Published by ForeverStrong, 24th March 2022

Do you ever find yourself racing to the pantry when you’re feeling down or upset? Finding comfort in food is more common than you might think. The practice of reaching for food when feeling the need to suppress or soothe negative emotions can become a vicious cycle of excess eating and associated problems like weight gain.  
But it’s important to know that you CAN break this cycle by understanding emotional eating and what triggers it for you.
𝗘𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗛𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝘃𝘀 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝗲 𝗛𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿
True hunger develops slowly over time and you will desire a variety of food groups. You feel the sensation of fullness and take it as a cue to stop eating. Additionally you don’t have any negative feelings about eating.
Emotional hunger on the other hand comes about suddenly and abruptly and you typically crave only certain foods. At this point you may binge on food without feeling a sensation of fullness. Afterwards it’s very common to feel guilt or shame.
𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗘𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗘𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴
One method of coping with emotional eating is by keeping your mind engaged, you can accomplish this by journaling, reading a book or finding time to otherwise relax or decompress from the day.
One of the most effective ways to not only get your mind off binge eating but to combat negative feelings is to exercise. An engaging workout can help you decompress after a stressful day and by incorporating healthy eating habits you can be on your way to teaching yourself better ways to deal with negative emotions.
𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗮 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗿𝘆
Keeping a log of what/when you eat may help you identify triggers that lead to emotional eating. While it can be challenging, try to include everything you eat — however big or small — and record the emotions you’re feeling in that moment.
𝗘𝗮𝘁 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆
Making sure you get enough nutrients to fuel your body is also key. It can be difficult to distinguish between true and emotional hunger. If you eat well throughout the day, it may be easier to spot when you’re eating out of boredom or sadness or stress.
Remember: Don’t allow emotional eating to control your physical and emotional wellbeing – be sure to find solutions to cope with your emotions in a healthy manner, like the examples above and don’t allow emotional eating to get you off track while you work towards your weight loss goals.

final note

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