Bad break-up? Lost your job? Stressful times call for a pint of ice cream eaten straight out of the container with a huge spoon, right? This makes sense, according to a study that found emotions have more influence on food choices than cognition. For some of us, these indulgent binges happen only on rare occasions. But others whose “emotional calibration” is off are more likely to eat unhealthy foods on a regular basis.
With these few simple tricks, however, emotional eaters can keep food choices — and waistlines — in check.
- If you think you’re hungry, ask yourself, “Would I eat an apple right now?” If the answer is no, you’re probably not really hungry. Find some other activity to occupy you such as going for a walk, getting a manicure or calling a friend.
- Before going to the grocery store, plan out your next few meals and shop from a list, avoiding the aisles with tempting foods. As a general rule, the healthiest foods are found in the perimeter of the grocery store; and never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
- When eating out check out the restaurant’s menu online and choose what you’ll have in advance so you’ll be less likely to make an impulsive choice.
- Instead of eating ice cream straight from the container, put a reasonable serving into a bowl so you can keep track of how much you’re eating. Do the same with chips, popcorn and other snacks.