Emotional Eating: Why We Do It and What to Try Instead

eating your emotions

Emotional eating is an extremely common coping mechanism. After a difficult day, you drown your sorrows in a pizza that definitely isn’t personal-sized and an extra-large soda. You probably feel like you deserve it after your hard day! Well, maybe. But emotional eating, especially when unchecked can lead to weight gain, depression, guilt, and losing sight of your long-term goals. Not exactly what you were hoping for when you reached for that last slice.

What is Emotional Eating?

Emotional eating, otherwise known as “eating your feelings,” is when you reach for food, often overindulging in unhealthy foods full of sugar, salt, and fat because you are reaching for comfort from a stressor in your life. It could be work stress, school, relationships, finances, you name it. Emotional eating can even be in response to everyday emotions such as boredom, loneliness, sadness, tension, and tiredness. In essence, emotional eating is a way of using food to self-medicate or self-regulate instead of dealing with the issues you’re actually facing.

And despite the necessity of food in our lives, you’ll notice that hunger didn’t make the list of reasons to emotionally eat.

Wondering if you may be an emotional eater? Pay attention to your eating patterns. Emotional eaters tend to change their eating habits when they have more stress in their life. They also eat when they are not hungry or even when they are full. Some emotional eaters may be eating to soothe their feelings and some use eating to avoid dealing with stressful situations. Emotional eaters often tend to use food as a reward.

Emotional Eating and Weight Gain

Emotional eating can turn into a difficult cycle. This cycle can cause weight gain from overeating and unhealthy binge eating. The deepest problem with emotional eating is that after the initial pleasure of eating is gone, the root of the feelings that caused you to stress eat remain. The cycle of repetitive emotional eating can lead to many weight-related problems such as high blood pressure, fatigue, and diabetes.

When the body senses stress, it’s possible for cortisol levels to elevate. These elevated levels are known to stimulate appetites with the end result being weight gain or difficulty in losing weight due to slower metabolism from cortisol.

Why Do I Stress Eat?

True stress eating or emotional eating is never triggered by hunger. We stress eat because it is a distraction from what is really eating us. We use food to suppress our feelings, self-soothe, and distract from an otherwise uncomfortable situation or feeling which is just the start of a vicious cycle, as opposed to truly fueling our bodies with the right kinds of nutrients. We can get so caught up in the dangerous spiral of emotional eating that at the slightest trigger we reach for food. Anger, sadness, stress, exhaustion can all make us feel free to indulge in something we’ll soon regret because it makes us feel emotionally worse as if we have no self-control, and physically worse because overeating never makes your body feel good. Additionally, it can often throw you off your long-term weight loss goals.

Binging and dieting on repeat is never successful.

DISCOVER: How Emotions, Stress, And Appetite Affect Your Health

How Do I Stop Emotional Eating?

The first step in cutting out emotional eating is recognition. As with any bad habit, you have to see it for what it is, a coping mechanism for a different issue. Once you’ve registered that emotional eating is a trouble area for you, it’s easier to identify and avoid triggers and come up with alternative ways to handle the problem.

If you notice that a particular emotion has you longing to “treat” yourself to some emotional eating, stop and tell yourself that filling up on food won’t ever fill the void that the emotional struggle has left in you. Confronting the true emotions you’re feeling and then finding a healthier way to handle them are the first steps to stopping an emotional eating impulse.

What Can I Do Instead?

There are a lot of things you can do instead of eating your way out of a situation. And of course, what works for some may not work for others. Here are several suggestions on what you can do instead of eating your feelings.

If you feel lonely:

Reach out and make contact with a supportive friend or family member. Something as simple as a text to connect instead of disconnecting from your emotions can be a game-changer when you start to feel weak.

If you feel stressed:

Try writing in a journal to sort out your feelings. You could meditate to release some of the pressure you’re feeling. There are also great supplements that can help keep your stress levels under control.

If you feel anxious:

Move your body! Exercise, even a brisk walk can make all the difference if you’re feeling those anxious jitters. And bonus, it takes you away from unworthy food sources (we’re looking at you pantry full of cookies) and hopefully into some fresh air where you can burn a few calories.

READ: 3 Ways to Exercise if You Only Have 15 Minutes

If you feel bored:

Read a book or magazine or take the first steps on a goal that’s been taking the backseat to other indulgences.

If you feel tired:

Do some relaxing yoga to give in to the feelings of tiredness (if the timing is appropriate). Embrace a new bedtime routine that doesn’t involve snacking yourself to sleep. If it’s not time for sleeping but the Z’s are creeping up on you, try scrolling through a few pictures of the last adventure you took to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

The next time you find yourself on the edge of a dangerous emotional eating cycle, check-in with yourself. You are not alone. Around seventy-five percent of emotional eating is done simply because of emotion. It’s a habit to work on controlling and changing with healthy habits, healthy supplements, proper self-care, and coaching.

READ:Find out how Xr2 can help you unwind and curb nighttime cravings naturally here.

Your Emotional Eating Secret Weapon

If you could benefit from extra emotional eating support, be sure to try Xr2. This product is an incredible proprietary blend that is designed to help you rest, relax, and combat hunger cravings through the use of naturally sourced ingredients. We all know that stress can damage your ability to lose weight, have healthy hormone levels, and obtain a restful night of sleep. Xr2 will give you the power to combat stress and cravings all at once.*

Xr2 is different from similar products because the first priority is to attack the stress. When the stress is gone, Xr2 works towards the goal of balancing out the body’s natural cortisol release. Low cortisol levels are key to weight loss success. It’s an incredible combination of a sleep aid, stress fighter, and weight loss secret weapon.*

Get Xr2 NOW and get the stress-fighting support you need! Contact your Xyngular Distributor, log into your account or give us a call at 801.756.8808.

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