In a slow day at the office everybody loves to surf the web and window shop (we have to still come up with a name for the new phenomena of going through a shopping website). And this is spring, and with spring comes the new spring collection. It is after all the perfect time to be jovial.
But for those of stuck with office jobs, the battle of the bulge is constant. And one enemy in this battle is the curse of emotional eating.
When you have experienced a taxing day at work or at home, stress levels are high. Many a time people tend to turn to foods to deal with their stress.
Emotional eating leads to the intake of excess calories, something that must be avoided in order for weight maintenance and weight loss. Emotional eating is a habit and like any other bad habit it can be broken. You might find it difficult to stop emotional eating but it is not impossible. Below are some tips to help you break the habit of emotional eating and win the battle of the bulge.
Make your environment healthy
Start with the simplest things. Get rid of junk foods, for if there is no junk food there will be no binging on junk food. To satisfy snacking needs stock up on low calorie and low fat foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, the occasional dark chocolate ,unbuttered popcorn and hummus. So clean out that secret office and home stash of chips and chocolates and follow some handy tips to stay healthy in the office.
Also before ordering takeout, going to a restaurant or going for grocery shopping, ensure that your emotions are not running amok. Relax, take a small walk and delay going out till your emotions are in check.
Identify the factors which lead to emotional eating
When you have an urge for comfort foods like chocolate, question yourself that why do you want to eat the chocolate. Analyze are you really hungry, and if you decide you are not hungry then try to identity the emotions that you are feeling at that time. Find out whether your emotional eating is triggered when you are angry, stressed, bored, sad, lonely or scared. For making a proper observation start keeping a food diary detailing what you craved and what led to it. A food diary will help you to spot the patterns of your binge eating and the connection between your emotions and eating habits.
Also try to get an outside perspective for it is sometimes just what you need. An outside perspective often helps in spotting something that you were missing. If you are having trouble curbing emotional eating that you should not hesitate in contacting and getting help from a mental health professional.
Finding satisfactory alternatives
After you figure out why food makes you feel better, you can find substitutes for emotional eating that help you cope with your emotions in a better way. If you are frustrated go for a walk. If you are feeling angry because of harsh remarks by someone, then opt for punching a punching bag and if you are bored then call up a friend.
Also completely abolishing all treats can lead to cravings which in turn lead to binge eating. So do eat some of your favorite foods now and then; just remember moderation is the key. If you like candies and chips, eat them by putting a few of them in a small bowl instead of mindlessly eating out of a huge packet while sitting in front of the television; focusing on food makes even a little food appear sufficient.