When you are feeling tired, depressed, anxious, or just generally low, nothing sounds as good as a big tub of ice cream or maybe a large order of fries. However, these pity parties are the biggest pitfalls in following any sort of diet. Ask anyone who has ever adhered to some diet plans, and you will notice that binges are routinely blamed for ruining effective weight loss programs.
Emotional eating or binge eating is your body’s way of looking for a fix. It is even more addictive than drugs and with age, it can lead to eating disorders, blood pressure, and heart disease. You can blame your brain for that. It associates tasty eating with pleasure and thus creates the body’s automatic response towards stressful situations. Unfortunately, this is a only momentary pleasure. Once the joy of eating wears off, your body starts to crave for comfort food again, and the cycle goes on and on and eventually leads to overeating and weight gain.
The key to avoid such binges is to identify your cravings. Whenever you feel like going off your diet, ask yourself if it’s hunger you are feeling or an emotional response. Hunger is accompanied by rumbling in your stomach, usually near mealtimes, whereas emotional cravings are accompanied by an overwhelming emotional response, usually of sadness, but at times, it could be a celebration too. Either way, if your hunger is a result of your emotions, you need to stop reaching for unhealthy food right now.
Food doesn’t have to be your best friend when you are feeling particularly emotional. If you are in the mood for celebration, then why not go dancing, bowling or even take a trip to the mall? Not only do you avoid the unnecessary calories, but can even burn off some of the flab. If the reason behind your binges is anxiety, frustration, or depression, find an outlet for it. Did you know that kickboxing is an excellent way to get rid of pent up anger and frustration?
Alternatively, you could try writing down your feelings too. As long as it’s out there, there are lesser chances of you trying to overcome your emotions by eating. Dance, exercise, take a walk around your block – do anything to let the frustration out and just stay away from comfort food.
To get rid of easy fixes, you need to follow a few simple steps, and you will soon find yourself following healthier choices automatically. Make a list of the activities you love and every time you crave a fix, pick one activity from the list and do it. Use these activities as healthy distractions. Find relaxation techniques that help you to calm down. Once your sentiments are sorted out, the need to gorge will fade away.
Keep unhealthy snacks out of the house. What is out of sight will soon be out of your mind as well. Lastly, get support from friends and family in controlling what you eat. It’s easier to maintain a healthier lifestyle if you are surrounded by people who are committed to your cause and can provide you with diet help. You could also join weight loss groups as a part of your health maintenance plan.