Q:

How do you stop emotional eating?

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Quick Answer

Stopping emotional eating involves pinpointing the emotional triggers, feeling the emotion, eating mindfully and replacing mindless eating. Likewise, setting up a healthy food environment helps mitigate the damage of emotional eating.

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Full Answer

The first step to stopping emotional eating is to pinpoint what sets off the event. People often eat when they are bored, tired, stressed or sad. Eating or drinking at these times gives them a sense of control that otherwise seems lacking, according to dietitian Geneen Roth.

Rather than trying to suppress emotions, Roth suggests allowing yourself to feel them. For example, if you're a boredom eater, just experience the boredom rather than eating to entertain yourself.

When it's time to eat, sit down and pay attention to the food on your plate. Enjoy every mouthful. This increases the feeling of satiety that food provides. Another way to implement this tip is to keep a food diary. Every time you eat something, record in a diary what you've eaten, where you were, when the eating took place and how you were feeling at the time.

Snacking on healthy foods helps you resist mindless eating. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, select a healthy option, such as fruit or vegetables, rather than chips or a candy bar. If you really don't want fruit or vegetables, you're not actually hungry, so don't eat.

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