Do you eat when you're not hungry? Do you have a problem controlling the amount of food you eat? Do you use food as a way to procrastinate?
Do you use food to ease your stress? Calm your anger? Relieve your boredom? Celebrate your successes?
If you answer yes to more than one of these questions, you most likely eat and select certain foods for the emotional responses they give you. One way to learn how to take control of your emotional eating is to use the method that most 12-step programs use, the HALT method. HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired.
Being too hungry, angry, lonely or tired are conditions that can leave you more vulnerable to using food as a crutch. The HALT acronym can help you remember that when you feel certain emotions that trigger you to eat, stop and substitute the eating with something that will actually allow you to experience your emotion.
If you're lonely, call someone. If you want to celebrate a success, reward yourself with a non-food gift. Whatever emotion drives you to eat, remember there is a better way to feed it than with food.
Megan Porter, RD