Are you really hungry, or are you going through another emotional wack? Emotional eating is a little bit tricky! I totally get it if you tell me that you are tired and you just want to reach out for a little bit of comfort in something small and delicious like a piece of chocolate or a cookie…and to tell you the truth, life is too small for worrying about eating a tiny cookie. It’s the little pleasures in life that make our days special!
You see, you are not going to book a first class ticket to heaven if you behave, because it’s not a sin to enjoy naughty food…What most likely makes your relationship with food a living hell is the guilt of overeating. The real problem with emotional eating is not what we eat, but how much we eat and our inability to take control. These moments that bad mood takes it’s toll, we know that we eat not because we need to, but because we are so vulnerable! Will you get happier by having a cookie? No, when you feel like shit! It’s not the guilt cookie that is going to put a smile on your face, so why keep feeding your emotional eating habits?!
Wouldn’t be a peaceful resolution to redefine your relationship with food? As I mentioned on my previous post about Emotional Eating, the reasons that lead us to a rather bizarre connection with food are numerous! The most important part is to start being more aware of the reasons you find bliss in comfort food. Whether is boredom, loneliness, stress, tiredness or some bad news, emotional eating doesn’t really solve the problem. It is so important to be able to distinguish physical hunger from emotional hunger for better controlling your cravings and avoiding overeating.
Sometimes, the underlying reasons of our cravings are hard to understand and in the midst of another crazy emotional impulse the last thing you are going to do is a psychoanalysis of your food cravings! You don’t need a PhD. in Phycology, but a few good strategies that will help you beat the comfort food feeling!
So, here’s a few good ways to overcome emotional eating:
All Clear!: As first step to overcome overeating it is safe to keep comfort foods such as crisps, ice cream and cookies out of your reach, your kitchen, your desk, your home. Play safe with healthy snacks like vegetables, fruits, and low calorie food that will do the trick. Find some healthy foods that are your “go to” for emergency situations.
Better Plan Than Sorry: If you tend to nimble, having some snacks on the go will help you to better control your meals. Something that I noticed about myself is when I have my meals planned for the day I tend to snack less.
Master The Art of Distraction: When you have this feeling for comfort food, try distracting yourself with something more engaging! Read a good book, play a video game or music, solve a puzzle, enjoy a hot bath, call a friend, watch a movie, go for a run or a good workout. They say that it takes up to 20 minutes to get rid of the feeling.
Observe your behavior: A game changer to the process of overcoming emotional eating is to know thyself! When do you tend to eat the most? Is it late at night? Is it in front of TV? Is it when you are alone? Is it when you go out? Is it really because you enjoy it? Is it your choice? Notice your habits, journal and see what you tend to eat most when you are in a bad mood.
Practice your Will Power: This is maybe the most important step into taking control over your emotional eating. It’s not the junk food or the healthy food that makes emotional eating suck, but the feeling of being powerless over comfort food. Life is never perfect, so don’t wait for the perfect moment to conquer your overeating habits. It is more of a decision to live happily and healthy.
Beating the comfort food feels is a hard match, but winning is what makes you feel in control of your life, your body and your relationship with food. It’s all in your mind really! It is time to get rid of the shame and guilt about overeating. There is nothing more empowering than knowing that you can enjoy food because you choose to!