What Even is Emotional Eating?First, let’s talk about what emotional eating is. Harvard Health describes emotional eating as eating comfort food when things in life get stressful. The problem is that while it may feel like a temporary fix to your stressed to the max emotions, it doesn’t last long and occasionally comes with a feeling of guilt. The good news? There are ways you can say no to emotional eating and yes to healthier and much longer-lasting stress-busting hacks instead.
4 Hacks to Combat Emotional Eating
#1 Stop & ReflectWhen you’re feeling stressed out and going to the fridge, stop and ask yourself, are you really hungry, or are you looking to fill a void? Stopping and pausing for a moment can be a very simple but powerful way to check in with your body and figure out if you are eating because you are really hungry or if stress is ruling your food choices.
#2 Next, Do Something For You!If you determine that you’re not truly hungry and you’re comfort eating, now’s the perfect time to practice some self-care. Leave the kitchen and get outside for a walk or do a five-minute meditation. Or maybe you’re looking for connection and need to reach out to a friend or loved one. Just do something that makes you feel amazing and a bit less stressed — over time, you’ll learn that you can beat those feelings of stress without having to turn to comfort foods.
#3 Check-in With Your BodyAnother super helpful tip is to check in with your body when you’re feeling stressed and craving certain foods. Be on the lookout for certain signs of emotional eating like:
- Eating just to satisfy an emotion, not true hunger
- Craving a specific kind of food
- Eating at time you may not normally reach for food (like late at night)
- Having a sudden desire to eat
- Feeling embarrassed when stress eating