Emotional eating or stress eating is a situation in which an individual indulges in overeating to satisfy their cravings or cope with unpleasant emotions developed due to excessive stress and anxiety. Indulging in overeating at times is not bad but when a person begins to use it as the primary way to deal with their stress, it points towards a mental health problem. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), around 33 percent adults who indulge in overeating or eat unhealthy foods due to stress say that doing so diverts their attention from the anxiety or stress they are feeling.
Eating comfort food during stressful periods or when one is feeling anxious helps one feel better temporarily as it raises their blood sugar levels, which in turn, makes them feel satisfied. But, one must realize that such a quick boost in an individual’s blood sugar level is dangerous and can lead to excessive weight gain and other health hazards. Sometimes, it may even lead to the development of binge eating disorder (BED). Therefore, it is important to control and manage one’s diet. Some simple tips that one can use to ensure that they do not indulge in emotional eating due to anxiety are mentioned below. Use these the next time you want to give in to emotional eating.
Evaluate your emotional state
Before opting to eat anything, one should assess the status of their mental health. In other words, they should try to identify signs of stress, anxiety, anger or depression that they may be feeling. Such signs are an indication that one needs to take a break. Doing so can help a person make better food choices and avoid the risk of numbing pain with food.
Identify the triggers
Being aware of the triggers can be a great way of avoiding emotional eating. These triggers could range from an event from childhood, or something that someone says. Doing so would warn the individual about the onset of a particular emotion that may lead to emotional eating. In fact, identifying triggers can also help one attaining recovery from mental illnesses.
Seek help from family and friends
Surrounding oneself with friends and family is one of the best and healthiest ways to overcome anxiety and thereby, avoid the risk of emotional eating. Calling a friend or engaging in a healthy conversation with a family member can be a great idea to find comfort in a healthy way, when feeling emotionally bust.
Plan your meals
Planning your meals in advance can be a strong detriment to one’s cravings for unhealthy foods. This is because having a set meal plan will help one anticipate the meal preparing the brain to expect a particular dish. Further, it can make one practice intentional eating and look at each meal as the only way to satiate their hunger. This, in turn, would distance them from unhealthy foods and their cravings.
Practicing self-care techniques is also a good way to overcome anxiety and the urge to overeat. Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga or exercise can help one calm down their senses and gain control over their feelings, thus avoiding emotional eating. This would also act as a great way to stay healthy and avoid any risk of developing unhealthy habits.
Road to recovery
One can overcome anxiety in a number of other ways like eating a healthy diet, having a good night’s sleep, limiting the intake of alcohol and caffeine, etc. It is important for every individual to keep anxiety in control as mismanaged anxiety can increase the risk of developing several other dangerous conditions like insomnia, perpetual headache, loss of appetite, etc.
If you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety and is looking for anxiety disorders treatment in Florida, the Florida Helpline for Anxiety can help. Call us at our 24/7 anxiety helpline (855) 920-9834 or chat online with one of our experts to get in touch with the best anxiety treatment centers in Florida.