Food is supposed to be a source of nourishment, but when you eat your emotions, it becomes much more than that – it becomes both a friend and an enemy. If you read the past two blogs, you are well aware that emotional eating is harmful to your physical and emotional wellbeing; however the conflicting sentiments that comfort feeding causes can make it feel impossible to overcome. Don’t despair though; because the myWholeLife team of experts has created a simple 6-step plan to help you overcome emotional eating.
Step 1: Find the Help You Need and Deserve
Don’t go at this alone! No matter how strong and determined you are, you will encounter set-backs and tough days, and having someone there to support and motivate you can make a world of difference. Find support in a friend, a family member, a local support group or a counselor who specializes in emotional eating.
Step 2: Keep a Journal
Write down what you eat, how hungry you are when you eat it, how you are feeling and anything significant that has happened that day. This will help you to identify emotions and events that cause you to comfort feed, so that you can address and/or alter them.
Step 3: Cope With & Reduce Stress
Instead of trying to control the uncontrollable, accept the situation, share your feelings and try to find the upside in stressful situations. Also, learn to assert yourself, to say no and to manage your time better. Finally, if you feel your stress levels rising, engage in an activity that reduces stress such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, or anything that makes you laugh.
Step 4: Clean Out Your Cupboards
If it’s not readily accessible you are much less likely to eat it. Get rid of the packaged foods, or in the very least get rid of the foods that you feel most drawn to when you emotionally eat and replace them with whole, unprocessed foods. You and your family may not like these changes at first, but your bodies will adjust and the cravings will subside once you start fueling your bodies with healthy foods.
Step 5: Get Off the Blood Sugar Rollercoaster
Eat 3 small meals and 3 small snacks a day. Also, educate yourself on the glycemic index (GI) of foods and choose foods with a lower GI. Finally, be sure to combine a source of unrefined carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, vegetables etc.) with either some fat or some protein every time you eat.
For a list of our top blood sugar-balancing foods that will stop the physical driving force behind emotional eating download our weight loss app.
Step 6: Forget the Guilt & Feed Your Soul
Perfection is not the goal here and feeling guilty about eating your emotions will only drive you to feed your emotions further. So when you slip-up, forgive yourself and move on. Also, next time the urge to eat your emotions hits, ask yourself “What am I really hungry for?” Unfulfilled wants, needs and desires can leave you feeling empty on a spiritual level, and no amount of eating will fill that void. Make a list of non-material things that your heart desires and work towards obtaining them. Finally, nourish your soul daily with simple things such as a hot bath. Finding pleasure in everyday life will help to relieve the relentless hunger that drives you to eat your emotions.
Stay tuned for our coming FREE health service this Spring where we will provide you with a free, fully customized health assessment and report to help you begin your holistic journey! And take true comfort in the fact that all our personalized recipes and meal plans you will receive as part of this service will be designed to help with emotional eating too! Just because we think it’s time to address it, naturally.