Putting the brakes on 'emotional eating'
(HealthDay)—Many of us make choices about whether to eat healthy or not-so-healthy foods based on whether we're in a good or not-so-good mood.
Here's how to keep your emotions from ruining your diet resolve.
First, it helps to think about the future rather than just that moment. Refocus on the long-term health benefits of good nutrition, and remind yourself how much more important they are than any short-lived comfort from food.
Next, look for ways to brighten your mood that don't involve eating at all. If you're blue, call a diet buddy who knows how to motivate you. Or turn on a favorite movie. If you're nervous or angry, release your emotions by working out to your favorite music mix or taking a short run.
Healthy lifestyle habits help insulate you from bad moods and the emotional eating that often follows. Boost your mood on a daily basis with regular exercise and with a few minutes of relaxation, like taking a warm bath, meditating, or reading a book.
Using a food journal can help you look for causes of a bad mood, like stress, and show patterns you can then take steps to change. For example, if giving a presentation at work always has you reaching for a candy bar, be prepared with a healthier snack, like a small container of nuts and dried fruits.
These positive steps will improve your outlook and, in turn, help you make good food choices and stick to your diet.
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