choose food that would reduce stress like dark chocolate, nuts, frozen blueberries will pacify your sweet tooth as well as reduce your stress.
Include in your diet food that increases melatonin which would help you sleep well at the night. Try dark cherries which have melatonin. Eat nuts like walnuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids which may help you sleep.
Include fish in your diet. Whole grains, you can eat popcorn in place of fried chips.
Fruits, legumes, and vegetables all will help you in having a healthy diet as well as they would reduce your stress levels.
The above-mentioned steps might help you in quitting binge eating. What if you’re not able to control it even after trying multiple times? You quit everything being strict with yourself but later you end up eating.
You might be having an underlying health issue or emotional distress which you might not be knowing.
A long-term depression or a wave of deep-rooted anger, lack of confidence to talk openly, even after great hard work unable to achieve what you want any situation might lead to emotional stress.
A hormonal issue where you keep gaining weight no matter what diets you have undergone might lead you to stress.
An unhappy relationship where you struggle to survive might lead you to breakdown and stress.
Financial issues or family burdens might lead to stress.
When you don’t have the habit of sharing your problem with anyone the emotional load will keep increasing leading to a lot of stress.
We cease relying on friends or family after one or two rejections when they are busy, but the food is something that never rejects us, therefore we take solace in it since it is readily available.
Food cravings develop as you get more dependent on food not only physically but also psychologically. You can always seek medical help when you see something abnormal happening with you and your health and your dietary habits.
Counseling might help in cases of long-term depression, anger eating, a deep pain. nearly everyone who eats emotionally is trying to soothe themselves. We don’t rely on people, and we search for the soothing feeling when we are full, you fill the emptiness with food. You try breaking the emotional stress with binge eating.
To reward yourself you eat extra ice cream or an extra bag of chips.
Instead of relying on food for comfort, start looking for it with a companion or a pastime. So, counseling would be helpful. Going to a few sessions and following the steps I stated above will bring you soon to your comfort zone and you soon will be happy with the regular food and habits and you happy to say goodbye to your binge eating.