For some people, cravings for certain types of food seem to arise when they are in a place emotionally, where they are vulnerable.
It may happen consciously or unconsciously, but the urge to eat will get stronger along with these emotions.
Many health and dietary goals have been hampered by emotional eating.
There are different types of things that can cause these emotions to occur and they are usually a form of stress.
Stresses such as;
- Financial stress,
- Relationship stress,
- Workplace stress,
- Health issues
- Fatigue and burnout can also have an effect.
So, when it comes to emotional eating, it isn’t as simple as saying;
‘if you want it bad enough’ or ‘all you have to do is….’
Although, if you look at any of the hundreds of Instagram ‘Fitspo’ accounts that are around at the moment and their neat little ‘memes’, they would have you believe that it is.
These motivational posts simply don’t work. If they did, there wouldn’t be a problem.
Yes, they can give a small boost in the right situation, but they will be fleeting and won’t give any concrete help.
With emotional eating, we need to look at what the actual triggers are that are causing the problems and take steps to address these.
Once you know ‘WHY’ you are eating for comfort, then you can look at how to solve the issue.
So, yes, be mindful of what you are eating, but look at the times when the binging happens and take note of how you were feeling at those times and what set off the urge to eat.
Once these issues have been addressed, the cravings and weight loss issues can be addressed also.
If stress contributes to your emotional eating, try and find ways to de-stress.
Meditation, relaxation techniques, sensory tools like stress balls, get a massage, go to a spa, have a day out with friends or read a book and shut off all electronic devices.
Whatever works for you to relax and de-stress, do more of that.
Be honest about your hunger.
Are you really hungry, or are you just bored or stressed?
If you ate just a few hours ago and aren’t showing signs of actual hunger, you’re probably not really hungry.
take some time before you start eating to give the craving time to pass.
Go for a walk, read a book, drink a large glass of water or some coffee, get out of the house and occupy yourself some other way than going to the fridge or cupboard.
Keep a food diary.
A food diary is something that I mention frequently in my articles. It is simply the best way to hold yourself accountable for what you put in your mouth.
Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you’re feeling when you eat and how hungry you are.
This will give you a better idea of what sets off your binging and why it happens.
If people don’t know that you are trying to add changes to your life, they won’t be able to support you. So, let them know that you are starting and ask for support.
You would be surprised at how people can hamper your goals with comments and behaviour that will put you off.
so, nip it in the bud straight away and tell them to support you or stay clear.
Take away temptation.
Don’t keep supplies of comfort foods in your home if they’re hard for you to resist. If they are not there, you can’t eat them.
Also, don’t go food shopping when tired, hungry or stressed, because you will just buy things that you eat when you are stressed.
If it’s already in the house, throw it out and don’t use your family, friends or partners as an excuse to keep them around.
Don’t deprive yourself.
Do not aim for 100% when trying to lose weight, you WILL FAIL. Instead, aim for 90%.
This will give you some leeway throughout the week to have a ‘free meal’ where you can eat what you like guilt free.
Snack on fruit, chopped veg sticks and small portions of nuts, protein bars, Greek yoghurt, quark, cured meats etc. They are a quick, simple and easy way to snack and you are less likely to go on a binge with them.
Do not beat yourself up about setbacks with your diet. Everyone falls off the wagon. Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing to remember is that you have to have a healthy relationship with food first. Once that is in place, the weight will take care of itself.
These are just some of the tips I give to the members from my Lean in 2019 program.
Our next block of classes starts this Monday, April 1st and if you want to get in shape for Summer, we can help you to get a head start on that now.
You can find out more through the link below.
* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe Fitness LTDTags: