When you eat in response to an emotion, that is emotional eating. It’s learned, not innate, response. Think about it, have you ever felt the need for a big serving of pizza or your favorite comfort food? I know I have. I have so many triggers that send me right to food. The biggest trigger for me is when I have an educational meeting for my son. I have been attending these meetings for seven years and they never get easier.
I’m learning how to cope better when it comes to emotional eating. I started attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings and I am currently working my way through the Twelve Steps, but every day is a new challenge. Emotional eating can lead to ups and downs with your weight. Especially if you feel guilty afterward – which then leads to more eating! But when you learn to do something else in response to this emotion, you’re more likely to lose weight and maintain the loss. Emotions are like waves. They peak and then they subside. At first, the food may feel comforting but ultimately eating isn’t helpful. Accepting your emotions and finding a way to distract yourself from eating, can help you stay on track to reach your goals.
Some of the suggestions given in the Weight Watchers Weekly on this topic are to distract and engage.
- Call or text a friend.
- Dance to your favorite song.
- Clean out your closet or junk drawer.
- Read a magazine.
- Play a game on your phone.
- Ride a bike or go for a walk.
- Toss a ball with your pet.
- Go on connect (or social media) for support.
- Watch your favorite TV show.
- Create your own idea _______________.