When it comes to emotional eating, it’s no secret that our mood dictates our food in many ways. When we are in a good mood, we tend to go for food that will benefit our health. However, when we are in a sad or depressive mood, we tend to go the opposite way and use food as a coping mechanism. High carbs and sugary foods are two of the favourite options for emotional eaters to get that instant euphoric hit but unfortunately, the hit doesn’t last all that long and makes many feel worse in the long term.
In this blog post, we will be outlining the importance of becoming aware of sensations when they arise. This gives you much greater control of interrupting patterns and intervening with emotional eating habits. Our five top tips for breaking the cycle include…
Accept The Emotion & Then Decide
This is a really simple tactic to use but one that is proven to be effective. Instead of instantly eating your emotions, take a minute to pause and accept the emotion. Simply observe the emotion and then decide what is best for you to deal with that emotion rather than food. This may be different and can vary from individual to individual. Practising mindfulness can really help to start observing and accepting emotions when they come up. If you decide to go ahead and proceed to eat the food you are thinking about after this process, it will still make you feel like you are in more control of your eating habits. The key is to practice this technique repetitively.
Are You Really Hungry?
Another effective question that you can ask yourself to interrupt these patterns is ‘’am I really hungry?’’
By asking this question to yourself before you contemplate overeating, you will quickly differentiate the reason you are considering the food in the first place. If you are hungry, you will know that you are going for the food for nutritional value and so you feel full which is perfectly normal. However, if the answer to the question is no, it’s worth taking a minute to consider your motivational driver which is often to mask over feelings and emotions.
Feed Your Emotions With Something Else
It may have become habitable for you to feed your emotions. However, there are other and much healthier alternatives for you to consider. Instead of diving in headfirst with these suggestions, it may be worth just considering a few that you think you would enjoy the most and testing the water before committing to any on a regular basis. A few of these suggestions include going out into nature, comedy sketching, meeting up with a friend, or playing with your children or your dog.
Make Easy Lifestyle Changes
You don’t have to change your whole world but making easy lifestyle changes can be hugely beneficial for reducing negative feelings and emotions that often lead to emotional eating. There are some lifestyle changes to implement that will reduce your frequency of emotional eating. Firstly, look at the main three; exercise, diet, and sleep. Sufficient sleep quality and quantity is a key one and is fundamental. Furthermore, limiting alcohol consumption may also be considered to stop emotional eating the next day that can fast become habitual.
Book A Consultation
If you are struggling with how your mood dictates your food, it’s well worth seeking professional advice and guidance from me at Naturally Empowered Health. I provide a number of programs that teach all of the above and regain control over food impulses and choices. Get in touch today by clicking here to book your FREE 1-to-1 discovery call.