Emotional eating is one of the main reasons people gain weight. It makes sense, if you think about it. Most of us now know that regular overeating and being overweight go hand in hand. We can also identify more or less accurately what’s good for us (wholefoods,fresh fish, fruit vegetables, etc) and what’s not so good (refined sugars, highly processed foods, etc). And yet, we go straight for the biscuits with our coffee, the extra serving of pasta etc and often choose to order dessert even when we feel full.
It’s because eating can be soothing, distracting or numbing sometimes. But the more we use food as a coping mechanism or reward, the stronger the emotional eating habit becomes .
What’s the solution?
1. Find your patterns
This is such an important part of the process: When do you eat emotionally? Where do you eat? What do you eat? How do you feel before you emotionally eat?
2. Be realistic
Your relationship with food did not happen overnight. It will take a little time to get a true understanding of your eating pattern and, ultimately, to change it for the better. This is one of those times where you really need to take it one day at a time.
3. Practice practice
Whether we like it or not, we are creatures of habits. And in the same way we have wired our brain and body to act on our urges to eat for comfort, we can re-condition ourselves to create alternative habits to feel good.
Today I would like everyone who identifies with the pattern of emotional eating to start a diary. Firstly write down what you ate, where you were when you ate it, how you felt prior to eating and how you felt after you had eaten. This will enable you to identify the pattern you are creating and it will be the first step to take back control over what you eat and when you eat it.