Emotional eating. It's a real struggle. Do you eat ice cream out of the tub while tears are streaming down your face? Do you immediately reach for a slice of cake or something sweet to celebrate a promotion? If you find yourself reaching for food as a reaction to an emotional trigger, then recognizing that action can help you adjust and make the best decisions to correspond with your goals. We've all been there or are there. Don't feel like you're alone, you've got this!
1. Find Your Healthy Hobby
We LOVE this one. It's such a good tool for overall mental and physical well being. First, you'll need to find some sort of hobby you enjoy that promotes health. Think biking, hiking, gardening, kayaking, jogging etc. These are forms of exercise, but also hobbies. They get you out in the environment, in sunshine, and get the blood flowing...all of which release varying degrees of "feel good" responses. So the key is when you feel yourself being emotionally triggered, make a habit of heading toward your healthy hobby if possible. If you feel yourself reaching for the bucket of ice cream, head outside and start doing something you enjoy. While there will be times that this won't necessarily work with your schedule, it is one of the most powerful ways to keep you out of the ice cream bucket.
2. Don't Buy It
If this one seems really simple, that's because it is. Simply don't buy the food that you're drawn to eating when emotions strike. Be it cake, potato chips or pizza...just avoid having it in your house or your lunch box. Don't buy it for a lunch while out. Just don't buy it. When you really start to analyze where you're putting your money and your calories, it won't make sense. If you're spending your hard earned cash on the foods that are holding you back, and then paying more hard earned cash for someone to tell you how to lose weight or get in shape, how does that add up? Just don't buy the first and you won't need to buy the second. Don't buy it.
3. Have Fun with Daily Meals and Foods
One of the most common mistakes we see that leads people to eating their emotions is that they are either restricting their calories by too much, too fast or they're "diet" is boring (ie: chicken and rice). We'd be downing sweets and chips with every emotional trigger too if that was how we were eating the rest of our days. Holy moly, please stop wasting your valuable calories on boring meals or snacks! There are so many healthy alternatives available there is no reason you can't have chicken pizza, steak, tacos, spaghetti, chicken enchiladas, burgers and more. Just having the base knowledge of how to prepare your meals and snacks will make you a creative whiz in the kitchen and keep your fingers out of that chip bag.
We fully plan on taking a deeper dive into the foods we have found success with, preparation techniques and timing with certain types of foods. So stay tuned for future articles if this is something that interests you!