You can stop emotional binge eating if you know how to recognize it or take action once you know the signs and symptoms. Even if you are trying to watch what you eat there are times when your emotions may get the best of you, causing you to overeat. It happens to everyone at some point, so don’t be embarrassed or overly concerned when you stray off your diet, unless you make it a habit. This is when it becomes a problem.

We all face daily stressors. Kids have more stress than ever at school with all the current demands of public school systems, as they do their best to better educate them. However, they do not have the same amount of stress an adult or older, responsible person has because of financial worries and the daily tasks they face in trying to raise kids properly. Even single folks or married couples face far more stress today than ever.

It makes sense then, that overeating due to an imbalance in your personal life can affect just about anyone. When you have trouble in your personal life, whether due to a relationship, job, or otherwise, your eating habits may take a turn for the worst if you are not careful.

One of the most common problems affecting millions of people all over the world today is how they turn to food for comfort. These people are trying to cope with their emotions the best they know how but it gets them in trouble when they walk toward the fridge for that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream when they should be chomping on vegetables, fruits, nuts (as long as they are not allergic), or other healthy snacks which don’t contain an incredible amount of simple sugars.

When people eat foods that taste great and are bad for them, their bodies release endorphins which are those feel-good hormones we get when we are exercising intensely. This is one of the reason it’s so easy to get hooked on this type of indulgence!

Here are 5 ways to make emotional binge eating a thing of the past:

1. Take some “me” time alone and reflect. Too often, we get trapped in the same mundane existence and we make excuses to not take care of ourselves by doing the things we love. Here’s some news for you; doing what you love does not have to involve eating unhealthy foods. It can be something as simple as taking a walk in the park for 30 minutes on one day, walking your dog for 10 minutes every day after it does its deed, or going to the mall and having a favorite diet drink or cup of coffee without cream or sugar.

2. Emotional binge eating can affect anyone at any time.Recognize the signs and symptoms. Guys and gals, it’s not rocket science. Before you indulge in that piece of chocolate cake for the second day in a row, pause and think about what you are doing. Retrace your steps for the day while keeping in mind these common triggers; having a rough day at work, not being pleased about your appearance, wanting to escape your problems, a recent sad event you are dealing with, or feeling guilty about something you did. Then, take corrective action and get back on track to eating healthy foods. If you can’t be honest with yourself, you will have a tough time trying to stop emotional binge eating.

3. Get a buddy to help you. People who are lacking in their social lives sometimes tend to dig themselves into a deeper holes by seeking comfort in eating. If you can, enlist the help of one of your friends who wants to stay on the right track. Together, your progress and ability to avoid emotional eating will be easier because you will be there for one another. What a beautiful thing!

4. Take 5 minutes a day to conduct deep breathing and visualization techniques. Lay down or sit down, relax your body with your arms at your side, and breathe in slowly while using your belly for approximately 5 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and release it for 8 seconds. Do this 4-5 times. For visualization while you are doing the deep breathing, concentrate on anything positive or images of how you want to look. This works wonders for stress and some folks say this type of meditation is all they need to stay on track with their regular diets.

5. Get professional help if you can’t do it on your own. Sometimes, we need to seek counseling to help us come to terms with what’s truly happening so we can take corrective measures. There is no shame in this. If you feel your eating is out of control due to your emotions or otherwise, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. You may have an emotional binge eating disorder.

Once you get on the right track with one victory after another, your habits will become automatic. If you find you are straying away and occasionally falling victim once again to emotional overeating, concentrate on the things that were effective in avoiding this problem. After a little bit of a struggle, you will have your emotional eating under control and you will never be a victim to it again.