The primarily reason why we gain (or fail to lose) the unwanted weight is because we eat when or what we shouldn’t be eating! The Emotional Eating struggle is real and I’m so No stranger to it!
As a stay-at-home mom I know first hand what how tempting it can be to grab a sweet “fix” to beat the boredom, stress or anxiety when I was far from being physically hungry!
But what did I end up with each time I’ve overindulged?
The feelings of guilt and remorse + the angrily rumbling tummy + the numbers on the scale & reflection in the mirror are far from what you’d like them to be!That’s why at a certain point when I decided that I was going to get in shape for good, recognising my true “enemy” and looking it straight in the eye was imperative if I was to succeed!
The Emotional Eating was the biggest hurdle that I had to overcome in order to take control over my own body! But after having recognised it as such, I came up with a plan that helped me regain the control over my body and my soul!
How To Stop Emotional Eating:
#1. Pinpoint your True Need!
Is it stress? Is it boredom? Is it just “bad mood”? Determine what you’re actually feeling when you get the urge to grab that donut!
I think that it’s very important to dig deeper and truly understand yourself! This is when you’ll be able to truly stay satisfied: by dealing with your core needs!
#2. Come up with the best non-food solution!
Or even better yet – come up with a list of things that could make you feel better!
And make sure that whatever is on this list is food-unrelated!
…Because unless your problem is that you’re hungry, there should be plenty of other things that can satisfy your stress or boredom!
So what are those things that’ll raise your mood? Here’re a few “happy” things I think about when I’m feeling down:
- I’m gonna go for a walk and do some window shopping!
- I’ll call my mom. Or my friend. Or both!
- I’ll put a pretty outfit on and go out feeling as beautiful as can be!
- I’ll share my treats with my family/ friends. Seeing their joy will make me feel good!
- I’ll browse internet for some outfit inspiration
- I’ll watch a movie
- I’ll read that book I’ve been wanting to read for a while now!
Coming up with a bunch of “happy” activities that help me cope with bad mood is one of the best ways to deal with the emotional eating!
#3. Eat less/ Eat light.
I’m tremendously depend on my habits! If I have a certain time in the day when I EXPECT to be getting a treat, it’s close to impossible for me to skip it!
For instance I NEED to have my mid-day coffee & sweet treat break for me to move on! If I don’t get to have it – my whole day’s mood will be ruined! And with it – my productivity will be hurt!
So what do you do when your “treat-time” is up, but you just… aren’t hungry for it? The best way to go about it is of-course to reschedule your treat-time until later, when your body is ready for it!
But if rescheduling isn’t an option (you can’t skip an important meeting just because you’ve got to have your coffee-time instead!), readjusting the calorie-count of your treat is the best possible solution!
For instance if I usually like taking my coffee with some cream, accompanied by a slice of a healthy dessert… When I’m not hungry I may go for just the coffee, or take it black with just one piece of dark chocolate!
This way my soul gets the “fix” it’s craving while my body doesn’t end up hurt by the unnecessary food that it didn’t need!
#4 Set up the mood!
I think that this one is the most important part of this equation!
Because… what do we really seek when we’re craving a treat? The boost of joy, the mood-lifting satisfaction!
Craving it on a regular basis isn’t only OK… It’s something that you undoubtedly NEED if you want to stay well both emotionally and physically!
And here’s the most important part: the edible treat may be a part of this sweet moment you’re after! But treating it as a PART of it, not the only thing you rely on to make you feel good is imperative!
This is why putting on something that makes me feel pretty and going to a special place to meet a friend (or just taking myself out) for a cup of an espresso might be just as much, or even more satisfying than galloping a venti mocha with a donut from at a gas station!
(No offence to the gas station food! In fact thank goodness they carry fresh fruit for when I’m on the road and need a nutritious snack)!
In fact, back in time when I lived on $5 a day food-budget (I got my first ever job at at Six Flags and was making $5/hour), I still cropped $1.50 out of that budget to get myself a nice cup of coffee! At a Nice place. A place that made me feel Special! Because my Soul needed it! And it made me feel so good inside to do that! 🙂So what did you think about that? Does quitting the emotional eating habit without losing the “joie de vivre” sound more doable now? If you have anything to say about this, please let me know in the comments below! 🙂