Emotional eating: why it happens and how to stop it?

The problem of overeating remains relevant today, for many people such a relationship with food is the only available way to fight negative emotions.

Let’s try to understand and answer the question: why do I overeat? There can be many reasons for it, however we will discuss the most common:

1. You do not understand your emotions, do not know how to deal with them, so the best decision you make is to go and get some food. For example, you’re angry at your boss or you’re worried about the future, so instead of extracting unpleasant emotions from your body in a sustainable way, you start using food as a solution.

Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash

2. You do not listen to your body and its true needs. You should understand how many calories your body needs for comfortable consumption, and due to it form the diet. To count calories you can choose a standard form, it is 1900-2100 kcal per day for women and 2100-2300 kcal for men, or refer to a dietician who, based on your lifestyle and preferences, can calculate the desired daily rate. Our team actually can make it for you in the most comfortable and best way.

3. You get very tired and instead of a good rest (e.g. sleep) use food as an opportunity to get a portion of pleasure and relaxation.

Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Also the cause of overeating can be your psychological experiences, for example:

- Sensitivity to criticism;

- Experience of humiliation;

- Need for protection;

- Suppressed anger;

- Dissatisfaction with oneself;

- Self-criticism;

- Denying your feelings and yourself.

Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash

If one (or several) of these reasons seemed close to you, then let’s figure out how to deal with overeating. What should we start with?

You will agree, this path is long and difficult, because it is very difficult to change your eating habits. You’re probably gonna lose it, and it’s gonna take a certain amount of time but you should remember that it’s totally normal.

There is a technique called «Diet Diary»: Every time you eat, record your feelings by answering three questions:

1. What am I eating now?

2. How am I feeling now?

3. What did I feel after eating?

After keeping the diary for a while, you will understand what is the cause of overeating (for example, you have a lack of positive emotions), and you will be able to build a strategy of switching to a regular nutrition.

Cover photo by mahdi chaghari on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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