Sometimes, our emotions can get the better of us. When we’re overwhelmed by stress, boredom, loneliness, anger, sadness or fear, it can lead us to seek comfort in overeating and unhealthy foods that will do you no good after bariatric surgery.
It’s a common problem known as emotional eating and may be one more obstacle between you and your weight loss goals. Fortunately, emotional eating is just another harmful habit you can leave behind you after bariatric surgery in Plano, Lubbock or Denton.
So, how do we keep ourselves from giving in to the pitfalls of emotional eating? First, you’ll need to learn to recognize the signs of emotional hunger, which is distinct from true, physical hunger in a number of ways:
- It’s picky. Emotional hunger usually makes us crave something specific, especially favorite comfort foods and unhealthy treats.
- It’s fast-acting. Emotional hunger can hit you fast and hard, making you feel like you immediately need to indulge in whatever comfort food you crave.
- It’s guilty. Regardless of the feelings that caused it, emotional hunger usually makes us feel worse after indulging.
It’s best to put a strategy in place now that will help you stop emotional eating dead when you notice these warning signs. When you feel emotional hunger, take away its power by:
- Identifying the cause. What set off your emotional hunger? How do you feel and what made you feel that way? If you can find the emotional cause of your urges, you can start figuring out ways to deal with your feelings that don’t involve a trip to the fridge. Try to determine which emotions and situations are most likely to cause you to eat emotionally—tracking your emotions and eating habits side by side in a food journal is a good way to see patterns.
- Addressing the cause. Once you know how you feel, find a proactive solution. If you’re lonely, call a friend or relative for a quick chat, or sign up for a fitness class at your gym. If you’re stressed out or angry, blow off some steam with an intense workout. If you’re bored, watch a movie or throw your full attention into an engaging hobby. Try to come up with a few specific activities that may help resolve each feeling that causes you emotional hunger.
These strategies can help you take control of emotional eating, but they aren’t the only ones out there. There are many ways to deal with emotional eating after bariatric surgery in Plano, Denton or Lubbock—what else has worked for you? Share your thoughts and strategies in the comments below!