Does a bad day at the office provoke you to head straight for the cookie jar? It's natural to turn to food on occasion to soothe your feelings. But if feelings and emotions play a key role in influencing your weight, you may want to consider making some changes.
Many people believe they can simply will themselves to stop eating for emotional reasons. But if left to will alone, your emotional needs will likely go unmet and the eating continue. To begin working on the problem of emotional eating, you need to do three things:
You may find it helpful to keep track of everything you eat. But most important, by recording your feelings when you are tempted to eat, you will discover WHY you are turning to food to avoid your emotions.
There are many ways to deal with your emotional needs without turning to food. Finding a productive way to channel them can be as simple as going on a walk, sharing with a friend or family member, or making an entry in your journal.
Anytime you find yourself reaching for the cookie jar as the result of an emotionally charged experience, STOP, and take a few minutes to gain control of your emotions using the 3-step process outlined above. What you learn will bring you lasting progress in your quest to maintain a healthy weight.
Megan Porter, RD