Emotional Eating is usually related to overeating (although, under-eating can easily play a role when it comes to ones emotions). Most people have dealt with emotional eating, on some level, and along with the plethora of junk food that is now readily obtainable, it could be super easy to hide amongst, what most magazines love to call, “comfort” food.
How to stop emotional eating
Comfort food with emotional eating, could mean various things, to various folks. To several, it's a packet of chips, buttered popcorn, a tub of ice cream or a chocolate cake. Irrespective of what it is, individuals eat “comfort” foods to temporarily feel comfort… unfortunately, it always results in us feeling “blah,” moments later.
The two main kinds of comfort food in my opinion:
1. The unhealthy kind, or even the Tricks. These food types fool us into thinking it's “o.k.” to take pleasure in them, simply because we're feeling that we “deserve” it, or…
2. The actual Treats, the other comfort foods that we can munch away on, and no, they don’t solve our problems, but we could feel “good” about enjoying them (or at least, don’t feel worse).
How can we decipher the Tricks from the Treats?
The “wrong” kind of comfort food, (or the Tricks), will often have similar traits…Typically, they are very high in sugar. They are full of cooked fats (like hydrogenated oils, peanut and soybean oil, milk products, or cream, etc.), and/or are high in bad fats (other than the ones from plants sources, like coconut, or avocado). They're fried, or greasy. They are higher than normal in sodium, and/or they're processed. These Tricks also usually have a great deal of ingredients (many of which, we cannot pronounce). The fewer the ingredients, the better. The more natural ingredients, so much the better. They never make us feel satisfied, so we always want more. These comfort foods are Tricks mainly because they only elevate our mood temporarily (and generally only when one is actually consuming them). Not really that eating for comfort ever solved anyone’s problems, however, these are the worst foods to drown one’s sorrows in. Why? A healthy, happy, body doesn't want these foods inside it. The body is an incredibly intelligent mechanism, created to live a long, happy life. It has no use for foods that weaken the immunity. These food types just increase the pressure that our body is under (be it, emotionally, or physically).
How can we break the debilitating outcomes of emotional eating, and stop reaching for the Tricks?
Successfully overcoming emotional eating means dealing with the emotions of stress, fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, sadness, loss of control, or emptiness, which are affecting us, in the first place. The underlying issues. Obviously, once we are emotionally capable of quickly, and simply, dealing with the underlying issues, we wouldn’t be sucking down a bag of greasy chips to start with. So . . . we are able to begin by starting to break the cycle of emotional eating, in itself. Beginning to break the patterns of emotional eating can simplify the underlying issue, or issues. Someone will be less likely to turn to food for comfort, if they're feeling good about themselves, rather than feeling restricted to a pattern of consumption (or lack of consumption), that only leaves them feeling “empty”. Often time we merely need that little push, to begin heading in a more positive direction. Positivity, attracts more positive situations. Switching our thought process, can transform the way you view comfort food.
Tips for dealing with Comfort Eating, or the consumption of sugary, fatty, and processed foods:
I have heard of people that eat a cookie to “treat” themselves, after a long day, or because they feel connected, or “closer” to the person who baked the cookies. If you find yourself in this “rut,” ask yourself these questions: Is it a treat if it leaves you feeling guilty after you consume it? Is it a treat if it takes you farther away from your goal to lose weight, or increase your energy, improve your mood, or feel, and be healthier? No! Because if you take a moment to think about it, What are a few moments of “bliss,” if it leaves you feeling low, and farther from your goal? A Treat is something that you could feel liberated having. It is something that you can say, “Aha! I like that, and i can have it!” It is not something that makes you say, “Damn! Why did I actually do that?” Better still, it does not pull you from your goal. A Treat would be the ability to go out, and have a glass of wine with your pals, or to enjoy a generous helping of one of these chocolate pudding recipes, or goat cheese, or Real olive oil, on your salad. Sure, it could be rich and “fatty,” but combined well, it won’t undo all of the good you have done. Why? Because it is au natural… unlike those high calorie treats, that have you unsatisfied, and wanting more, and more, more. Quit, while you're ahead.
Tip number 1. If you go to reach for something “bad,” consider why you are reaching for it? Maybe you are cold, and seeking comfort, or looking to fill a void. Or! It could be that you’re THIRSTY! The initial step is recognition. Sounds funny, but it's so true. Can you go for one day without your everyday chocolate, or packet of chips? I bet you can- make a game out of it. Take a hot bubble bath, or shower. Get out of the house, or flat! Go for a walk, instead. Call a friend. Make a “To Do” List- they always seem to motivate me. Drink a fresh carrot juice- it is energizing, and harmless! Do something else, to keep your mind off of those chips, that seem to be calling your name… I can guarantee you that your food is not the solution. But if you want to nibble on something… try something harmless like carrots, dipped in salsa (and if you hate carrots, they will only remind you that you are really not that hungry).
Tip number 2. Now here is a big one… Don't purchase IT. What good are the chips, and ice cream, going to do for you if they are in your kitchen? Nothing. No good. Just say no to junk… while you are in the supermarket. Quit while you are ahead.
Tip number 3. Don’t wear sweats when you eat. They are comfy, and you’ll just keep saying “oh, just one more bite.” Unless your cuddling by the fire, or reading a book in bed, pajamas and sweats are not something you should spend your day in. They make you feel lazy, and want to eat “lazy” food. I am not saying you should wear a corset, or even your tightest jeans, but really, don’t wear those sloppy tracksuits, when eating.
Tip number 4. Get positive support. Whether it's employing a nutritionist, or perhaps conversing with a healthy buddy, surrounding your self, with the healthy people you admire, is a good method to encourage healthy behavior.