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Dr. David Kim Kim Bariatric Institute

Emotional Eating

Are you an emotional eater? Do you find yourself looking for munchies while watching tv? Clinging to a bowl of ice cream to deal with stress? Eating for reasons other than nourishment can cause your weight loss to stop and can even ignite weight gain. Below are a few tips to promote healthy eating habits and help you fight emotional eating!

  • Before eating (when it is not “meal time”), always ask yourself “why you are hungry”? Is it because it has been several hours since your last meal? Or are you just bored and trying to find something to do? If the answer is the latter of the two, get yourself out of the situation and find something to keep your mind off of food. Some great ideas include: calling a friend, going for a walk, or writing a letter to a relative or friend. If the answer is stress or anxiety, try making a to-do list of the things you need to get done. This will not only get your mind off of food but will help you to feel at ease with a structured plan.
  • Try sipping on hydrating fluids before grabbing for a handful of beef jerky or protein bar. Many times our bodies will signal hunger when the body is needing fluids. If hunger persists 30 minutes after drinking 16 ounces of hydrating fluids, then you are experiencing true hunger.
  • Cravings typically last 10 minutes. Tell yourself you will have the food item you’re craving in 10 minutes. By the time 10 minutes has passed, you have moved on to the next to-do leaving your craving in the dust.
  • Avoid connecting eating a meal with any other activity. Watching tv, reading a book, or eating while working can all trigger an emotional attachment to food. Make yourself a priority. Set aside 30 minutes for each meal and designate a dining place. This will not only help you to be mindful of your intake but also allows you to enjoy your food more!

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