Emotional eating is something many of us do, without being aware of it. It is the number one culprit to weight gain, and can keep us stuck in a vicious cycle with food.
It can also leave us feeling like a failure when it comes to healthy eating and “staying on track.” Any time you eat without being physically hungry, it’s usually for an emotional reason. These emotional reasons could be boredom, loneliness, anger, needing comfort or soothing, or just wanting to numb out. There are many others, but these are the main triggers.
Eating during times of transition can be a big trigger for emotional eating as well. Especially when we are transitioning to the evening after dinner and life slows down and quiets down. This is a time where we want to feel comforted after a long, stressful day at work or with the kids.
And although we can have good intentions, those good intentions often turn into a whole pint of ice cream on the couch while binge-watching Netflix. Identifying if you are an emotional eater is actually simple. Ask yourself how often you eat when you are NOT physically hungry.
If it’s more than 30% of the time, then that is a pretty good indicator that you turn to food to soothe yourself.
In this video below, which I created shortly after the election when a lot of people were turning to food to cope, I share my top 2 tips on how to overcome emotional eating, and what to do in the moments when you feel like you might spiral out of control with food. I also share ways in which you can identify triggers for emotional eating.
Tip #1 for Overcoming Emotional Eating
When you find yourself going toward food and wanting to eat, especially if it’s during a transition time (after work, after dinner) STOP and ask yourself if you are physically hungry.
If the answer is YES, then make a choice that will nourish you and feel good for your body.
If the answer is NO, then take a pause and ask yourself what you are feeling. Wait for the answer before you grab food. If you are tired, bored, stressed, lonely, etc, then move on to Tip #2.
Tip #2 for Overcoming Emotional Eating
Once you can connect with what you are feeling, then you can take an alternate, nourishing action by asking yourself what you need.
What do I need right now?
If you are lonely, call a friend. If you are sad, let yourself feel your sadness. If you are bored, find something that feels fulfilling and nourishing, not numbing. If you are tired, rest or go to bed. If you feel angry, put on some upbeat music and dance it out.
The main key is to attune to your body and your emotions and see what you need. It may be hard for you to know at first, but the more you do this, the more you will be able to understand what you are feeling and what you can do to feel better in the moment.
Start to practice these 2 tips immediately and see what unfolds.
If you want to go even further and learn more ways you can overcome emotional eating, click the link below to download my Food Freedom Guide for FREE!Click here to get the guide today!