There’s no secret that, when our private lives takes a turn for the worst, so does our diet. When we are feeling stressed out or we are emotionally falling apart, many of us binge on “comfort food” that includes sugar and fat.
The phrase ‘emotional overeater’ may sound intense, but it refers to people who use food as a tool to battle with feelings of unhappiness and to “help” through tough spots, and I’m sure many of us can associate with that?
Not only can these behavioural patterns destruct all the hard work that you have infused into your diet, they can also advance into a vicious circle of binge eating followed by more feelings of guilt and disgust at your loss of self-control, which can consecutively accelerate into more binge eating.
Could this be you?
If you can relate to more than three of the statements below, you may be an “emotional overeater”.
- I often get a huge craving for one food in particular.
- I sometimes eat even though I’m not hungry.
- I absent mindedly and mechanically eat.
- I tend to not stop eating when I start to feel full.
- I often use food as a bonus or a source of pleasure.
- I rely on food when I’m stressed or upset.
- I always eat when I’m bored.
- I often feel incredibly hungry for no reason.
- I feel I get carried away with my eating habits.
So what can you do when phantom hunger strikes? We have drawn together an ultimate rescue guide for when you feel only a burger and fries will complete you.
Write it down! When keeping a diary of what foods you eat and how you are feeling at the time, this will soon reveal a pattern of why you overeat. For example, every time you can’t meet up with friends, you grab a chocolate bar.
Keep a list of what triggers you. By distinguishing the reasons that make you feel like this leading to your food binge, you can start tackling these problems and resolve them step by step.
Prior to indulging in fatty, high-calorie foods, ask yourself the following:
- What mood am I in?
- Am I really hungry?
- Why do I want this food?
- Is there another healthier option?
- Could I deal with what is making me feel like this?
If all of a sudden you feel gluttonous or you are craving one food in particular, hold off for a while, try around fifteen minutes. Try to focus your mind on something else, like a Crossword. Chances are by the time fifteen minutes have passed, you’re not even hungry anymore.
Healthy stress busters
Instead of stuffing your face with calorific junk, try to stick to some healthy options.
Citrus fruit: Packed with Vitamin C, their natural fruit sugars will be suffice for your sweet tooth.
Shellfish: Prawns and crab are full of mood-lifting selenium plus they taste great with savory or sweet sauces.
Complex Carbs: Instead of filling up with unhealthy stodgy food, tuck into complex carbohydrates such as rice, pulses and potatoes.