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  • Writer's pictureOllie King


Updated: Feb 21, 2023

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Emotional eating is a common problem for many people. It can be difficult to avoid reaching for food when you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, but there are ways to manage this behaviour. Here are five tips to help you overcome emotional eating and adopt healthier habits.

Practicing Mindfulness is one of the critical aspects of emotional eating is not being aware of your hunger cues. To avoid this, it's essential to take the time to acknowledge your emotions and pay attention to what your body is telling you. This can help you differentiate between actual hunger and emotional cravings. When you're feeling the urge to eat, take a moment to breathe and assess your feelings. Ask yourself if you're hungry or looking for a way to distract yourself from your emotions. Plan your Meals Preparation and planning can go a long way in avoiding emotional eating. When you have healthy, nutritious options readily available, it's easier to make the right choice when you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Take the time to plan your meals and ensure you have plenty of healthy, low-calorie options. You can even prepare your meals in advance so that you have something ready to eat when you need it.

Engage in Physical Activity Regular exercise can help regulate your mood and reduce stress, making it easier to avoid emotional eating. Whether it's a quick workout, a walk around the block, or a yoga session, physical activity can help you release built-up tension and reduce the likelihood of reaching for food when you're feeling upset or overwhelmed.

Find Alternative Coping Mechanisms Identifying other ways to cope with emotions such as stress, boredom, or anxiety can help you avoid emotional eating. Try things like writing, reading, or talking to a friend. Find activities that help you relax and calm down, and make sure you have a few options to turn to when you need them.

5. Get Enough Sleep Sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of emotional eating, so it's important to prioritize getting enough sleep each night. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, and maintain a consistent sleep schedule to help regulate your mood and energy levels.

As a coach, I notice several clients, when starting their journey, will have experienced something like ‘The Overeating Cycle’ shown above in the diagram. Considering all the information above, we must build self-awareness while showing compassion towards ourselves when noticing the triggers, habits and behaviours that lead to emotional eating.

Emotional eating is a common issue, but it's one that you can overcome with time and effort. By practising mindfulness, planning your meals, engaging in physical activity, finding alternative coping mechanisms, and getting enough sleep, you can break the cycle of emotional eating and adopt healthier habits.

Let’s work together on it 👊



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