Emotional eating effects so many different people for so many different reasons. Looking back to my childhood I know I have been an emotional eater all my life. As a child I had a lot of insecurities and food was my comfort. It helped me be happy. I remember riding my bike to my mother's work which was just a few blocks from our home and everyday she would have an ice cream cone for me from their cafeteria. It was the highlight of my day. Even on TV or in movies you quite often see the leading lady eating ice cream with a big spoon right out of the container because she was done wrong by a man. To me food had become a drug. Whether I was angry, sad, lonely or bored, it was my high, the fix I needed to lift my spirits. The only problem was, once I was done eating that piece of cake, or ice cream or bag of chips I was still hungry for more. When you emotional eat your are NEVER full. My love affair with food is an unhealthy one. It is like a bad relationship you are stuck in and you need to decide to leave. The problem is you cannot cut food out of your life since you need it to live. Instead you need to start looking at food differently.
"Food is fuel, not therapy"-unknown "Eat to fill your stomach and not your heart"-unknown
Those are some great quotes to live by.
There are some things you can do to help yourself from emotional eating and avoid the guilt you feel after.
1. Plan your meals: Take time each week to plan your meals and snacks and when you go to the grocery store just buy the healthy foods on your list. If you do not have unhealthy choices in the house you will not be able to eat for the wrong reasons. Be sure to have lots of healthy foods around to snack on. Also pre-make your meals and put them in microwavable containers. That way when you need to eat quickly you will still eat healthy and not run to your nearest fast food restaurant.
2. Manage Stress: You will need to re-train yourself on how to resolve stress without using food as your solution. You could take a walk outside, read a book, take a bath, meditate or write in a journal. Journaling is great because you can write down what is bothering you and work out your feelings with a pen rather than food.
3. Know your Triggers : Do some self reflecting and determine what sets you down the road to emotional eating. Is it because you are in a bad relationship? Maybe you have a stressful job or a boss you wish you didn't have? Maybe you worry too much about money? Whatever your triggers might be become aware of them so when those triggers come into your life and effect your feelings you recognize them and find a better way to deal with them rather than using food.
4. Stop Dieting: Dieting is the worst thing an emotional eater can do. When you diet you usually deprive and restrict what you eat and in doing so that creates an even greater love affair between yourself and the food you can't have. All the foods you can't have suddenly have more value and you are consumed with thoughts of what you can't have. Also when you're on a diet many people at the end of it reward themselves with that cake or ice cream they restricted themselves from. Food should never be a reward.
" It's not that I "can't" eat that. I'm making the healthier choice not to. And it's not that I don't want to. It's just that it's not worth it."-The DO IT program not salmon.com/DO-IT.
Instead of dieting make a lifestyle change. Make a conscious choice to think about what you are putting into your body every time you are about to eat something and whether you are eating it because it is healthy for you. If answer is "NO'' DO NOT EAT IT!
Emotional eating has a lot to do with how we look at ourselves and our confidence and self worth. If you work on self love and learn to love yourself and accept who you are, then you will want to take even better care of yourself. The best person to help you not emotional eat is YOU.
" When you believe in yourself more than you believe in food, you will stop using food as if it were your only chance at not falling apart." -Geneen Roth
My name is Gloria Mattia. I'm a Wellness Advocate, single mother of one and on a journey for better health and well being. Over the course of the last while I have been transforming my life one day at a time into the life I want. "The best way to predict your future is to create it. Abraham Lincoln"