Today, we have the second part of the emotional eating story. This one is all about a few strategies to help avoid emotional eating as well as a little bit of an idea of why it happens. Promise it won’t be too long!
First up: Strategies
When you’re feeling angry
- Go for a walk
- Go to the gym and do a Combat class or some boxing
- Write it down
- Call a friend – talk it through
When you’re feeling hopeless
- Turn this feeling into something positive – make a list of the things you DO like about yourself. REALLY think about it. At least make a list of the things that don’t completely suck, and let me tell you, there will be HEAPS. Alternatively you can list all the positive things you have experienced in the past week or since you started your health and fitness journey. Every little win. It can really add up! While today might have sucked a bit, you are doing some truly AWESOME things
- Do some exercise and get the endorphins flowing, it will do wonders for your mood
When you’re feeling like everything is out of your control
- Focus on the things that REALLY matter. Will it really be the end of the world if the kid’s messed up the house or your day didn’t go as planned?
- Try to think about whether whatever if going on is going to matter in a week or a month or a years time.
- Biggest thing to remember, and a massive learning curve for me personally, you (and only you) are in control of how you react and respond to other people’s behaviour. You can choose to be happy, you can choose to get angry (and everything in between). It’s a challenging idea but well worth the effort to try to consciously step back and access the reasons why you’re allowing other’s behaviour have such an impact on your emotions.
When you’re feeling unappreciated
- Relax in a warm bath
- Write it down in a journal
- Express how you feel to the person in question
- Call a friend to vent – you’ll feel a LOT better just by talking about it
When you’re feeling bored
- Find a new hobby that will keep you busy
- Play a game
- Go for a walk
- Go to the gym
- Watch a DVD or read a book to distract you
- Do just about anything that is incompatible with eating
The other sneak trick: chew some minty gum or brush your teeth. Nothing tastes real great with mint mouth!
Finally: Why we do it – The simple version
- Some foods can actually change the chemistry in your brain, increasing endorphins which create that awesome sensation of happiness
- As we all know, eating food, particularly to excess can leave us feeling full. This feeling of fullness can frequently be associated with comfort.
- Eating takes time. It’s a great distraction from whatever is bothering you. That overfull feeling in itself can be a massive distraction.
- Conditioning. Just about everything we celebrate in our lives involves food. We associate eating with ‘good’ things.
Emotional eating is a MASSIVE topic and one that people wanting to losing weight face over and over again. A great idea when you’re trying to lose weight is to keep a little log of the things you have eaten when you know you weren’t physically hungry for. Write down how you feel at the time you ate it. You will likely start to identify patterns so you can work on overcoming the underlying issues.