How to Stop Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is a big problem I’ve faced personally and have had to help my clients overcome. I’m not talking about cheating on your diet. Emotional eating is much bigger than that. Emotional eating stems from negative feelings and using foods to self-sooth and (temporarily!) improve your mood.
Food can and does improve your sense of well being because it raises your blood sugar, temporarily causing a feeling of satisfaction and complacency. However, foods that boost blood sugar quickly are also terrible for your health and weight loss goals, especially if they’re processed and full of artificial ingredients and chemical additives. It’s very common for people who suffer from depression, anxiety or hormone-induced moodiness to reach for food and eat when they are emotionally compromised.
Depression isn’t something you can ‘get over’ It’s a biological change that make you feel hopeless, worthless, and it’s hard to find joy in anything. It’s literally a black cloud pit of quicksand and the more you try to get out of it – the worse it gets. The manic part of depression feels like you’re overly excited and empowered – like you can do anything – but you can’t turn your head off, it’s hard to focus, and sleep.
Even if you don’t suffer from depression, anxiety, etc., stress in your daily life can cause you reach for food to deal. If you emotionally eat every time you’re upset, over a period of time often times leads to binge eating.
How to Stop Emotional Eating and regain Confidence & Control over Food
I personally have struggled with depression fueled emotional eating and weight my entire life.
Even after I became a nutritionist and a trainer I still struggled because I didn’t know how to get my “Mind Right.” This lead me to go all out obsessed trying to figure out how I could stop emotional eating.
It took me a little while to learn and actually master the art of stopping myself from emotional eating but I did. It’s completely possible to stop yourself from emotional eating!
Today, I want to show you my best advice on how you can break free from the emotional eating cycle. See me explain them in the video below.
Step 1) Use the Hunger Scale
The Hunger Scale helps you know if you are really hungry or reaching food to soothe your emotions. If you’re hungry – you’ll physically feel hungry and can wait to eat. If you’re emotional, you’re not physically hungry and you don’t want to wait… you want it now.
2) Drink Ice Water
Ice water will help fill you up and take up space in your stomach so you feel full and satisfied, can help accelerate your metabolism, and can help soothe cravings from oral fixation. It’s also a way to help flush toxins and facilitate digestion.
3) Distract Yourself
If you’re triggered simply by being in a kitchen or around food – stay far away from the kitchen and distract yourself with positive, productive or fun things you will benefit from.
Focusing on what you can’t have or shouldn’t do only makes the Devil stronger… instead ignore it completely by doing something else that has nothing to do with food.
Try something productive like return emails/calls, take a walk, weed your garden, run errands, do your laundry… or do something fun, play a game, call your friend, dance to music, paint your nails, take a bubble bath. Whatever it is, avoid food and being around it.
Before you start thinking about food…
- Ask yourself “Am I hungry?” If you’re not truly hungry, but craving eating try these tips:
- Drink Water – This will take up space in your tummy which prevents overeating and it also helps your body tell if you’re truly hungry. Often times dehydration feels like hunger. Also, a lot of people are dehydrated and they don’t even realize it.
- Brush Your Teeth – Toothpaste makes food taste bitter, cleans your teeth, and you’ll think twice about eating
- Chew Gum – Chewing gum will keep your mouth busy – This is effective for people with oral fixation
- Still Tempted? – Phone a friend, read a magazine, or take a walk instead.
If you are truly hungry or craving something specific, try these healthy alternatives to snack smart. Cravings are indicative of nutrient deficiencies and hormone imbalances. These smart substitution will help you satisfy your cravings and help restore nutrient deficiencies that are causing the cravings in the first place.
Using these tips will help you End Emotional Eating. Please be patient with yourself when you first start using them. The emotional eating didn’t happen overnight… it happened over a period of time. Breaking the emotional eating habit will take consistent practice.
You can stop emotional eating. If I can do it YOU CAN DO it!
Sometimes depression and anxiety can make this process a little more difficult. Here are more tips just in case you need them… Because you can never have too many tips in your toolkit to feel Happy, Healthy, and Fit.
More Tips to Stop Emotional Eating
Step 1) Detox to Reset your Metabolism
A lot of the foods emotional eaters gravitate to are full of artificial ingredients that make us toxic, acidic, inflamed, provoke candida overgrowth, throwing off our hormones, pH, stress levels, These foods temporarily make you feel better but set up the addictive feel bad – crave – crash – eat – repeat emotional eating cycle. If you’re looking for a real cleanse that addresses all of the above I recommend my Reset Cleanse. It works wonders for your health and mindset and you can lose up to 10 pounds in 7 days.
Step 2) Avoid Mind & Mood altering substances
Coffee, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Drugs… anything that affects your mindset and self-control will make it a LOT harder for you to stay motivated and practice self-control.
Step 3) Have a Plan
Having a routine gives you a sense of purpose, control, and keeps you busy and focuses your attention away from using food when we’re not hungry. Try focusing on finding solutions for the issues that are triggering you. If your finances are triggering you, start seeking out the help you need, or the things you can do to fix them to solve the real problem. Eating food when you’re upset about something is like putting a band aide on a bullet hole.
Step 4) Get outside
Sunshine, nature and sometimes just being out of your house can seriously help boost your mood, seriously fast. A quick 10 minute walk outdoors, when you’re in a funky mood will help distract you quickly and overcome those icky feelings fast.
Step 5) Get Professional Help
It’s completely common and normal to have naturally low serotonin levels – making it physically impossible for you to feel happy on your own. If you feel down, low, blah, sad, and just cannot shake it, you may need medication. It’s a physical issue, that isn’t your fault! There is nothing wrong with you and you’re not doomed… you just may need some medical intervention to get your Happy Hormone levels where they need to be. Different medications affect everyone differently so be patient until you find the one that works best for you. I hope this post helped you! Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback in the comments below.
Emotional drinking often occurs with emotional eating, too. If you constantly reach for booze every time you feel bad, read this.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
It works, if you work it.
Your Biggest Cheerleader
P.S. If you’ve been struggling with emotional eating and constantly feel like you’re hungry or craving foods it’s highly likely that you may be experiencing metabolic dysfunction or side effects of hormone imbalances. Take my free metabolic analysis and I’ll explain what your body type is, if you’re having symptoms of metabolic dysfunction and how you can fix it and start feeling happier, healthier and get fit fast.
Christina is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, & Holistic Fitness & Health Coach. After healing multiple personal health issues, getting off 7 meds, & losing 40 pounds, Christina teaches others how to get Happy, Healthy, & Fit quickly with the most delicious food and least intense workouts.