Tips for Combating Emotional Eating
We speak about emotional eating often when discussing nutrition but now is as good a time as any to really harp in on it.
Dealing with emotional eating can be a difficult task. More often than not, we have old emotional demons that creep up without us even knowing. However, in a time like now, where there is a lot of unknown, lots of extra time in the house and limited social interaction, our emotions really can beat any of our goals to the ground.
All this being said, if you are not in a place to focus on your goals right now, that is understandable, however, we do still advocate for living a healthy lifestyle and focusing in on things you can control.
Track your food and identify trends
Write down everything you eat, and the times in which you eat it. Doing so can help you identify trends in what you're consuming and when. Take note of after dinner snacks and the types of foods you're consuming not at meal time. Also take note of the foods you are gravitating too. Find a solution for these things such as keeping them out of the house, pre-portioning them or something where you won't keep going back for more.
Get Enough Sleep + Overall Rest
Both sleep and rest can really help your body, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. Your body and mind restores while it is soundly asleep. Try to get as much restful sleep as you can, ensuring that you are actually sleeping while you are in bed. If you have trouble sleeping, devote some time to resting throughout the day for a few minutes to give your mind and body a break.
Remove Being "Good" or "Bad" from Your Vocabulary
A lot of times, emotional eating comes with an internal dialogue of being "bad" versus being "good." Notice the quotes here? There is no good or bad. Eating something has not instantaneously turned you into a bad person. Do not let "being bad" allow you to keep going or continue making the same mistake day after day. The key is to identify the fact that the food being eaten is being consumed out of emotions, recognize the emotion (i.e. stress, anxiety, sadness), and tell yourself that you are eating because of that emotion. Verbalizing your actions can really help in combating issues around food.
Find Healthy Distractions
Play with your kids, your pets, a video game, read a book, go on social media--something that will distract your from consuming things you don't need or want. You can also have some tea, or a diet soda/seltzer for something comforting or something a little filling. Sometimes all you need is a bit of a distraction to keep you from overeating.
Eat Filling + Balanced Meals
Avoid grazing/snacking and focus on creating meals that actually satisfy you. Fill your plate with ample protein, enough healthy fats and some satisfying carbs to keep your tummy full and satisfied. Avoid eating too much processed food and sugar to manage blood sugar and overeating,
These are just a few tips to working through emotional eating. Remember: everyone is different and has unique needs + mindset. What works for you may not work for someone else. It's important to find what works for you and stick with it!