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When you’re under stress, your body is likely producing higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that tends to make people crave sweet and salty food—the stuff that’s generally not good for us.
Create a simple stress management plan, or find stress relievers that fit with your specific situation.
Mindfulness, the act of being present and aware, can help people get out of the habit of acting on their cravings without thinking.
Mindfulness exercises are simple to learn and wonderful for promoting resilience to stress in general, so you really can't lose.
If you’re using food to muffle your feelings in a difficult relationship, try assertiveness instead.
If food is your only treat at a job you hate, try techniques for finding satisfaction at your job, or get a different one. If you look to solution-based coping mechanisms to cut down on the stress in your life, you won’t need food to help you cope.
If these techniques don’t completely eliminate your emotional eating urges, go ahead and indulge—but use healthier fare.
Munch on veggies or healthy snacks instead of chips; savor one small piece of dark chocolate instead of binging on a whole chocolate muffin from the coffee shop.
Emotional eating is sometimes called "mindless eating" because we often don't think about what we're doing and let our unconscious habits or drives take over.
Become aware of why you're eating when you eat. Maintain a food journal. If you have to log what you eat right before you eat it, you may realize you're eating for the wrong reasons, and can then move onto another approach to deal with your feelings.
Many people use food to deal with uncomfortable emotions like anger, frustration, and fear. There are healthier ways to cope with emotions:
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