4 Tips To Decrease Emotional Overeating
According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, almost half of Americans (48 percent) reported overeating or eating unhealthy foods to manage stress. Many people use food to fill emotional needs, contributing to overeating and being overweight. Do you use food to:
Relax or calm your nerves?
- Comfort yourself?
- Numb yourself from emotional pain such as sadness, hopelessness, rejection, or anger?
Tips and Strategies
If you're prone to emotional overeating, you can take steps to regain control. Below are tips and strategies to help decrease this unhealthy habit:
Learn to recognize true hunger versus emotional eating. If you ate just a few hours ago and don't have a rumbling in your stomach, you're probably not really hungry. When you feel the urge to eat, get in the habit of asking yourself, "Is it physical hunger or is it emotional or stress-driven hunger?"
- Know your triggers. Use a food diary to identify when and why you eat for emotional reasons. Keep an accurate record for at least one week of what you eat, how much you eat, how you're feeling and how hungry you are. Ask yourself: What happened today to make me feel this way? You may become aware of situations or feelings that trigger you to turn to food.
- Face difficult emotions and stress-producing problems head on. Work on ways to face difficult emotions and stressful situations other than reaching for food. Acknowledge and address feelings of anxiety, anger or loneliness. Look for solutions to the difficult issues in your life. Talk them over with a friend or counselor, or write in a journal. Finding ways to express your feelings constructively can help clear unwanted eating patterns.
- Find alternative behaviors to eating. Instead of turning to food, take a walk, practice yoga or meditation, listen to relaxing music, take a warm bath, read a good book, engage in a hobby, work in your garden, treat yourself to a movie, or talk to a supportive friend. Exercise regularly and get adequate rest. Each is proven to reduce stress, improve your mood and help control appetite.
Your EAP Is Here To Help
If you need help dealing with difficult emotions, anxiety, stress or emotional overeating, contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential counseling, referrals or information. Remember, your EAP is always available to help you or your immediate family members with any type of personal, family or work-related concern. Why not call an EAP professional today? We're here to help you.
Employee Assistance Program Services
The Broward County Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all Broward County Government employees and their families to assist with most personal problems affecting the quality of life at home or on the job at no charge. Participation in the program is voluntary and completely confidential. Licensed professionals can assist you with:
- Family problems
- Work conflicts
- Grief and loss
- Financial problems
- Substance abuse
Call for a free and confidential appointment or more information at 954-357-5600 or email at email@example.com. Additional information on our services is also available at Broward.org/HumanResources/EAP.
Copyright © 2017 Healthy Exchange. This newsletter is not intended to provide medical advice on personal wellness matters, which should be obtained directly from your physician.