Emotional Eating & Breaking the Habit

by Michelle Smith in Nutrition

Emotional Eating & Breaking the Habit
Leading a healthy lifestyle without restricting the foods we enjoy is the aim.
But do you find yourself over eating some foods when feeling tired, stressed, anxious or have boredom?
This type of eating is seen has emotional eating and can have a negative impact on our health physically,  has it can lead us to consuming more energy (calories) than the body requires and mentally due to us then deeming the chosen foods has bad, leading to guilt and also not connecting with the feelings we are masking with the foods.
You may feel alone with this behaviour but let me tell you its the most common habit many are trying to change
With this busy crazy world we live in today with stresses from work, children, partners, paying the bills…..well the list can go on. Plus high sugary, low nutrient dense foods being cheap and convenient to grab,  giving us a moment of pleasure. Over time leading to even more of the negative feelings mentioned above. Bit of a circle right!
If you recognize the above and want to break the pattern of behaviour then take note of what you have to do.
When it comes to changing a habit its about changing our mindset and being aware of our current behaviour. We have to challenge ourselves to explore the the feeling and emotions behind the habit we feel we want to break.
Try this exercise next time you find yourself about to reach for that snack.
Tell yourself you can have the food but you need to wait for 10 minutes first!
Then ask yourself the following:
How do I feel right now? Am I hungry or do I feel tired, stressed, anxious or sad?
Will this food serve the purpose? So if you are hungry its time to feed the body with something wholesome that will keep you energy for a longer duration.
If you are feeling stressed, bored or anxious its time to explore these emotions, allow them to flow and except them.
Ask why you feel this way?
What can you do instead? Is there something that will make me feel better! Like a task off the to do list, going for a short walk. Playing some music or doing some breath work.
After time the desire to eat the snack may have gone or it may not and you still might consume it. If you do don’t then deem it has a bad thing has you have still made progress has you became mindful in your actions.
The purpose of the above is to learn to become comfortable with our uncomfortable feelings. To become more aware of what we may need to work on and if we may need some extra support from family, friends or even our GP.
Has mentioned above don’t worry if you still eat the snack. It will take time to change a habit you may have been doing for many years.