A midlife crisis is a real and challenging occurrence for some people. It is a time when life transitions happen, sometimes requiring uncomfortable adjustments. A high degree of stress during this time in your life can lead to emotional eating and an overconsumption of calories, causing weight gain.
Midlife Crisis and Eating
If you have been dealing with a midlife crisis, you may be feeling stressed out. Children growing up and leaving the home, a change in career, dealing with an aging body or disappointment in not having realized lifelong dreams could be possible reasons for feeling sad or frustrated during midlife.
For some people who suffer from a midlife crisis, motivation may be at an all-time low. Feelings of regret, loneliness or hopelessness may lead to depression. When people are depressed, binging and emotional eating are ways to find temporary relief from feelings of sadness or melancholy.
Your Midlife Crisis and Weight Gain
If you are going through a midlife crisis and gaining weight at the same time, you may be wondering how to break this cycle. The first step is to tune into your eating habits. When do you eat? What do you eat? Why do you eat? And how often do you eat?
When you pay close attention to your eating habits, you may start to notice specific patterns. For example, are you eating a lot more when you are alone? Do you often eat because you are bored? Do you often eat high fat and sugary foods? If so, it may be that your overeating is not to satiate your hunger but to fulfill an emotional need.
Ways to Overcome Emotional Eating
Once you have these insights, take the opportunity to find healthy activities that make you feel happy and fulfilled. For example, instead of eating you might decide to take a walk with a good friend. Reading an uplifting book is another way to spend the time. Watching a show that inspires you or makes you laugh is another option. Volunteering your time to a worthy cause is yet another way to feel purposeful and fulfilled.
Exercise as a Remedy
Replacing emotional eating with exercise or other activities that burn calories is often an effective strategy. For example, if you notice that you snack heavily in the evenings, you might choose to exercise instead. Going to the gym, riding your bike in your neighborhood, or working out to an exercise DVD in your home are all good ways to burn calories and energize your body.
Additionally, there are activities you can do around your home that may give you fulfillment and burn calories at the same time. Cleaning out a closet or working in your garden are ways to be physically active and productive at the same time.
A midlife crisis can lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. It is possible, however, to turn things around. By tuning into your emotional needs and finding healthy ways to meet them, you can achieve your desired weight and regain a sense of inner contentment.