emotional eating

    5 WAYS TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF EMOTIONAL EATING

    5 WAYS TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF EMOTIONAL EATING 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

    At our core, we are all emotional beings. We have expressions of love, laughter, sorrow and pain – along with all the other complex emotions – so why do we operate under the notion that emotional eating is a “problem”? Just like anything else in life, all is well in moderation and food is no different. We eat when we’re happy, we eat to celebrate holidays, successes and milestones and sometimes we eat when we’re feeling blue. Each of these are common expressions of emotional eating and as you can see emotional eating isn’t always a negative side effect. In fact, because our mind and body is an interconnected energy source it makes total sense that when we are feeling, dare I say… emotional (on any level), our gut instinct is to reach for our preferred versions of comfort food to satisfy cravings and balance our emotional state. These cravings driven by emotion are the body’s way of getting you what you need in an effort to stabilize the high or low emotional state you may be experiencing. It’s not good or bad — it’s simply one of the body’s many functions.

    The upside.
    There is definitely an upside. For starters, isn’t it nice to know your body is hardwired to lookout for your wellbeing? The body has a wonderful way of knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. For example, if you’re feeling an emotional low, the body is going to do its best to replenish and restore chemicals in the brain to increase levels of happiness to balance your emotional state but it needs your help in the process. During emotional highs and lows, listen for your body’s signals that cue what actions you need to take to feel more stable; but more importantly, ask yourself if your current emotional state is the result of something else that may need your attention. What is causing you to feel emotional? Is it a good feeling? Is it bad? Is it causing you to eat mindlessly? Are you eating angrily? If when you ask yourself these questions or questions similar to these you find that your emotional eating is not coming from a happy place ask yourself why and delve a little deeper.
    Remember that emotional eating is the body’s attempt to stabilize your emotional state by balancing hormones in the body.

    The downside.
    While emotional eating can seem pleasurable, it can also lead to serious emotional eating disorders such as under-eating, overeating, and binge eating if unchecked. These emotional eating disorders can lead to severe weight related diseases such as diabetes or obesity. Our cravings during high and low emotional states merely serve to stabilize our mind and body. If when you experience a high or low emotional state you find yourself not in control of your food choices and unable to bridge communications with your body consider alternate ways to seek pleasure.

    👌 Dear Diary. Okay, it doesn’t have to be a diary. A simple journal will suffice. So many of us wear multiple hats in our daily lives that sometimes it nice to take a moment to make sense of it all. Make it a regular exercise to check in with yourself and gauge where you are, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Set goals and take time to applaud your achieved efforts. I have always found it easier to organize my thoughts when putting pen to paper.
    👌 Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s rest. Did you know the brain and body clean house when you sleep? Yes indeed. The brain processes and stores information it will find useful and dumps the rest while your body kicks into action replenishing all those essential chemicals that create levels of happiness — while simultaneously healing the body of any ailments or illnesses.
    👌 Don’t deny yourself food you enjoy. Forget your diet or that dress you want to wear to dinner on Valentines Day. Starving yourself of foods you enjoy for foods you don’t isn’t doing you any favors. Not only are you setting yourself up for a crazy binge (… that will happen) but you are creating a distance between you and something that has the power to truly nourish your body and mind. If you want dessert with dinner …. treat yourself mindfully. By actively engaging your senses in the foods you eat, you not only absorb more of its nutritional value, you kick-start your metabolism and create an environment the body feels safe to eat in, avoiding any fight or flight stressed induced gorging.
    👌 Eat when you’re hungry. Our body responds to habit and can be trained like clockwork by routines. If out of habit, you grab a candy bar each time you’re at the checkout line at the market, your body will instinctively create a craving for that candy bar each time you get in line. Avoid setting bad habits by eating only when you are hungry and by curbing cravings for sweets with healthy substitutes. Avoiding the crash will be well worth it.
    👌 Simple pleasures. When you’re feeling emotional highs or lows you can alter the state of being with activities outside of eating. Go for a walk, a jog, enjoy a nice hot bath, curl up to watch your favorite movie or treat yourself to an afternoon of mani, pedi and massage. However you decide to listen to your body and cultivate an environment that nurtures you emotionally, just remember that for most an emotional response to food is simply a natural reaction.

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