How To Overcome Emotional Eating- Holly Snowdon
Do you feel out of control over what you’re putting into your mouth? Do you turn to food for happiness or when you’re bored and not hungry? If the answer is yes, there’s a chance you’re an emotional eater. And I can assure you that you are by no means alone.
There are more emotional eaters in the world than not.
So what is emotional eating and why do so many of us do it?
It’s safe to say, we don’t just eat for survival and when we’re hungry.
Many of us turn to food when we’re experiencing emotions that we don’t know how to handle. We subconsciously think that food will lift our mood or eliminate a negative emotion, when what we’re really craving is love and attention (whether it’s self-love or seeking the love of another).
However, repeatedly turning to food to fill an emotional void – especially convenience foods like moreish packets of cookies or crisps – is damaging for us both psychologically and physically. Whilst you might feel momentarily satisfied, in the long run, it won’t provide us with the type of pleasure or happiness that we expect it to deliver. In fact, more often than not, we’re left with feelings of guilt or frustration and in extreme cases, self-loathing – completely the opposite of what we intended!
If this resonates with you, please don’t beat yourself up. Turning to food for comfort has become ingrained in us for most of our lives. And it doesn’t help that we are constantly bombarded with clever, food related marketing campaigns. Emotional eating is even reinforced in TV and films – like when Bridget Jones reaches for a tub of Ben and Jerry’s to drown her sorrows – It is a behavioural pattern that is hard to ignore and even harder to break.
However, at the end of the day, we need food to survive and as it is a vital part of our everyday lives, it is important that we establish a healthy relationship with it. Of course food is something that should be celebrated. It nourishes and energises us and is often the heart of a special social occasion or something that is shared with loved ones. It shouldn’t however, be used as an emotional crutch.
So what can we do to break the habit?
Don’t despair, there is good news! There are a number of useful tools we can use to break the vicious cycle of comfort eating! Take a look at some examples listed below:
Finding alternative ways to reward yourself
From childhood we are often ‘treated’ to sugar-filled goods, whether it was to reward us for doing something good or to cheer us up when something goes wrong. This ingrained behaviour pattern is hard to break. However, there are so many ‘non-food’ related ways we can treat ourselves, so take a look at some of our examples below:
– Call a loved one.
– Go to a yoga class (or do some yoga at home).
– Get outside! Whether it’s walking the dog or admiring the flowers in the garden being amongst nature (away from a screen!) is one of the most glorious and soul-nourishing things you can do.
– Pamper yourself, whether it’s painting your nails with a fresh coat of nail varnish or treating yourself to an at home facial, we all deserve to be pampered from time to time.
– Get creative (doodling, painting, writing playing an instrument, whatever you fancy!)
– Get absorbed in a novel or magazine.
Connect with your body
Part of emotional eating is being disconnected from your body and often occurs in a mindless place. Really connecting with your body and tuning into your hunger is key to overcoming this. Are you eating because you’re hungry or is it out of boredom? If you really are hungry, when you sit down to eat, make sure you’re doing so mindfully. By removing all digital devices (including the TV!) whilst we’re eating, it’s much easier to focus on the sensory delights of food – i.e. the taste, smell and texture of the food we’re eating. Whilst enjoying and savouring each mouthful, we’re much more likely to feel satisfied and ‘at one’ with our bodies.
Positive affirmations (the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment) are amazing tools that can help to quieten your brain and shift the focus to where you want it to be. They can be key to transforming your relationship with food, and the best thing is, they are totally free!
Whatever affirmation or mantra you choose, they should be thought of as a tool to developing a more kind and loving relationship with yourself and, when it comes to food, they can alter our thoughts and actions from negative to positive ones.
If you’re in need of some inspiration, take a look at some of our examples below? Or come up with your own- whatever feels right for you!
Examples of positive affirmations for a more positive relationship with food:
– I am listening to my body and nourishing it with the nutritional goodness that it deserves
– My body deserves to move comfortably.
– My mind has a strong and healthy connection to my body
– I have a healthy relationship with food
– I respect and nurture my body
– I am in full control of my impulses
So whilst this habit might not disappear overnight, I truly believe that these tips will help you on your way to a healthy and happy relationship with food. Why not give them a try today!
Sustainable living has been the hot topic of 2019. If you haven't heard of the climate crisis, then you must have been living under a rock! Following a lengthy protest in the heart of London, the UK government declared an official climate emergency. It seems as though...
Finding it impossible to squeeze in time to move? What with school-runs, play dates, parent taxi runs, attempting to have a social life, not to mention possibly trying to hold down a job too... I’m feeling your pain! There are so many benefits to being active,...
I’ve come to learn from my experience, that we are all becoming more aware of the importance of happiness and time, not money. Of quality, not quantity in almost all aspects of our life and, have the growing interest to learn how to achieve this.Today’s blog brings...
Our brain is an organ that serves the central nervous system and it pretty much controls everything that happens in the body.60% of our brain is made up of fat and we need fat for providing vital functions in the structuring of brain cells and ensuring smooth...
Incase you need an extra nudge to help you reach for those trainers, here are my top tips on how to help you stay motivated:1) Enjoy it – this may sound simple but you are much more likely to stick with something that you actually enjoy and look forward to. There is...
In a busy city, self-care is arguably more important than ever. Busy schedules, ever-bustling streets and the joys of busy public transport can leave you feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. There is no denying the excitement that living in a city can bring; yet taking...
Ditch the diet drinks Lots of people turn to diet drinks, lured by the idea of consuming a non-calorific drink. Zero calories may seem like a suitable choice if you are trying to lose weight, but trust me, these drinks are something you really should avoid. Diet...
We all want to live life to the fullest, the best life, the best version of us… the list goes on. But are you actually doing this? Sure, we all have bad days where all you can think about is bedtime and for the day to be over, but those days should not be in the...