How to Stop Emotional Eating and Regain Control Over Food

For many, the cycles of emotional eating can create a love/ hate relationship with food.  The inability to gain control over unhealthy eating habits can lead to problems not limited to weight gain.  Food is meant for nourishment, but it can often become the source of emotional and physical comfort when times are tough. 


If you’re ready to eliminate emotional eating from the equation so you can maintain healthy habits, there are some tips that can help you. 


Determine the Pattern of Your Relationship with Food


Charting your weight over time will make it easy to determine just how much emotional eating affects you.  Often, it makes it clear that spikes in weight occur during major life changes.  A new job, moving to a new city, pregnancy, and other life events can cause weight gain. 


The perceived need for food will often go up during times of high anxiety because it is common to eat for comfort.  By creating an easy to use chart, you will have a clear view of your eating habits so you can make the changes you need to get healthy and stay healthy.


Start a Chart So You Can Make Changes


To begin your chart, all you need is a blank sheet of paper.  Create a graph with the horizontal axis being your age and the vertical axis being your weight (from your lowest weight to your highest weight).  Go through the various changes in weight as best you can remember them and chart them on the graph. 


For example, if you remember going from 130 pounds to 140 pounds when you were thirty, note that on the graph.  Along with your weight, note the significant events in your life at the time. 


Even though you may not be able to recall every fluctuation in your weight, it will be easy to determine a pattern right away.  Once you have created your chart, you will be able to assess its shape and figure out what it means for you.  This will put you one step closer to putting an end to your problems with food.


Assess Your Weight Pattern


Depending on the shape of your graph, you will be able to learn a great deal about your eating habits.  Progressive weight gain will be indicated by a stair-shaped graph.  In other words, you might gradually be gaining weight over time. 


If your graph shows a lot of ups and downs, it would indicated a “yo-yo” pattern in your relationship with food.  This could be a sign of an eating disorder or another behavioral problem that might be causing the issues you’ve had with weight.  Often, the chart might point to one significant event that caused weight gain after that date.   


Once you have charted your weight changes over time, you will be able to put an end to the cycles that cause problems with weight.  If you are able to identify that there is an underlying issue that creates issues with food, it will put you one step closer to putting an end to it.  Speak to your doctor or dietician before you begin any new diet or exercise regime to make sure that doing so will not affect your health.


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