AT A GLANCE:
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL EATING?
An Emotional Eater is normally defined as: Someone who is driven to eat when they feel emotional.
According to some new research, that's not true.
Emotional Eaters are: People who have negative feelings while eating food and when thinking about eating food.
Many different studies have shown that emotional eaters and non-emotional eaters eat about the same amount of food. Even after they are subjected to stress, negative events, positive events, work hassles or recalling their own stressful history.
Can you feel the difference in the 2 photos?
Not only can changing the way you talk to yourself while you're eating help you digest your food better, it changes the way your brain acts while your eating.
SYMPTOMS OF EMOTIONAL EATING
Do you suffer from any of these?
FACTS ABOUT EMOTIONAL EATING:
Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any other mental disease.
CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT FOOD
Changing the way you think about your food and your relationship to food can help reverse or lessen the symptoms of emotional eating.
When I was recovering from bulimia, I realized that I was still an emotional eater. This was highlighted when I started living with my boyfriend and I noticed the way he interacted with food, I was confused. I heard him moan with delight, I saw him smile at burritos...
That was strange to me. I grew up thinking that, like salt and mustard, shame and guilt were a staple when it came to eating.
Knowing that you can learn by copying someone, I started copying my boyfriend, at first it was partly to make fun of him, but I soon realized that I was the silly one. I started making up my own food mantras and looking forward to eating again.
It started out with stuff like, "thank you, farmers and grocers for getting this food to my plate.", and worked up to things like, "this avocado is going to take all my cellulite away!".
Don't be afraid to speak what about what you want. It feels funny, but if you keep it light hearted and stick to it you'll notice a change in the way you think about food. Which is exactly the point!
4 REMEDIES FOR EMOTIONAL EATING:
NOTE: There are many research supported psychological treatments available for overcoming emotional eating.
This list is comprised of practical tips and practices to stop emotional eating.
1.) POSITIVE SELF TALK:
Use positive self talk when you eat.
You don’t have to say it out loud and It only takes a few seconds.
I think it works best if you do it before you eat (like a little prayer), but anytime during or after works great too!
Make up your own sayings. Explore, find what feels best for you. Just make sure it is positive.
Do this to whatever you are eating. I don’t care if it is pizza, ice-cream and hot wings.
Your goal is to do this every time you eat so that it becomes a new habit.
EXAMPLES THAT WORK:
"I am grateful that all this food found its way to my plate."
“This food is giving me energy and I feel great!”
“My body is an amazing machine and I feed it well."
“This food is making my body look and feel better.”
-makes my muscles bigger and better”
-balances my hormones”
-regulates my blood sugar”
-helps me have luscious skin, hair and nails”
-lessens my depression”
-give all the cells in my body energy”
-slow down my digestion so that my body can absorb more nutrients”
-help me process fat”
-help my immune system”
-protect my heart”
-help keep me warm”
-make my brain work faster”
-help me stay calm under pressure”
-make me smarter”
-make every cell in my body stay strong”
2.) UNCOVERING HIDDEN EMOTIONS
Become emotionally aware.
Uncovering your emotions may be difficult. Especially if you have been trying to hide them for so many years.
For that reason, I put a little cheat sheet below.
Your mind may be able to lie, but your body can not.
PHYSICAL SENSATIONS OF EMOTIONS:
Begin paying attention to your emotions and consider tracking them on an app or in a journal.
Bring emotions into the light. That is the first step to getting past them.
3.) ACCEPTANCE OF EMOTIONS
Allow yourself to feel your full range of emotions.
We live in a society where emotions are seen as undesirable, unacceptable or, in my case, a sign of weakness. Don't let that deter you. We have emotions for a reason.
Emotions are here to highlight something in your life. They are shouting at you, "PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!"
Learn to sit with uncomfortable emotions. But know, that accepting your emotion does not mean that you approve of it.
You are capable of dealing with emotional pain!
Accept where you are.
Your mind has to be worked out just like your body does. It takes time and dedication to see results.
Start stupid small. How small? Stupid small.
Start so small that it seems stupid.
Say one positive thing to the first thing you eat everyday for a week. That is your starting point.
Work up from there.
Slow and steady wins the race.
If you found this helpful, please leave a comment below. It helps me out and it helps other people find this information.
Also, if there is something that you would like me to write about let me know in the comments below.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you and I love you,