Nowadays, there are a number of answers regarding why we eat– 25% eat because it is meal time (whether you’re hungry or not) and 20% because they are bored or working on something that doesn’t motivate them. Food is everywhere – not just in shop windows, but on the TV, on street posters and social media. For this reason, another 20% will be tempted to eat because ‘it look delicious’. Another 19% reward themselves with food – ‘I did a good job, I deserve it’. 15% are emotional eating and 1% – only 1% – guess why? Because they are actually hungry.
The moment you think about your diet, think about your eating habits. Think about why you have particular habits and give yourself more choices other than just snacking.
When breaking any habit, you have to consider your behaviour. Every time you find yourself snacking on food, stop and ask yourself ‘Am I hungry?’ . If you are not, think about how you’re feeling and why you wanted to have a snack. If you are sad, call a friend. If you are bored, get up and do something – even if you don’t feel like it right away. If you are tired, take a nap.
Don’t punish yourself for wanting to eat. Find an outlet that will make you feel better, not worse. Do whatever you need to do to put a more positive spin on your situation, rather than eating something you’ll regret later, perpetuating a cycle of negative emotions.
Sometimes we have negative emotions that may trigger us to snack in order to avoid them, but really we just have to feel them. Be angry, sad, annoyed or whatever you are at that moment, but be present in the feeling, rather than pushing the feeling aside by eating something that makes you temporarily forget what you’re feeling. It may be uncomfortable, but you will feel better for it in the end.
We have emotions for a reason and ignoring them doesn’t improve our situation. If you allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, you may grow from the experience and be able to avoid the same pain in the future, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.