Emotional eater? Two key things.

If you are an emotional eater you most likely know it.

Every time something goes wrong, you head for the snacks.

Every time something goes really wrong, you head for the snacks.

And some times, when things go right, you still head for the snacks.

Either way, there is usually regret afterwards because, let’s face it, the food you ate wasn’t all chicken and broccoli – more like chicken flavored Raman noodles and Veggie Straws (look it up if you don’t know.)

If emotional eating is getting in your way, there are two key things you need to know.

  1. You mindlessly eat after a trigger. While you might realize what you’ve done after it’s all over, during the eating frenzy it’s the last thing on your mind.

KEY: Become mindful. But how? It’s a matter of focusing (not obsessing) on your reactions ,physical and psychological. After an argument, do you get a pit in your stomach or do your shoulders rise to level of your ears? Catch that cue and you’ll soon know what’s coming next. That’s right, a trip to the kitchen to eat a sleeve of cookies.

Action Tip: 1. Plan your meals, eat your meals sitting down and and eat slowly – when you are not stressed. You have to practice slow, calm eating before being in a state of stress.

2.Log your food regularly. This practice helps you become very aware of what you eat, when you eat, how much, etc. and as a result you become mindful of your eating habits which is necessary in order the change those habits.

2. It doesn’t really help. You’re feeling angry, sad, frustrated, etc. so you eat a bunch of junk food (it might even be a healthy food but you eat a huge quantity) and, here’s the KEY: unfortunately, you continue to feel that undesired emotion in spite of eating all of that food. The argument you just had with your husband hasn’t been resolved, the guy who cut you off in traffic is still driving around town or your boss just gave you a bad review.

Action Tip: 1. Since you’ve become mindful and learned your trigger you can now ask yourself: “Will this food solve my problem?” The answer is “NO.”

Action Tip: 2 & 3. Do something physical or solve the problem. Go for a walk, do some push-ups or jumping jacks. Get rid of that pent up energy. If that’s not possible, start facing the issue and do something about it. Say you’re sorry, learn something to get better or let go of something you don’t have control over.

This is a good place to start. While this issue isn’t black and white and goes deeper, these two keys could be all you need to move past the obstacle of emotional eating.