The Secrets to Conquering Emotional Eating

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Emotional eating is a coping mechanism we use to deny feelings of stress or anxiety. Whenever we are discontent, we seek comfort in food. When we were young, our parents urged us to "have a cookie" and feel better. Now, we soothe our inner child's emotional letdowns in the same manner.

Eating for emotional gratification results in overeating, weight gain, health problems and more anxiety, which creates another cycle of emotional eating to assuage the self-induced stress we have created with our unhealthy habit.

How do we know if we are emotional eaters? By taking a reality check each time we reach for something to eat. Are we actually hungry, or are we reacting to boredom, depression, loneliness, anxiety, anger or frustration? Only when we practice self-awareness and examine our emotions can we break the habit of burying our feelings and eating our way into a false sense of contentment.

Some methods to conquer the unhealthy habit of emotional eating:

Keep a food journal

Record the food item, time, place and circumstances surrounding each occasion food is ingested. Include meals, snacks, impulse eating and liquids consumed.