Avoid Emotional Eating

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Eating is an enjoyable activity that’s often the focus of celebrations and everyday get-togethers. But when you’re eating to suppress emotions you could be harming your body. Don’t let your emotions take control of your eating habits.

Here are a few tips to help prevent emotional eating:

Recognize the triggers.

When you’re stressed, upset, angry or bored, do you grab a snack? After a fight with your spouse or your family, do you reach for a candy bar first? Have you ever walked into the kitchen and searched for something to eat, not because you’re hungry, but because you’re feeling bored or alone? Do you eat to calm down? Take a moment to remember times when your emotions triggered a snack attack and think about the reason. Keep a journal and record your feelings so you can track the pattern.

Keep healthy options on hand.

Everyone has their favorite snack or treat they enjoy from time to time, but remembering that a snack or treat won’t heal emotional distress is very important. Healthy options like fruits and vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy snacks will help curb salty, sweet and greasy cravings. Food is meant to nourish your body and give it the fuel it needs. Feed it well so it can perform its best.

Focus on emotional health.

Your emotional and mental health are just as important as your physical health. If you’re struggling with an issue or problem, reach out for help. Call a friend or a family member or speak with with your doctor. Your emotions can affect other aspects of your life and can create unhealthy behaviors, relationships and feelings. Take a walk or do some other physical activity to calm down, talk with someone you trust and take care of yourself.

For more information on emotional eating, visit heart.org.

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