How to overcome emotional eating and cravings

5th April 2023

Emotional eating and cravings can be a struggle for many people. It's easy to turn to food as a way to cope with stress, boredom, or other emotions. However, relying on food as a source of comfort can lead to overeating and weight gain. Here are some tips on how to overcome emotional eating and cravings.


  • Identify your triggers


The first step in overcoming emotional eating is to identify your triggers. What emotions or situations make you want to reach for food? Are you stressed, bored, or feeling down? Once you identify your triggers, you can start to develop strategies to cope with them in a healthier way.


  • Practice mindfulness


Mindfulness is the practice of being present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. By practicing mindfulness, you can become more aware of your emotions and the reasons behind your cravings. This can help you break the cycle of emotional eating and develop a healthier relationship with food.


  • Find alternative ways to cope


Instead of turning to food when you're feeling stressed or anxious, try finding alternative ways to cope. Exercise, meditation, journaling, or spending time in nature are all great ways to reduce stress and improve your mood. Find activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good, and make them a regular part of your routine.


  • Keep a food journal


Keeping a food journal can be a helpful tool in identifying patterns in your eating habits. Write down what you eat, when you eat, and how you're feeling before and after eating. This can help you identify triggers and develop strategies to cope with emotional eating.


  • Practice portion control


It is okay to indulge in your favourite foods every once in a while, but it's important to practice portion control. Instead of eating an entire bag of chips or a pint of ice cream, measure out a portion and savour it slowly. This can help you enjoy your favourite foods without over indulging.


  • Stay hydrated


Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help reduce emotional eating and craving and keep you feeling full. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day, and consider drinking herbal tea or flavoured water as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks.


  • Get enough sleep


Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being, and can also help reduce cravings. When you're tired, your body produces more of the hormone ghrelin, which can increase appetite and cravings. Always remember to aim for at least seven to eight hours of good sleep at night, and keep on trying to establish a regular sleep schedule to overcome the emotional eating and carving.


  • Seek support from your loved ones


If emotional eating and cravings are a persistent problem, don't be afraid to seek support. Talk to a friend or family member, or consider joining a support group. You can also seek the help of a registered dietitian or therapist, who can provide guidance and support in developing healthier habits.


In conclusion, emotional eating and cravings can be a challenge to overcome, but with the right strategies and support, it's possible to develop a healthier relationship with food. By identifying your triggers, practicing mindfulness, finding alternative ways to cope, practicing portion control, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and seeking support, you can break the cycle of emotional eating and take control of your health and well-being.


Remember to be patient and kind to yourself along the way, and celebrate small victories as you work towards your goals.


 Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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