Emotional eating is the most common form of food addiction. It can have very serious negative effects on your health. Emotions are complicated things; it’s not surprising that psychological research has not been able to predict them very well. But we do know a few things.
First, negative emotions are stronger and more long-lasting than positive emotions.
Second, we tend to remember negative things more than the things we are happy about.
Third, negative emotions are harder to resist. There is no magic trick to stop emotional eating.
But you can learn a few techniques that will help you resist it.
First of all, avoid situations that make you angry, sad or bored. If you know in advance that something will upset you, consider how you will deal with those emotions before you do it. If you’re in a bad mood, change the subject, go for a walk, or do something else.
Second, limit your consumption. When you buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. For a lot of people, the answer is that they don’t need anything, but they do it anyway.
Third, don’t tell yourself a story about how the world sucks. Negative emotions can’t be resisted by telling yourself how bad things are. Only positive emotions can do that.
Fourth, when you’re feeling stressed, don’t eat. It might seem obvious, but a lot of people forget this rule. When you are really stressed, it’s harder to resist temptation than you think. Just don’t give in to it.
Emotionally eating means eating when your emotions tell you to. Instead of calming yourself down, you comfort yourself with food. Emotional eating can spiral out of control into binge eating. Emotional eating makes us feel better, at least temporarily. But in the long run, emotionally eating is harmful to you.