Have you ever wondered why you mindlessly eat, grabbing potato chips or popcorn, only to move on to the chocolate or cinnamon bears? Do you count the calories if you don’t realize you’ve eaten them?
Let’s explore a little bit about emotional eating. Emotional eating isn’t always because you are lonely or sad; it can be when you are having fun.
Habit – I love my chocolate chip cookie (or whatever goodie I have on hand) with my morning coffee. It is truly a habit that I look forward to. This type of eater can be impulsive.
Wait 5 minutes before indulging, and if the impulse is still there, indulge in a healthy treat. I love smoothies and protein balls and find they are a healthy habit.
Nurturing – Ahhh… Many of us can relate to this one. I love to cook and bake and enjoy making my loved ones favorites.
Healthy choices and portion control are helpful here.
Busy & Stressed – Eating while working or driving and standing at the counter are clues you are an emotional eater.
Take time to sit and eat, enjoying a tasty meal will enhance digestion and your work performance.
Pleasure – Comfort foods fall into this category. What brings you back to your childhood? As a midwest gal, “hotdish” is a comfort food for me. How about you?
Be aware of eating and emotions at family functions to avoid over indulging.
Compulsive – Constant eating is clearly emotional.
Allow your stomach to be hungry and wait until the next meal. Cravings will subside.
Eat healthy snacks and explore your emotions and what is going on around you. You can control compulsive cravings.
What to Do?
Exercise is a healthy habit and naturally boosts mood and self-esteem.
Affirmations and meditation help create a positive attitude, leading to healthy habits and a happy self.
Good perspective here. I mean, we all know how we “should” be eating but don’t…. because, life!
I agree, Vanessa. I like to help people learn how to DO what we KNOW. 🙂
Full confession: I’m a recovering emotional eater. Once upon a time, I developed a binge eating disorder. Mindfulness meditation was the key to my healing. I’ve left the bingeing behind, though food still definitely comforts me. It was helpful to remember that it’s ok to eat for reasons other than hunger – that’s part of a normal life (who’s ever actually eating birthday cake because they’re hungry?). But finding ways to get out of the habit of compulsive eating has changed my life. Thanks for sharing these tips! I’m sure others will see themselves in your post.
Thanks for the comments, Brigid. I love to share ideas. I encourage people to have fun with food and hopefully not think of it as the enemy. We need food to nourish our bodies and I love that it CAN taste good and be healthy. 🙂