So what is emotional eating anyway? if you’re reading this you might be thinking, am I an emotional eater? emotional eating is when use eating to satisfy our emotional needs rather than to satisfy our hunger needs.
The first thing is to identify the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger, for instance you’re in a stressful situation & all you can think about is eating pizza & forgetting about everything including your body composition goals. That is a big sign stress is a trigger for you, other triggers could be boredom or social type influences. What are some alternatives to emotional eating? Let’s dive into my 3 keys to finally conquer and remove these unwanted emotional eating patterns.
Key #1 Regular Exercise
Now this might be obvious to some but you need to find some form of regular exercise to incorporate into your lifestyle. This can be a yoga class 3 times per week, signing up to your local gym and started with a regular training program or even something as simple as a dance class. Finding a hobby or a passion which you enjoy and is a form of exercise will keep you busy during the week and can have amazing benefits for your lifestyle.
And if you don’t like to leave the house, there are plenty of home workouts and fun exercises you can complete in the comfort of your own home. I have many stay at home mum’s who love to keep themselves busy when at home with weekly home HIIT sessions, Ab / Core workouts and resistance-band sessions, if you’re interested in training from home you can learn more here.
Key #2 Keep In Contact With Friends & Family
Having supportive friends and family on your side not only helps keep you levelled emotionally but provides you with a stimulus and way to stay grounded in stressful times when you may feel like mindlessly overindulging on those favourite foods you love.
Another time when you may feel the need to emotional eat is times of boredom. Having some close friends and family to call or visit will give you an alternative with a more positive option when feeling bored. Be careful though as you want to make sure the friends and family members you choose to associate with are on the same page!, so if you decide to visit that friend who just wants to eat pizza and drink beer all night, the temptation may be too much.
Key #3 Learn To Relax & Learn Meditation Techniques
Feeling uneasy is never a good feeling and when you have a bad day or week! it’s important to find a balance. One way to have a balance is to learn how to relax, and a great to relax is by practising meditation techniques, just 15 minutes each day can have amazing benefits in your life. Meditation not only can help you with avoiding overeating, there are numerous health benefits from recent studies including:
- Feelings of well-being
- Less anxiety
- A slower respiratory rate
- Lower heart rate
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower blood pressure
- Less stress
- Better sleep
Here is a simple meditation technique to follow, start for just 5 minutes and then slowly increase for longer periods:
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- Close your eyes, if you have something to put over your eyes like a face mask or cooling mask then even better.
- Breath in and out naturally, don’t try to force your breathing.
- Now focus primarily on your breathing and how your body feels as you take each breath, in and out. Observe how your body reacts, your chest & rib cage and stomach. If your mind starts to wonder, return the focus back to your breathing.
Wrapping It All Up
Remember there’s a time and a place for a scheduled “diet break” or “cheat meal”, which can have amazing benefits when structured into a properly planned nutrition & training program, if emotional eating is happening on a regular basis it’s time to identify the triggers and find positive alternatives to start incorporating into your lifestyle.
I hope this has helped you understand a little more about emotional eating, leave a comment below and make sure you share with someone who you think could benefit from this post! 🙂