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Looking for some tactics to prevent emotional eating, please share your experiences

lolakinkslolakinks Posts: 236Member Member Posts: 236Member Member
Hi everyone, I'm an emotional eater. I eat many things when I'm depressed or stressed and usually I'm like that. By the way, I've been seeing a therapist and using an antidepressant. However, I cannot change this habit, I always want to change this, and my lifestyle as well but I always lost myself. Maybe I should do something step by step. My psychiatrist said that maybe you can use another thing instead of food, it makes sense but how? I really will be happy if I put exercise instead of food. Maybe I need motivation or some tricks that help in this situation. I'm really sad about my body, I can't feel good in it. Even body positivity can't help me anymore, I'm at my highest weight.


  • kirelerkireler Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    What I did is that when I stuck to my calorie goal. If I was still "hungry" after that (could be emotional, bored, etc...) I would have a large glass of water and do something to occupy me for 15 mins (TV, video games,Read a book, whatever is enjoyable) most of the time I would forget that I'm hungry and just move on.

    The times where I was still hungry, I had a snack (pop corn, apple, banana), logged it and then usually watched TV while doing some elliptical or exercise bike (if I was over my goal).

    after a week or two, I didn't have those cravings much anymore.

  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 6,932Member, Premium Member Posts: 6,932Member, Premium Member
    I suffer from anxiety and depression. When I started mfp and began eating much healthier food, I noticed a big difference in my emotional appetite.

    Within two weeks, my cravings to overeat were gone and my anxiety and depression symptoms were lessened.
  • lcvrabliklcvrablik Posts: 223Member Member Posts: 223Member Member
    sometimes I find a hot cup of green or herbal tea will curb my hunger and improve my mood at the same time.
  • emmies_123emmies_123 Posts: 398Member Member Posts: 398Member Member
    My personal tricks (didn't realize I ate for emotional or boredom reasons until I started logging):

    -Find something to do with your hands. Puzzles, game, coloring, etc.
    -Drink water if you have an automatic need to put something in your mouth
    -Have a treat lined up for end of day and remind yourself "I can snack on this now, but then i can't have x later"

    When you are ready to add exercise, it does help with depression/anxiety. It gives me an outlet for nervous energy, and the feeling of improved strength and fitness have helped my depression stay at bay. But before I started, I wasn't ready mentally to commit to exercise. It would have made things worse if I had to force myself just because "it's good for you!" When I was ready, it was like my brain changed overnight to "huh maybe this wouldn't be so bad. I could find something light to try and see how i like it"
  • korina75korina75 Posts: 297Member, Premium Member Posts: 297Member, Premium Member
    I had gotten into a bad habit of emotional eating and what helped me the most was sitting with whatever feelings were causing me to want to overeat. So first identify if it's really an emotion or if you actually hungry, then make a cup of tea or a glass of water and sit down with no distractions (except maybe a notepad in case you want to jot anything down). Then just feel it. Whatever it is, boredom/anxiety/fear, and just breathe through it, call a friend, write it out, whatever it is just go ahead and feel it. I think so often we replace eating as a distraction with other distractions and then it doesn't really solve anything. Although, if the emotion is boredom then maybe taking up a hobby or opening a book or volunteering would help but if it's other stronger emotions (fear, sadness etc) it might be something you want to work through. Just my two cents and what helped me, I hope it helps others too.
  • nighthawk584nighthawk584 Posts: 1,423Member Member Posts: 1,423Member Member
    take up an instrument. I've played guitar all my life and it sure helps with getting my mind off of food and it keeps you sharp if you keep learning new things.
    edited August 2019
  • mmultanenmmultanen Posts: 1,050Member Member Posts: 1,050Member Member
    For me, the first step to changing my emotional eating was the recognize the emotions I was experiencing. I would eat or drink to avoid dealing with the emotion I was feeling. This is an issue I still work on. So, initially I didn't even try to stop or change the behaviors I engaged in when avoiding an emotion. I focused on naming, and understanding the emotion. I would write down the answer to these questions

    1) what am I feeling? (describe it as best you can, physical sensations, as well as whatever you're going to name the emotion)
    2) what caused me to feel this? (what event, action, activity, person brought these physical and emotional feelings on?)
    3) what am I about to do because I feel this? (what is my current activity when I feel this?)
    4) what would I like to start doing because I feel this? (what action do I want to take instead of the one I usually take?

    once you've written that down, say the questions and answers out loud. It helped me to carry around a notebook and I made a sincere effort to stop and answer these four questions in the moment when i needed to.

    Identifying the emotions I experience, why i experience them, which emotions are likely to drive me to a negative reaction then allowed me to work on those situations in particular. I never had success just saying " I want to quit doing this" I needed to understand why I did it.

    Give it a try, getting to the root of the behavior might help! Good luck.
  • estherdragonbatestherdragonbat Posts: 5,155Member Member Posts: 5,155Member Member
    1. I've increased exercise. It helps my mood and relieves stress, so I find I have a better handle on my emotions
    2. I look for lower-calorie options. Special K cracker chips instead of potato chips. Fiber bars instead of cake. An ice cream sandwich instead of a tub of Haagen-Dasz.
    3. Before I give in, I take a second to pre-log and determine a portion size. It's a last minute reality check. Do I really want to do this? Is it worth it? And sometimes the answer is 'yes' and sometimes it's 'no. No, it's really not.'

    I'm not perfect. Sometimes I give in. But much less often than I used to.
  • Syversstunner66Syversstunner66 Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    I am going to try journaling! About food feelings, anxiety- see if I can manage my behavior with recognition of my emotions and triggers. Plus bullet journals can be anything you want them to be. Mine arrives next week and I think it will be fun. Also I think making sure you have your own stress reducer hobby like seeing or fishing or whatever is helpful.
  • TheChristianSimoneTheChristianSimone Posts: 156Member Member Posts: 156Member Member
    For myself knowing I am fat is enough of a reason when I feel like binge eating to not. I want to be fit and attractive and even more importantly disciplined so I just sit through it. Sometimes distractions just put the real issues on pause but they come back until dealt with
  • CahgetsfitCahgetsfit Posts: 1,908Member Member Posts: 1,908Member Member
    I get an "empty void" inside me sometimes that I try to fill with food.

    And same - if stressed/depressed - I eat.

    To stop myself eating, sometimes it's hard and I can't, but I try to stop it by playing games on my phone - those addictive candy matching type ones that keep your fingers busy and your mind engaged. That way time passes and I'm occupied with my fingers and head and I don't eat.

    Or else, which is better, go for a walk. But sometimes it's not possible or you feel so crap you don't want to walk, but if you can force yourself out the door, I ALWAYS feel better afterwards. I walk fast - brisk walking and up and down hills and stuff. I just roam the neighbourhood and get to the end of one street and go "oh, I"ll turn left today" and not have a set path but just wander.

    HUGS to you.

    PS - part of the reason why I want to put on as much muscle as possible is so that I can eat more.
  • lolakinkslolakinks Posts: 236Member Member Posts: 236Member Member
    Thank you all, they're great advices hugs to all of you.
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