Sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you're at your weakest point emotionally. You may turn to food for comfort—consciously or unconsciously—when you're facing a difficult problem, stress or just looking to keep yourself occupied.
Emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, especially too much of high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods. But the good news is that if you're prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.
Tips to get your weight-loss efforts back on track:
- Get support: You're more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on family and friends or consider joining a support group.
- Take away temptation: Don't keep supplies of comfort foods in your home if they're hard for you to resist. And if you feel angry or blue, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you're sure that you have your emotions in check.
- Don't deprive yourself: When you're trying to achieve a weight-loss goal, you may limit your calories too much, eat the same foods frequently and banish the treats you enjoy. Let yourself enjoy an occasional treat and get plenty of variety to help curb cravings.
- Snack healthy: If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a low-fat, low-calorie snack, such as fresh fruit, vegetables with low-fat dip. Or try low-fat, lower calorie versions of your favorite foods to see if they satisfy your craving.
- Get moving: If you feel a craving coming on, go for a walk, or some other form of activity. Remove yourself from the area you keep your food (kitchen or work desk). Getting fresh air helps to clear your mind and settle your emotions.
You have the strength within you to make these small changes to improve your health. You can do it!