I know from experience what can happen to you when emotional eating becomes a problem!
Imagine how you would feel if you could stop the downward spiral and gain access to powerful tools that put emotional eating in check!
Have you ever found yourself diving into a pint of ice cream, or devouring an entire bag of cookies or chips or pizza after a stressful day?
When we use food to boost our mood or stuff our feelings, this falls under emotional eating territory.
We have all used some form of emotional eating during rough periods in our lives.
The feelings of guilt that can follow an eating binge is not pleasant, so let’s find out what is going on under the surface.
Having an occasional junk food treat or indulging at a celebration is completely normal, even healthy.The problem arises when we start using food to comfort ourselves or fill a void. This might bring a momentary sense of relief, but it always brings more negative emotions than good in the long run, not to mention extra pounds and maybe even detrimental health issues.None of us need the downward spiral of self shaming that can cause even more emotional eating! I have had to deal with this issue and I know that many others are struggling with it.
The good news is that we can create new patterns that address the underlying issues before we turn to food!
The first step is to stay with your feelings.
It is very uncomfortable to see a negative emotion all the way through, but it is essential for battling emotional eating. A lot of us were taught to stuff our feelings and we learned to be quiet about things that were bothering us as children.How many of us can relate to that?The new pattern is to stop trying to avoid unpleasant feelings. The only way to make them go away is to embrace the healing process.Acknowledging that we are feeling sad, angry, disappointed, ignored or abandoned is perfectly okay.Set up a support system by having a trusted friend to share these times with. Be available for them when they are down also. A peer therapy partner is awesome!
Another way is to write your feeling down in a journal,
on a napkin or any other way available.The main objective is to get your feelings outside of yourself. In this way you can begin to look at the situation more objectively. It is very therapeutic to let the emotions out on paper! This will also allow us to save our treats for special events and celebrations!
Savor the moment!
Make a mental note of moments in your life when you are light hearted and happy.A warm spring day, a pleasant view, a task accomplished or a hug from someone special.When you are eating, do it mindfully. Enjoy the flavor, the smell, the texture. Try not to rush through meals. Use all the time and get more out of it then simple sustenance. Even the simplest foods can bring us a lot satisfaction when we put our attention on it and create a habit of really enjoying our meal times.
Only eat when you are hungry.
A lot of us grew up with very strict eating schedules. We always ate at a certain time weather we were hungry or not! Make sure you are actually hungry before you eat, especially if you are experiencing a stressful day or did not get enough sleep.Have a glass of water first and wait 10 minutes, if you are still hungry get something healthy to eat.If you eat healthy at least 80% of the time, and use moderation when indulging it will have less of an impact.Balance is everything.
Know your triggers!
Try keeping a food journal for a few weeks. Write down what you eat, what time and how you feel for each eating time. You will begin to see how your mood affects your food choices and be empowered to make adjustments! Take advantage of my free download, Simple Sleep Diary. You will find the link below this post.
Be in control!
Keeping a variety of delicious and nutritious snacks will help you make better choices. Hummus or avocado dip are great filler, they are healthy and there are a variety of vegetables that are the perfect go with.Carrots, broccoli, sweet peppers and celery are a few of my favorites. Make a list of your favorites to take to the grocery store so you will remember. It is a good idea to try something new every so often, you may find a brand new favorite!