10 steps to freedom from emotional eating

Emotional eating is a common disorder; here are some steps to take toward healthier eating habits.

1.Accept that you have a problem.

If you don't accept the fact that you have an eating problem then there is no way that you'll be able to free yourself from it.Knowing is half the battle.

2.Take responsibility.

Acknowledge that you are the only one who can fix the problem.Nobody else can do this for you.Once you take responsibility for yourself and your eating, you can move on to find a healthy nutrition plan that you can live with.

3.Determine that it is time to change.

How long can you reasonably expect to continue on this path?How healthy are you and how much more of this can your health take?It is never too late (or too early) to change your life for the better.Once you determine that now is the time and this is the place, you'll be on the road to recovery.

4.Take control.

Do you want to continue to be a victim of emotional eating?Take command of the situation and determine that you will take charge of your eating, rather than your eating taking charge of you.Remind yourself that neither food nor any other substance can fill the void in your emotional life.You must take control of your emotions and allow yourself to live your life without having to constantly answer to them.Feel your emotions, but don't drown in them.

5.Be aware of the source of the problem.

Get a notebook and start writing a journal.This will allow you to write out your feelings and be able to look back at why you eat when you do.Who or what triggers your emotional eating?Was it something instilled in you as a child?Was it something you learned from a loved one?Is it triggered by a particular feeling?By writing what you feel when you feel it, you allow yourself to release the cause of your emotional eating without feeling as though you need to bury it under food.This step will help you to understand why you do it and will eventually lead you to how to stop it.

6. Drink water.

If you know you are about to eat for emotional reasons and you just can't stop yourself, at least have the presence of mind to drink 2 full glasses of water before you do it.The act of delaying yourself with the water may help you to gather some emotional control while the physical act of filling your stomach with water will make it difficult for you to eat as much as you would have without the water.

7.Replace the habit.

The only way to get rid of a habit is to replace it with a new one.Find something that you enjoy (like a hobby) or something that makes you feel empowered (like exercise) to replace your emotional eating.If you find yourself in a situation where you want to eat to ease the pain, try to make a conscious effort to do something creative or empowering.Replace the habit of eating with a healthier habit that will build your self esteem.

8.Keep it in perspective.

You are only human.There will be slips.There will be times when you will backslide in your progress.Accept that fact and forgive yourself when it happens.Don't cut yourself down just because you slipped.Accept that you are human and make a promise to yourself that you will try harder.

9.Wait a minute.

Count to ten, drink that water, whatever you have to do to delay the ice cream and candy bars.By not immediately giving in to your cravings, you will begin to gain more and more control over them until you can eventually shut them off completely.

10.Don't panic.

Gaining control over something like this is not easy.Chances are that it is something you've been doing for years so you can't expect to change it in just a few days.This takes conscious effort, soul searching and the courage to face the deeper emotional issues that got you here in the first place.Forgive yourself and make each tomorrow a better day.Eventually, they'll all be good days.

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