Many people overeat or eat the wrong kinds of foods when they're bored, stressed, or want to reward themselves. Skinny runners don't use food to make themselves feel better. Of course, they know the importance of using rewards as motivation. And they do reward themselves after reaching an important goal, such as achieving a personal record
in a race. But they use non-food rewards, such as a new pair of running shorts, a relaxing sports massage, or pedicure
. Non-food rewards have a more lasting positive effect than food rewards because you won't have those feelings of guilt after you've indulged.
What to Do:
Here are some ways you can avoid emotional eating:
When you find yourself heading to the fridge or the pantry, ask yourself why you're eating. If it's not because you’re hungry, try going for a run or doing another form of exercise instead, even if it's just for 15 minutes. Making a habit of substituting an unhealthy behavior for a healthy one will make a difference in your weight loss efforts.
Make a list of non-food treats that you'd like, so you can refer it to when you're ready to reward yourself for reaching a goal.
Keep a food diary and track everything you put in your mouth. Once you start recording all your foods, you'll think more about what you're eating and why you're eating it. Many runners track their foods in their training journals, so they have a record of their workouts and their foods in the same place.