When you sit down to have a meal, are you eating because you're hungry or are you eating because you're bored, stressed or tired?
What many don't know is that food is related to feelings, or events, and is not just designed to satisfy our hunger.
Nadine Mulligan from Motivation.ie says that this “emotional eating” is one of the main reasons for weight gain.
Nadine helps individuals manage their diet and healthy eating regime in her Dublin weight-loss clinic and is adamant that by becoming aware of why we eat and taking control of the urges that drive us to seek comfort in food, we can take back control.
Here, Ms Mulligan outlines the steps to take back control from emotional eating.
Identify your triggers
You need to understand what fuels your emotional eating, and Nadine says that the five most common causes are unhappiness, anxiety, boredom, lonliness and relationship problems.
What can I do about it?
Nadine insists that if you're an emotional eater, it doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying food.
"We are emotional beings, but we have to separate our physical hunger from matters of the heart by finding alternative ways of expressing emotions other than through food."
"The first thing to do before taking a bite is to think about what you’re about to eat and why. Are you really hungry? Try drinking a glass of water before you eat. Thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger."
Throw that burger out and get active!
"Not only will this help keep your body in shape, it’s good for your emotions too. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have fewer food cravings than those who don’t."
This regime has worked wonders on many of Nadine's clients, and she believes if you follow these three steps, it will help you on your way to a happier and healthier life.