Most people assume overeating and self-control go hand in hand, but that's far from the truth. Emotional eating is a far more complex issue that can be hard to recognize. If you've ever wondered how to stop emotional eating, there are a few reasons why it may be a habit that is difficult to break.

1. You Aren't Aware Of It

Many individuals who struggle with overeating aren't even aware that they are doing it in the first place. Some examples may be continuing to eat once your meal is finished or eating chips or pretzels because they're available. A simple yet effective solution is to be more mindful of what you're eating and take it slow. It sounds easy to be aware of what you're eating every day, but it will improve gradually if you put the work in.

2. Food Is Your Reward System

According to Harvard Health, certain parts of the brain get rewarded for foods high in fat or sugar. It can be hard to compete with wanting to indulge in a piece of cake or a bowl of potato chips at the end of a stressful day. Once you eat any type of item with increased fat and/or sugar, opioids get released into the brain, which has a calming effect. It can be incredibly challenging to find other reward systems with that same soothing effect on the brain. Some alternatives can include going for a run, playing a game with the family, or completing a puzzle.

3. You're Allowing Too Much Time Between Meals

One of the reasons you may be emotionally eating is because you've allowed yourself to become too hungry. Once you're tired and hungry, it only becomes that much harder to battle cravings. While it's easier said than done, utilize the following tips to avoid this pitfall. 
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Finding The Path Back To Normal Eating

There are many emotions that can cause us to eat emotionally, and it can be challenging to remember that it's only a temporary fix. Sure, you'll feel better at that moment, but ultimately, the vicious cycle of guilt will return. Here are a few tips to try to break the habit. 
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