Emotions, Eating behaviours and Triggers to eating

Why trying to lose weight and modify your dietary intake it is important to learn to tell the difference between true hunger and trigger hunger. This will enable you to gain control over your eating. Situations that may trigger overeating or eating unhealthy foods:   
  • Eating minimal all day and then overeating in the evening.    
  • Eating on the go, rather than sitting down to a proper meal.   
  • Eating whilst watching TV/at cinema.   
  • Nibbling whilst cooking.   
  • Eating the children’s or partners leftovers.   
  • Pressure when eating out/by friends/colleagues.   
  • Eating on your way back from the supermarket.   
  • Parties/celebrations.   

Your food diary will help you to identify if you are trigger eating.Hunger: Intense desire to eat due to your body needing energy/fuel.   

Cravings: Also an intense desire to eat, but usually for a specific type of food e.g. crisps or chocolate. Cravings come on quickly and usually go within 20 minutes, so try distracting yourself and wait to see if the craving disappears. It is easy to mistake cravings for hunger and this may lead to unnecessary overeating.   

Emotions: Boredom/loneliness: could you take up a new hobby? Make a phone call? / read a book or magazine.   

Stress/anxiety: avoid having unhealthy foods in the house in the first place.It is common to eating when tired or to cheer yourself up, but ultimately you will end up feeling worse.It is important to change your attitude towards food and to take a few seconds to think before you eat something.Try to avoid eating in a roundabout way. This means choosing several other snacks to offset your cravings, before finally giving in and eating the snack you were trying to avoid in the first place and then eating more calories overall!It is also important to limit temptations.    Keeping a food and mood diary can help you to identify when you let your emotions rule your eating.