Even if you have never encountered the problems of emotional overeating, in these uncertain and difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many have succumbed. The dietitian advises how to avoid this, because there are many possible side effects of overeating.
The need to eat during an emotionally difficult period is normal. From childhood, we are taught to use food to deal with feelings more easily, so we look forward to desserts, plan celebratory lunches or dinners, and take ready-made food to our neighbors in need, 24sata reports.
But constant emotional overeating is different. You eat unplanned because of feelings of stress, like the one because of Covid-19, and that destroys your mental and physical energy, interferes with healthy sleep, reduces immunity, and ultimately destroys health. The good news is that you can systematically separate your feelings from food, and registered dietitian Cynthia Sass brings you five steps on how to do it.
- Listen to your body
Listen to your body and find out if you are feeling real physical hunger or mental hunger. Physical hunger also has physical symptoms, such as rumbling in the stomach. If you feel hungry despite the fact that you have recently eaten, think about your feelings. In 2019, scientists published a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology stating that there are four basic emotions: happiness, sadness, fear and anger.
“My advice is to find out which of these primary emotions you experience so you can deal with them in ways that don’t involve food. If you’re angry, physical chores like cleaning or exercise help. If you’re sad, call a friend, spend quality time to members family or pet, watch a movie or cry well, ”she advises.
- Understand why you are eating
The next step is to identify the reasons behind your dietary choices, and the concept of four basic emotions can help. For example, if you are angry, do you eat crunchy or tough foods more often? When you’re sad, do you take comfort in creamy foods? If you are not sure what your answer is, keep track of what you eat and keep a diary. So some things will crystallize.
Might be that you have some stressful and mental related issues. Therefore, learn how to improve your mental health.
“The purpose is not to be yourself like a police officer, but to learn more about your attitude towards food. Once you understand the reasons, you can consciously change your behavior. For example, I reach for ice cream not because of hunger, but because of sadness,” the dietitian continued.
- Make a meal schedule
In this step, you are dealing with structuring your time.
“For most of my clients, the risk of emotional overeating is higher during the weekend when they have more free time. The corona virus has changed the habits of many due to isolation. So try to structure your time. hours apart, ”Sass continues. In this way, you will not only avoid ingesting excess calories by snacking, but also regulate blood insulin levels and calm hunger hormones.
- Eat without distractions
Eat consciously, while sitting at a table. Do not perform other tasks.
“Sit at a table instead of in front of the TV or computer. While eating, don’t check your phone, read or engage in other activities. Although it seems strange at first, my clients who tried it at least once a day found it easier to reconcile hunger and satiety. they felt more full after eating, ”Sass said.
- Be kind to yourself
The last step relates to your behavior towards yourself and the power of positive thinking. If you bite because of emotional overeating, you only make the situation worse when it comes to emotions, and that can make you eat even more. If you’ve eaten a box of cookies while watching the news, ask yourself why you did it rather than blaming yourself.
“If you could go back that day, what would you do differently? Change is not linear and that’s okay. Sometimes a step back is the ability to learn new things that change you and prepare you for future similar situations. This is a process that requires change step by step. step, and leads to lasting change and the adoption of alternative ways of dealing with emotions, ”Sass concluded.
He says it’s okay to treat yourself to a treat from time to time and that it’s unrealistic to expect people to throw away certain types of groceries from their home right away. The problem is not even in these foods, but in the way people consume them. He advises that you prepare desserts from the foods you love, and then consciously enjoy them rather than spontaneously. The goal is not to limit oneself, but to create balance. This will make you feel more balanced than denying yourself or exaggerating. And it is precisely balance that is now globally crucial.