Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.
“… do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:27
Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions. If you’ve struggled with emotional eating, you know how powerful this habit can become. No matter how much you want to stop it, it just seems to take control.
One of the keys to overcoming emotional eating is to develop an awareness of the emotion that’s leading you to eat.
If you’re totally out of touch with your feelings, the foods you crave can give you some insight into the emotion that you’re experiencing. Check out the list of emotions and corresponding foods below.
|Emotions and Feeling||Food Cravings|
|Tense, tired, angry, out of control||Chips, cookies, chocolate, popcorn, tea, caffeine|
|Frustration, anxiety, out of control, helpless||Potatoes, wine, carbs.|
|Sadness, Loneliness, drained, tired, sluggish||Chocolate, sugary foods, ice cream, cookies, muffins, wine|
|Boredom, unmotivated, idleness||Wine, coffee, chips, toast and tea, chocolate, popcorn|
I recommend you keep a journal and track the food that you were craving and then see what the underlying emotion is.
This is the first step, once you’ve identified the emotion, the next step is to begin dealing with the emotion or feeling.
In the Weight Loss, God’s Way Program, we always say, “until you understand why you do what you do, you will continue to repeat it.”So instead of trying to stop the craving, manage the emotion. What is causing you stress? What is angering you? What has you feeling sad? Click To Tweet
One of the strategies we teach in the Weight Loss, God’s Way Program is to pause and take some deep breaths. This will allow you to release the physical tension in your body associated with your emotions, then deal with your thinking.
When you have the thought to eat when you aren’t hungry, decide to wait just 10 minutes—think of it like pressing the ‘Pause’ button on a movie.
Take 10 deep breaths—breathing in slowly and out even slower. During the 10 minute pause, pray and ask God to fill you with His peace and joy at that moment. Ask Him to show you the way of escape from the temptation as His Word promised. Finally, ask Him for the courage and strength to take the escape route He offers.
Emotional eating at its core is an impulsive habit. So hitting the ‘Pause’ button puts the breaks on and allows you to respond to the situation rather than react to it.
If you can’t wait 10 minutes at first, just strive to do 2 minutes and then add a minute each time. Usually, a 10-minute pause is long enough for the emotional storm to pass so you don’t have the urge to eat anymore, but you can work up to that. This strategy is taken from this previous post, Overcoming Emotional Eating.
P.S. if you are tired of circling the same mountain over and over and want a Christ-centered approach to lasting weight loss without feeling guilty, deprived, or overwhelmed, be sure to sign up for our video course program right away at cathymorenzie.com
Is there a specific food you crave? If so, do you know what emotion or feeling is associated with it?