We all over do it every once in awhile. During the holidays we can’t help but have dessert even though we’ve had our full. When you find yourself at the refrigerator when your bored, having a bad day, or stressed, even though you aren’t necessarily hungry could be emotional eating.

blueberry-cottage-cheeseEmotional hunger comes on quickly and you will most likely seek out food that will bring you comfort. Emotional eating will never satiate your hunger and leave you feeling more guilty and often depressed.

The best way to get a grip on your emotional eating before it gets out of hand is to follow these alternatives for emotional eating:

• Know what triggers your cravings– If you find yourself snacking when you have nothing to do, or when you are feeling restless then you know these feelings will trigger a need for emotional eating. Identifying this trigger will prepare you and you can chose alternatives for emotional eating.

• Replace the eating with other habits– Once you identify your triggers you can replace the urge to eat with other more healthy habits. If you are feeling bored, call a supportive friend to help you get through the craving. If you are feeling restless why not exercise or take the dog for a walk. Keep your hands busy by knitting or doing crafts. You will redirect your thoughts about food to your thoughts about the task at hand.

• Meditate – Meditation is great for relaxation and for clearing the mind. It helps with stress, anxiety, and controlling anger; all triggers for emotional eating.

• Keep a Journal- A journal is a great way to keep a food diary of the meals and snacks you ate during the day. After each meal you should note the time you ate, how you were feeling at the time, and whether or not you were physically hungry. After time you will be able to determine the time of day that is hardest for you.

• Have a beverage instead– Trick your mind into thinking it’s satisfying that craving by having a hot cup of tea that will not only taste great by relax you as well. Stick to drinks with few or no calories like flavored water, teas and diet drinks.

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