How to cope with emotional eating
- Take control of your life. Emotional eating is often a reactive behavior when we feel like things are beyond our control. Though it may be difficult, take a few minutes in the morning to plan your day or your week. Set goals — even if they are small at first — and allow yourself to take pride in their accomplishment. Take a class that does not involve food or pursue a new interest you have always wanted to explore.
- Get enough sleep. Feeling exhausted can lead to overeating or making poor food choices.
- Take time for yourself. If you are constantly busy taking care of your family, work, or other demands, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Engage in a stress-relieving activity such as yoga, meditation, or a relaxing bath. Set aside time to pursue a hobby. If you feel like your emotional needs are being met, you may be less likely to seek comfort in food.
- Learn to recognize hunger. When you are tempted to eat, drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes. Notice how your stomach feels. Are you really hungry, or are you bored or stressed? Often, the desire to eat will pass when you occupy yourself with another activity.
- Keep a journal. Are there any issues in your life you are avoiding or trying to cover up with food? Try working your emotions out on the page rather than with food.
- Continue with ongoing psychological care. Whether or not you are required to undergo extended psychological counseling as part of your post-surgical care, consider continuing to see a psychologist. Ongoing counseling can help with behavior modification and goal setting if you are prone to emotional eating or other destructive habits.