4 strategies to help overcome emotional eating

We're living in a new binging culture. Most of us are guilty of enjoying one too many Netflix marathons and weekend shopping sprees. The same applies to our relationship with food. We can easily give ourselves another reason to have a second slice of cake. Maybe it's cold outside? A long day at work? Some bad news? Overindulging on food in these instances is a common behavior, but there are ways we can kick this habit into touch.

Emotional, environmental and physical triggers


Improving our diet is not only about eating less. It's also about recognizing the reasons we overeat. An extra portion of fries may be the result of being overworked. Or another helping of chocolate cake might be due to boredom. It's important to take the time to ask yourself, what triggers you to overeat?


Everyone who overeats is not hungry, a lot of them are filling an emotional problem with more food than they need. Other common reasons to overeat include poor relationships, dissatisfaction in your body, low self-esteem, and stress. There are also other triggers: environmental triggers, like when you go to a cafeteria and they are offering free samples, we smell a delicious bakery and we need to have something; and physical triggers: coming home from a long day at work, we feel tired and just grab the first thing we can find.  Take a moment right now to think what makes you overeat…


What can we do?


Once you have identified the main reasons why you overeat, you can use this to your advantage. For example, if you realize your emotional eating is a response to boredom, you can fill your time with hobbies, personal projects and social occasions with friends. By doing this you replace the opportunity for you to overeat with an opportunity to experience happiness and a more rewarding life. Some other proven strategies include:


·       Tune into your body: by listening to your body rather than looking at the clock, you are more likely to eat out of hunger rather than eating because of emotions or convention.

·       Make eating social: eating fast can cause you to overeat because your body doesn't have time to realize that you have had enough. If you can make your meal times more social by eating with friends and family, you can slow down your eating. Not only does this give your body time to realize when you are full and stop you from overeating, but you also spend more valuable time with loved ones.

·       Replacement: similar to the strategy mentioned earlier, you can replace eating with another activity. Instead of reaching inside the kitchen cupboards you could go for a walk, a workout or do some arts and crafts.

·       Give yourself freedom to eat: another effective technique is to tell yourself you can eat as much as you want. Sounds strange? Well, when you do this, it’s natural for your urge for food to disappear.


Whatever techniques you use, remember that breaking a habit takes time. Be kind to yourself – you will get there!


Extra Help and Motivation


When trying to break an overeating habit it’s perfectly okay to ask for help. Many people wanting to make positive improvements in their life use coaches to guide them and support them on their journey to a better you. The extra support can be beneficial to reaching your goals


That’s where BodyGlow comes in. Our online coaching specializes in helping female expats realize and achieve their dietary goals. Book a no-obligation consultation today and see how we can make a better tomorrow, together!