I recently had a member of our #couchpotatotofabfit Facebook group ask the members for advice on how to combat Emotional eating. She had been experiencing some problems in her life and found it difficult not to ‘fall off the healthy eating bandwagon’.
Emotional eating is quite common and there are many reasons why we turn to food for comfort. You aren’t alone!
- Life gets hectic so we don’t make the effort to cook, we turn to takeout or quick meals or snacks.
- Food provides comfort – we all know how good eating chocolate makes us feel!
- Life is overwhelming and we just want to curl up under the covers with a tub of ice cream, or chips or a chocolate bar.
- You feel bored or disinterested in life
- You are stressed
- Childhood habits
Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle – problems, eating unhealthy, feeling bad because we aren’t eating healthy so we reach for another chocolate bar.
You can break the cycle of emotional eating – it can be difficult but you can put strategies in place to help yourself.
Here are My 10 tips to beat emotional eating and feel good about yourself.
#1 Don’t beat yourself up
Here is a surprise for you – YOU ARE HUMAN AND NOT PERFECT! We all fall off the healthy eating bandwagon – that is life. If you are having a difficult time don’t beat yourself up about it but rather be determined to do better. Just because you had one lapsed day doesn’t mean you need to continue down that path.
#2 – Make short term goals.
Sometimes we have a goal – losing weight or eating healthier and it just seems unattainable. We put pressure on ourselves or unrealistic expectations. Try breaking down your main goal into bite sized pieces (oops there is a pun). Make a deal with yourself and say ‘okay I’m going to eat healthy for the next 2 days’. YOU CAN DO IT! and once you have achieved that then repeat.
#3 – Remove the temptation
It is easy to grab for an unhealthy alternative if it is in your pantry. Remove as much unhealthy food as you can and stock up on healthy snacks – if it isn’t there you won’t be tempted as much.
#4 – Write down everything you eat or drink
For a week, write down everything you eat or drink. You will be surprised that you might start to hear a little voice in your head asking ‘Do you really want to eat that?’ when you write down chocolate bar or chips etc and psychologically you might think twice before you choose what to eat or drink.
#5 – Drink a glass of water
You think you feel hungry, however sometimes your body is telling you that you are dehydrated. If you feel hungry, drink a large glass of water instead.
#6 – Exercise
Nothing takes the mind off food better than exercise. If you feel tempted to eat an unhealthy snack go for a 10 minute walk (or longer) instead. You will be surprised that at the end you don’t feel hungry anymore and you actually feel mentally great.
#7 – Don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals is a bit ‘NO-NO’. It is easy to grab something easy if you are hungry. Make sure you start the day with a substantial breakfast which will give you the energy to take on the day. Take your lunch to work rather than buying it and then have a smaller dinner. Pack some healthy snacks as well rather than using the vending machine.
#8 – Be prepared
Make up some healthy snacks and meals in advance so you have those to eat rather than unhealthy food. Perhaps set aside one day per week to prepare so that if you don’t feel like cooking at least you have a healthy meal or snack ready to go.
There are so many healthy recipe ideas on the internet for main meals and snacks there really is no excuse not to make them.
#9 – Reflect on what is happening in your life
Emotional eating is caused by what is happening in your life at the moment or pe. Try to take time out to examine what is happening in your life that is making you unhappy. Is there a way to make changes? Is there a way to work through it?
#10 – Phone a friend
True Friends are always there for you. If you are feeling ‘down’, rather than reach for food, reach for the phone and call a friend for a chat. You will feel better and won’t need that unhealthy snack after all.
#11 – Treat yourself
If you read my blog you will know that I’m all about Balance. That means that you don’t need to cut out ‘treats’ altogether. It just means that you should learn to regard certain foods as ‘treats’ and not as everyday foods. Allow yourself a ‘treat day’ and savour it. Enjoy every mouthful and appreciate the taste.
Alternatively, why does a treat have to be food? Treat yourself to a massage or mani/pedi – something that makes you feel special.
#12 – Ask for help
If you are feeling overwhelmed with life don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional.There is no shame in asking for help and talking through your thoughts and feelings.Click To Tweet
Let’s Keep Sizzling!