Sometimes it is because we are hungry. Oftentimes it is for other reasons such as boredom, loneliness, depression or stress.
Eating for emotional reasons can become a very effective way to deal with the feelings we are trying to avoid. That’s why comfort foods are so satisfying. They are a temporary and soothing escape in a harsh world.
However, this false comfort is not free. In fact, the price you pay will usually outweigh the fleeting benefits. Weight gain, guilt, embarrassment and anger are often the by-products left behind.
So how do we break the cycle?
Understand that this is learned behavior. You may have learned to cope with certain feelings by eating. This does not make you a bad person. Weight gain and overeating can serve a purpose during trying times. However, you must recognize when this behavior is no longer serving you.
Habits are just that. They can go on indefinitely until you stop them.
Bringing awareness to the very behaviors you wish to change can make a big difference.
Try to determine where the urge inside of you is coming from. Until you can identify and address the issue(s) at hand they will keep coming back.
Often times eating is a way of coping. Find a better way. Maybe it is taking a brisk walk when the urge hits, or talking to a friend on the phone, or sitting quietly and letting the feelings wash over you. No judgments.
Realize that this is challenging work; but if the desire to change is within you, you can redirect your behaviors to those that make you feel proud, strong and healthy.
What can you do differently? The next time you feel the urge to eat through your emotions, what will you do instead? Map out your plan below.