Overcoming emotional eating!
Many of us turn to food to relieve stress or cope with unpleasant emotions. Occasionally using food to satisfy our emotions is ok whether it is a celebration or reward. However, it can become a problem if every time you find yourself feeling stressed or upset you end up searching for the nearest comfort food. In order to change our mind-set, we need to understand our emotions and understand how we feel when we do this. You need to understand that when we let our emotions control what we eat, we are doing even more harm to ourselves. Feeding into these negative emotions initially make us feel better but then are quick to make us feel awful shortly after. We sometimes need to step back every once in a while and try to understand the reasons why we feel this way. My advice is give yourself 5 minutes to breathe and relax and really think about the food choices you are about to make. Ask yourself, is this actually going to help me feel better? Usually the answer is a definite no. Sure, you may feel a bit of relief from the sugars and fats in the food, however once it has worn off you are likely to regret it soon after.
When you next feel stressed: Remember when we are stressed our body releases high levels of cortisol which make us crave sugary, salty, fatty foods. Ask yourself, do you really want those biscuits or are you just stress eating?
When you are very busy: When you are busy and hungry it is easy to just grab the easiest thing going, whether it is healthy or not. Allow yourself sometime to prep food before you go to work for your lunchtime meal and foods that you can snack on during the day. This allows you to have control of what you consume rather than letting your hunger decide for you.
Be mindful! Mindful eating is developing your awareness to your own eating habits and thus allows you to pause between your triggers and your actions. Ask yourself, can you put off eating for 5-10 minutes? Don’t tell yourself you cannot have the craving, just give yourself time to allow this craving to wear off. Assess how you are feeling at the time and understand the relationship between emotions and food.