Combat Emotional Eating

Do you fall victim to emotional eating? After a long day do you reach for a pint of ice cream or maybe a bag of chips, or maybe just mindlessly shove whatever you can get your hands on in your mouth? Emotional eating can get the best of us, even the most disciplined of us. It can easily derail all of our hard work and in the end make us feel worse. Here are some helpful tips to combat emotional eating and beat it once and for all.

  1. Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating focuses on listening to your body and its natural cues. For example, being in tune with your body allows you to stop eating when you are full and reduces overeating.
  2. Don’t eat while distracted. Distracted eating can also lead to overeating and not satisfying the “craving.” Leaving you still “wanting” more even though you aren’t physically hungry.
  3. Create a grocery list and stick to it. Having a list while shopping can help prevent throwing unnecessary junk in the cart. Set yourself up for success. You are less likely to binge on junk during a moment of weakness, if you don’t have it readily available.
  4. Don’t allow yourself to get overly hungry. Eat when hungry, but not starving. When overly hungry we tend to fill the void with anything and everything we can get our hands on, instead of nourishing and replenishing our bodies.
  5. Increase Salt Intake. When sugar cravings strike, it may be your body telling you that you are deficient in sodium or salt minerals Increasingyour salt intake can lessen sugar cravings. Be sure to use colored salts.  (Video on these can be found on IG or FB)
  6. Make sure you are eating enough. Restricting calories too much can cause your body to crave more food and unfortunately that usually means sweets or foods high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Stay satiated by making sure you have an adequate amount of protein and saturated fat at every meal. This will also reduce unnecessary snacking.
  7. Meal prep. Keep healthy pre made meals in your freezer or fridge. On days that you are running behind, or are too tired to cook, you can easily reheat a home cooked meal instead of reaching for the first convenience food you find.
  8. Keep a food journal. A food journal can help you track where your weaknesses are and help you plan better in the future. For example, if you are able to narrow down that every week you are triggered by the same situation, maybe it’s just driving past your favorite restaurant or coffee shop or maybe a stressful situation you frequently encounter.. Whatever it is that triggers you, if you are able to identify it, you are able to come up with a plan to beat it. Keep track of the foods that make you feel better and the ones that make you feel worse in the long run. Instead of reaching for that sugar filled treat for a quick pick me up, you can look at your list and choose an item that will not only make you “emotionally” feel better, but also mentally and physically too.
  9. Stop using food as a reward. Since childhood we have been bribed with treats, usually creating an unhealthy reward system around unhealthy foods. When we reach a goal, we feel we “deserve” a reward for all of our hard work. I’m not denying a reward system has its benefits for keeping motivation toward a goal, however finding a better reward system is key. Write down all the things you enjoy doing. A hike at your favorite park, picnic lunch, bubble bath, yoga, reading, etc. Keep this list handy and when you reach your next goal, reward yourself with something off this list instead of a specific food item. It’ll help break that unhealthy cycle of using food as a reward.

So , weather you are reaching for that food because you are happy, sad, angry, lonely, or whatever stop and ask why. Think about it and see if it’s what you really want to be doing. If it is, then continue. Just remebeer how long it will take to undo that 50sec of gratification.

Be Healthy!

Coach Adrienne

 

 

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