Formerly TFC Health Foods and Talcott Family Chiropractic

Emotional Eating: Stress

Emotional stress can encourage comfort-food eating, overeating, and fat-regulating hormonal imbalances

Strategies to deal with emotional eating

Here are steps you can take to stop emotional eating episodes and break the cycle:

Visit a chiropractor.Your spine houses the nervous system. Chronic stress of any kind – and let’s face it, we all struggle with this to some degree – can impact muscle tension and contraction, putting uneven pressure on your skeleton and leading to subluxations. A chiropractor can help relieve stress’ pressure on your spine and also implement a diet, nutrient, and lifestyle protocol to help you better cope with emotional stress.

Learn to recognize hunger. Next time you reach for a snack, ask yourself what’s driving it. If you are truly hungry, you’ll notice physical symptoms, such as a growling stomach. Other, less obvious hunger cues include irritability and difficulty concentrating. If those signs are absent, you probably don’t need to eat right then.

Keep a journal. Take the time to create a “mood and food” journal. Write down what you eat each day, along with the emotions you were experiencing at the time and whether you were truly hungry. You may find that specific feelings, such anger or sadness, lead to your overeating. Once you recognize these triggers, you can learn healthier ways to deal with them.

Build a support network. Surround yourself with friends and family who support your efforts to change your eating habits. It may also be helpful to join a support group to meet other people with similar problems and learn better ways of coping.

Engage in an interesting activity. Finding an activity that you enjoy can increase self-confidence, which is often low in emotional eaters. Examples of these activities are yoga, playing a musical instrument, or painting.