by Margie Brandon
A problem with overeating may cause you to eat because of reasons other than that of being hungry. For example, emotions can cause you to overeat when you need to satisfy an urge associated with feelings. You’re actually eating to gain comfort and to fill an empty place in your heart rather than your stomach.
Emotional overeating is the top cause that obesity occurs and unless you know what’s eating you, you’ll never be able to stop the vicious circle of overeating and putting on weight that may cause a number of illnesses and even an early death.
How do you know you’re overeating because of emotional issues? The main way to gauge eating habits is to pay attention to your hunger level.
If you continue to eat long after the initial hunger is satisfied, then you’re probably a victim of emotional overeating. Cravings and stress related eating are also a part of the emotional overeating cycle.
Eating when you’re tired or distressed can make you feel a temporary high or increased energy level, but the “downer” will come. You’re response to overeating might be feelings of low self-esteem and thoughts of guilt and negativity about your body and your mind.
How to Overcome an Overeating Problem
Sometimes emotional overeating can be solved by simply waiting a few minutes before you indulge in rich or so-called comfort foods. Ask yourself if your body is really hungry for food – or are you getting ready to eat because of stress, boredom or any of the reasons that usually cause you to binge-eat.
Knowing why you overeat can help you to forego the rich foods you’re craving such as ice cream, breads and anything that contains high carbohydrates, loads of sugar and unhealthy fats. If you can, don’t have these foods in the house or in desk drawers of your office – it’s too tempting.
Instead, load up with “smart foods” such as fruits, crudités and foods that are high in protein.
As difficult as it may be to hear, exercise is the key to avoid overeating habits, including emotional overeating, and to maintain a desirable weight. Exercise releases endorphins from the brain, which in turn cause feelings of happiness and a sense of euphoria.
You’ll feel good about yourself and the fact that you spent time doing something good for you rather than indulging in the old nemesis of overeating.
Exercise is a bad word to some people, but if you can find something you love to do that gets you up and moving you’ll eventually look forward to it.
Walking your dog in the park, dancing around the house to your favorite song on an ipod or taking a yoga class can make all the difference in your quest to end the emotional merry-go-round that causes you to overeat.
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