How to avoid emotional eating

Tips to help you avoid emotional eating

Dietitian Monique Santarelli has shared tips to help stop emotional eating.

Emotional eating
Emotional eating/ iStock

We all go through challenging times in life. For some people, eating becomes a coping mechanism. 

Although food can offer a sense of comfort and be therapeutic, emotional eating is not advisable. 

"Emotional eating is when you eat in response to emotions rather than to satisfy physical hunger. Everyone does it sometimes. It’s fairly common for people to turn to food for comfort as a way to deal with big, difficult feelings," states dietitian Monique Santarelli on Instagram. 

She warns that "emotional eating can be a problem when it happens frequently and you don’t have other ways to cope with negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness, and loneliness." 

The dietitian says the danger with emotional eating is that it can cause one to have an unhealthy relationship with food and can contribute to weight gain. 

"For some people, emotional eating can lead to a cycle of feeling guilt and shame, in which these feelings are much more difficult to navigate and can be damaging to one’s relationship with food. Further, emotional eating has been identified as a common barrier to weight loss success," she wrote. 

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When it comes to how best one can deal with emotional eating, Monique says paying attention to your meals and how frequently you eat is important. 

"The goal to managing emotional eating is to allow yourself to make a conscious decision about when, what, and how you eat. Building self-awareness is key in the process.

"There will be times when it makes sense for food to be part of dealing with big emotions. For other times, there are better ways to cope," she wrote. 

The dietitian shared tips to help you stay away from emotional eating. Read the tips below:

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She also wrote that she encourages people who are going through difficult times to seek professional help from a qualified and skilled practitioner.

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