What is Emotional Eating? 3 Ways to Find Real Comfort

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Defining emotional eating | Techniques to comfort binge eating behaviorsWhat is emotional eating?  Emotional eating is an attempt to help yourself feel better or not feel. If you are an emotional eater you know there are many things can trigger emotional eating.

Here are some of the reasons women at our healthy weight loss spa emotionally eat:

  • Tired
  • Anxious
  • Bored
  • Habit
  • Self-loathing
  • Numbing
  • Self Soothing
  • Comfort  and more….

Today let’s talk about comfort eating.

Besides food, what gives you comfort?  Certainly we know that emotional eating is an attempt to comfort. But eating food mindlessly for comfort doesn’t always fill us up. In fact, we can feel more empty or depressed after mindless eating when what we really needed was comfort.

We live in a world that just keeps asking and expecting more of us. So relaxing and snuggling in are categorized in our mind as lazy or being a slug. Many attempts to comfort ourselves actually turn into mindless or numbing activities.

3 ways to find comfort that really fill you up

Bedroom Beauty

Is your bedroom the place that collects the piles of stuff?  Are you too cold or warm when you go to bed?  Do you have a hard time getting yourself into bed at night?

Women confuse being tired with hunger much more than men do.  What can you do to make being in your bed more comforting?   Perhaps a night time ritual would help. Learn about 400 count flannel sheets. Cozy up your room with a piece of art that speaks to you.

Snuggle Up with Your Pet

Are you lonely when you get home?  Do you reach for the bag of chips as you walk in the door? Snuggle up with Rover or take a quick turn around your backyard with kitty.

Just by petting your beloved pet you release oxytocin (one of the feel good chemicals) in your brain.  You focus on someone other than you and your feelings of despair and is there anything better than a yummy purr?

Rock Out Baby!

Does the day seem like just another same old, same old?  Do you feel zapped and wiped out as you get into your car to drive in the ridiculous traffic? Are you feeling something but don’t know what?

Make music a part of your life.  Turn on the radio, sing at the top of your lungs and remember that music can change your mood.  You will connect with your body and your are totally in control of what you listen to.  Rock out baby and sing like there is no tomorrow.

Do you have other comforting behaviors that work for you?


One response to “What is Emotional Eating? 3 Ways to Find Real Comfort”

  1. Paige says:

    To help prevent myself from emotionally eating and falling off the wagon with my weight loss I will either have the Fullbar gummies or chew a piece of Fullbar gum to staisfy this craving I am getting and help prevent myself from doing something I know I do not need.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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