What is Emotional Overeating?
Some people eat to comfort themselves when they are sad, anxious, angry, depressed, upset and in pain.
This is not a healthy condition and can result in a life long struggle with weight gain and feelings of guilt that can make an already fragile emotional state even worse.
Emotional overeating can seem like a trap with no way out, but it can help to have some simple steps and treatment programs laid out clearly, so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
7 Helpful Hints on Overcoming Emotional Overeating
1) First, recognize your problem. Know you’re not alone. The number of people who suffer from emotional overeating is significant.
2) Counseling – Individual, group, or family counseling can prove very helpful for people who experience emotional overeating. Counseling treatment usually involves some nutritional and dietary guidelines and treatment of underlying emotional problems.
3) Surgery – This is a somewhat controversial treatment for emotional overeating – it addresses the physical aspect of the problem rather than the emotional.
However, in combination with emotional therapy and extensive medical counseling, surgery is a viable choice for some sufferers. Usually, surgical options involve decreasing the space available in the stomach, usually by a lap-band or gastric bypass procedure.
4) Medication – Under the care of a professional, medications – usually anti-depressants – have been shown to provide relief for many who suffer from emotional overeating. This may be due to the suspected connection between overeating and depression – research continues to point to the relationship between the two problems.
5) Exercise regularly – Yes, you’ve heard this one, but it’s really an important aspect of managing emotional overeating.
Exercise may improve mood, improve energy levels, and increase your self-image – all part of overcoming emotional overeating. You can start with just 20 minutes of brisk walking three to six times a week.
6) Eat well – What you do eat is as important as what you’re “not allowed” to eat! Sometimes, emotional overeaters can be overcome by cravings for certain “forbidden” foods, like ice cream, candy bars, and potato chips.
But if you’re full of and surrounded by healthy foods, you can dig in without feeling guilty. Keep fresh produce on hand and eat lots of lean protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
If you don’t have the unhealthy food in the house, you will probably be less likely to head for it in times of emotional distress. In other words, make it hard on yourself to get the foods you want to eat when feeling bad – cross ice cream, junk foods, and fatty snacks off your grocery list.
7) Do not attempt to crash diet – Trying to starve yourself or go on an extended fast is not recommended. You may compromise yourself nutritionally and/or physically, and crash dieting tends to result in more overeating afterward.
Watch the video below to understand how the cycle of emotional overeating works, and how overcoming emotional eating can benefit you.
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