Do you feel trapped in a vicious emotional eating cycle? You’re literally not alone. Eating your stress out, your anxieties, your depression will only contribute to weight gain and poor health. At TryMagenta, we want to help you break free. For good.
Today is the day to break free from unhealthy food behaviors.
EMOTIONAL EATING = WEIGHT GAIN
Have you noticed how comforting it is to eat foods that fill you up when you have negative emotions? Research shows emotional eating can be used to cope with confusing internal states of hunger and satiety, and the physiological changes are related to emotions [ 1 ].
It’s not surprising that we gained weight during the beginning of the stressful pandemic because we had to adapt to change, rapidly.
We can help you lose weight at TryMagenta.
EMOTIONAL EATING REASONS
Domestic violence, romantic rejection, loneliness, unemployment, and the loss of a loved one. We can mention all the reasons why emotional eating is a real thing. Bad emotional habits (and unaddressed eating behaviors) lead to long-term anxiety and depression.
In fact, poor emotion regulation skills are directly related to emotional eating. Experts recommend that the treatment of obese people with high EE should not focus on calorie-restricted diets but on emotion regulation skills [ 2 ].
Stress itself is a major cause of gain weight because your body retains liquids, keeps calories, and increases your unhealthy cravings.
A DECISION THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE TODAY
The good news: we have amazing brains, we have wonderful bodies, and we have indestructible willpower. You have to take the decision to break free from emotional eating today.
HOW TO BREAK FREE FROM EMOTIONAL EATING?
Be drastic and CHANGE YOUR FOOD HABITS
Here’s where you show no mercy. First, open that fridge. Now, throw away the most unhealthy foods known by The American Heart Association [ 3 ]:
Processed foods like:
- Chips with high calories and fat
- Cereals with excessive sugar
Foods with excessive salt and processed ingredients:
- White bread and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats with high salt levels
- Pizza with an overload of cheese and bread
- Burritos and tacos that are fried
- Soup high in sodium
- Sandwiches made with white bread
If it’s too hard to go cold turkey, start eating less and less unhealthy foods while you make substitutions.
The American Heart Association [ 4 ] recommends:
- Apples and pears
- Carrot and celery sticks
- Bell pepper slices
- Zucchini or cucumber
- Roasted chickpeas
- Broccoli and cauliflower florets
- Rice cakes and whole-grain crackers
- Nuts and seeds
- Plain or sparkling water
- Fat-free milk or plain soymilk
- Unsweetened tea or coffee
- 100% fruit juice
- Low-sodium tomato or mixed vegetable juice
SNACKS THAT FILL UP:
- Whole-grain toast with almond, sunflower, soy, or peanut butter
- Cherry tomatoes with hummus
- Low-fat or fat-free cheese
- Plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit
- Fruit and veggie smoothie
- Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna or salmon
- Canned fruit (in natural juice or light syrup)
- A thin slice of angel food cake or homemade banana-nut bread
- Baked apple
- Raisins, dates, figs, and other unsweetened dried fruits
- Frozen banana
- Frozen grapes
- Fresh fruit and vegetable salad
Food is affordable when you know the hacks. Try coupons and weekly deals, buy the manager’s special, pick seasonal fruits and vegetables, purchase frozen and canned options, buy store brands, and plan meals ahead.
Along with drastic food changes, here are some other hacks to break free from emotional eating:
- Emotions are inside your mind and your body. The secret to letting emotions out is by moving your body. Join a walking or running community. Move your body every day while you listen to positive music. Make sure someone is checking your progress. Buy a weight scale to measure your improvement.
- Process your emotions with active hobbies that have nothing to do with food like biking, mowing your yard, walking your dog, or cleaning up a garden. The more time you spend outside distracted from food, the better.
Breaking free from emotional eating means taking a drastic approach to your food intake. It means you need a strong mentality and willpower to get rid of old foods that don’t make you feel good in the long term and eat healthier options.
It’s important to include a physical activity that doesn’t feel like exercise at first. You can start walking, then jogging, then running. Make sure you can process your emotions with healthier habits and movement.