Overcome Emotional Eating
Many people resort to eating high fat, sugar heavy, carbohydrate filled meals to boost their mood or to manage stress. In fact, according to American Psychological Association, nearly 33 percent of adults to report overeating say it’s because of emotional stress. Now, sorry to spark your taste buds with this photo above as the food looks delicious, but resorting to these fast foods or unhealthy options is of great concern today, especially when our emotions may be the root cause.
Many times we find ourselves relying on food to elevate our mood and make us feel better. I am even guilty of this, rarely but still guilty. For those that may rely on this quick mood booster, you are likely heading down a path of obesity and many other health risks. When we are stressed and not disciplined with our diet we tend to lean on high-calorie sugar rich foods. With stress running ramped in today’s society there is no reason to not believe this is a root cause of obesity and type II diabetes. Even if this may seem extreme it occurs more often than we think. Social events and eating out at a restaurant are prime times we tend to overeat and indulge in food for the emotion.
The Statistics …
- 27% of adults overeat to deal with stress
- 33% of those adults eat unhealthy foods in that situation
- Post overeating binge, 49% of adults report feeling disappointed (Wasn’t the goal to feel better?)
- 24% report feeling sluggish
- 22% report feeling irritable (probably because of disappointment)
- 50% of Millennials report overeating due to stress in the last month
- 36% of Gen Xers report overeating in the last month due to stress
How to Overcome Emotional Eating
First off, recognize that relying on anything like this for a mood booster will only be temporary. The statistics prove many feel worse after eating unhealthy foods when stressed.
If you are stressed, eat more frequently in smaller amounts. If you become overly hungry, combined with your stress, you have a higher chance of resorting to unhealthy emotional eating.
When eating out at social events or at a restaurant, skip the appetizers and desserts. It may seem weird when others are eating and you are not but chances are you will thank yourself later.
Find other ways to handle stress. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. If you can’t exercise at the moment and you are feeling the urge to eat unhealthy food then drink water. Drinking a large quantity of water may reduce hunger levels.
Be strong! It is easy to resort to fast food or other unhealthy foods when life seems to be against you. In the end, it’s only going to make you feel worse.