Most people say emotional eating is bad. And it can be. But when you understand your emotional eating habits, it can save you from other destructive behaviors. Finding something other than food to cope with your feelings is the goal. And knowing WHAT you’re eating is helpful too!
We all have moments of emotional eating, and it’s different for all of us. Some people eat when they’re bored. Some eat when they are afraid. We eat when we celebrate. Sometimes people eat when they’re lonely or nervous or … well, you get the idea.
The first step to overcoming emotional eating is to understand it. When you feel like getting a snack, ask yourself what you’re feeling and why you’re eating. Has it been a couple hours since the last time you ate? Are you actually hungry? Does your body need fuel? Or is this emotional or random eating? We have tons of lessons in the 131 Method on the very topic of understanding your emotional eating.
Consider writing down your feelings to learn your triggers. Is eating a distraction from a project you really need to tackle? Do you eat when you’re feeling anxious? Are you confused or upset?
Whatever your trigger is, you have it within you to end emotional eating.
Once you know your trigger (or even triggers), devise some productive alternatives to eating. Make a list of options. Some suggestions include:
- Take a quick walk
- Break a project or problem into manageable parts by making a list or doing a brainstorm
- Do something fun with your kids
- Look up healthy recipes
- Call a friend
Instead of avoiding the feeling, confront it with a tactic that is going to actually help to resolve the feeling and create more peace. When we eat emotionally we are delaying the feeling that triggered the snack attack. And we’re consuming calories we just don’t need or want, which cycles into feeling like you’re out of control. Commit to eating when you’re hungry and when you have planned to eat and don’t let random eating sabotage your health.
We are all works in progress, and we continue to learn and change. Be alert to your feelings and the way you let them play out in your life.
Have you come to understand your emotional eating habits? Comment below!