10 Ways to Stop Emotional Eating

by Yuen Yi Ying
HEALTH  |  February 26, 2018
  • Think about the future
    1 / 10 Think about the future

    When you’re in a bad mood, you want food that makes you happy instantly, but these food choices tend to be poor ones. Research from the University of Delaware in the US reports that thinking about the future could help you pick healthier options, as people generally associate these picks with better long-term health and well-being.

    All photos: Pixabay

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  • Find another reward
    2 / 10 Find another reward

    Besides food, look for other things that make you happy, like exercise, walking the dog, or watching a movie with a loved one. By diversifying the things that bring you joy, you won’t be so focused on food and won’t turn to it so quickly whenever things go south.

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  • Love yourself more around your period
    3 / 10 Love yourself more around your period

    Changes in weight and food intake when your period is around the corner could cause a build up of negative emotions, shares a study by Michigan State University in the US. This, unfortunately, could trigger eating disorders in some women including emotional eating, bulimia and anorexia, so be on your guard and be kind to yourself.

    (Also Read: 16 Amazing Period Facts Every Girl Should Know)

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  • Get a good night’s sleep
    4 / 10 Get a good night’s sleep

    Being stressed out can make you lose self-control, but a restful night of sleep can give you more energy to resist temptation. It will also help your body balance the hormones that regulate appetite.

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  • Don’t eat when you’re not hungry
    5 / 10 Don’t eat when you’re not hungry

    When you’re really hungry, even foods you don’t like so much will seem appealing, so if they don’t seem all that appetising, drink some water and soldier on. Chances are you’re probably not running on empty if you just had your last big meal three to four hours ago.

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  • Break the cycle
    6 / 10 Break the cycle

    Even when you’re really hungry, be conscious of how much and what you’re eating. Binge eating, where you continue eating past the point of fullness and start feeling uncomfortable, has been linked to poor self image, and this perceived loss of control could lead to more negativity and perpetuate emotional eating.

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  • Don’t buy junk food
    7 / 10 Don’t buy junk food

    If you don’t have unhealthy snacks around the house, it’d be harder to grab a bag when you feel a mood swing coming on. Instead, this will give you an opportunity to assess your wellbeing so you can identify emotional triggers more easily.

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  • Treat yourself occasionally
    8 / 10 Treat yourself occasionally

    Even though you shouldn’t keep junk food around the house, the occasional treat will prevent your favourite foods from feeling “forbidden”, and therefore more tempting. Make your splurge a good one but remember you don’t have to have a big portion.

    (Also Read: 5 Lower-Sugar Desserts in Singapore That Still Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth)

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  • Reduce stress
    9 / 10 Reduce stress

    If pent up stress and anxiety are common triggers that turn you to food, you may want to re-evaluate the things that are contributing to your unhappiness, whether it’s your job, relationships or certain habits. You may not be able to fix all of them, but small changes can add up.

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  • Try acupuncture
    10 / 10 Try acupuncture

    Can’t shake a craving? Several studies have shown that acupuncture can help tame your penchant for popular treats like cakes, candy, biscuits, and chips, as well as liquid calories in the form of sweet or alcoholic drinks.

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