I know that when I have felt stressed I have turned to food. I wonder how many other people do that?
How do you cope with your emotions?
What do you do when you are feeling stressed, angry, sad, nervous or depressed?
What is emotional eating?
When we are at our weakest point emotionally, food can sometimes offer a comforting answer. Having a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps may comfort us for a few minutes. However, do these foods really make us feel better or do we feel worse after eating them? Are we just eating to suppress/sooth our feelings? Is the emotional issue still there after eating these foods? Yes it is. This is called emotional eating. Emotional eating can lead to eating too much of the high calorie and sweet foods.
How emotions can affect eating habits
Eating foods that are high in fat or that have lots of sugar are okay to eat occasionally, but when we eat them to cope with our emotions – when we are feeling lonely, tired, sad etc this is when we are not addressing the real issue. Often when eating unnecessary calories we feel worse afterwards. This is often due to guilt after eating unnecessarily.
Ways to break free from emotional eating
Keep a food diary– This way you may identify your triggers and you may also see a connection between the mood you are in and the food that you eat.
Check in with your body– Is my hunger physical or emotional? If you ate recently, maybe you are not hungry.
If you are tired– Have a nice hot bath, relax on the sofa.
If you are bored– Fight the boredom. Do something you enjoy – read a book, watch a programme you like on television.
Don’t deprive yourself– Eat your favourite food in moderation.
Eat healthy snacks
Make time to eat - Eat several small meals a day so you don’t get hungry
Sleep – Get plenty of sleep
Speak to a professional – If you would like help dealing with your feelings
Tip to try
When you are feeling emotional and you reach for the comfort food, stop and reflect first. Give yourself a chance to check in with yourself. How am I feeling? Is anything going on for me emotionally? Even if you eat it, by reflecting, this will give you a better understanding of why you ate it, and in the future, if you stop and reflect first, this may give you an opportunity to make a different decision.
Eating in this way can lead to weight and self esteem issues and sometimes we need help breaking the cycle of emotional eating. If you have not been able to control your emotional eating and you would like help dealing with your feelings, please give me a call. I can try and help you understand why you are eating when you feel emotional, and I can help you try and and learn new coping mechanisms.
If you would like some help dealing with your feelings please contact me on:
07958 365730 or you can click on the link below to visit my website: