Now that you know when you eat for emotional reasons, it is time to change that. When you did your monitoring that we described last time, you probably noticed some times that you eat for emotional reasons. The most common emotions that fuel eating are:
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Feeling tired or fatigued
- Sadness or depression
- Confusion or stress
Come up with a list of alternative activities to do which will help you manage any negative emotions. The best activities are ones that are actually opposite to how you are feeling.
It may feel very unnatural or counterintuitive, but it helps you to figure out what to do differently. For instance, if I feel sad and want to lie on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry's, I know that what I really need to do is the opposite of this: Get out, get active, and eat something that makes me feel good.
Sometimes people eat as an avoidance. If there is something else that needs to be done which brings up anxiety or fear or irritation, we may want to avoid it and if we are sitting down in front of a pizza, we can avoid it for at least 20 minutes! Stop eating for avoidance, instead do what you were avoiding and then eat.