Negative Emotional Triggers Can Disrupt Your Weight Loss Plan

don't let stress disrupt your diet

Negative emotional triggers are often the culprit for poor eating habits. Many people eat for the wrong reasons, which can lead to unhealthy body weight.  Sometimes people eat as a way to relieve their negative emotions.  These emotions may include  stress, anger, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, fear and/or boredom.  This is an example of emotional eating.  Identifying triggers that can torpedo healthy eating patterns is a necessary strategy for dieting success.

Emotional triggers may cause overeatting.

These triggers can be the result of any number of emotional reactions we have to situations that are stressful in our lives.  Sometimes we use eating as a means of dealing with these emotional triggers.  Such emotional eating is destructive.  Sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you are stressed or worried.  Do you turn to food for comfort?  Do you eat because you are facing a difficult decision, or you are bored?

Here are some negative stressors that may trigger unhealthy eating:

Tips to combat emotional eating and get weight loss back on track.

  1. Know your stressors.  What are the events, people or situations that cause you to feel anxiety, worry or become stressed.  Try to keep track of these patterns so you can be prepared to combat your bad habit reactions to these stressors.  Do you overeat when you are stressed?  Do you try to comfort yourself by reaching for the ice cream  or sweets?   Do you eat too many snacks and potato chips when you are bored?
  2. Keep a food diary.  One way to identify your emotional eating patterns is to keep a diary and write down what you eat and when you eat.  You may notice that you are overeating at certain times of the day.  Or you may over indulge because of some stressors in your life.  Keeping a food diary can help you identify these patterns and then you can choose ways to alter the negative patterns.
  3. Develop a network of friends who share the same goal of losing weight.  Having at least one person as support can help you stay on track and give you another perspective on how to combat the negative temptations and emotional triggers.  In addition, having someone else involved in the weight loss project can keep you accountable as you share your progress.
  4. Stock your pantry with healthy foods.  When you are tempted, you can reach for healthy snacks and avoid the high calorie sweet foods, if you have stocked your pantry with healthy low calorie snacks.  Avoid buying foods that will only provide temptation to consume.
  5. Get Happy.  Having an upbeat attitude can be a remarkably successful way of combating those negative emotional triggers in your life.  When choosing to network with friends, choose the more positive thinking friends.  Optimism and a positive attitude are contagious.

Healthy Eating Tips

The Physical Effects of Stress

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