Ending Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating: We've all done it.

Something happens and we go digging for "something" to fill the void left by sadness. anger. pain. anxiety.  boredom.

I found this beautiful card on Noshtopia the other day and it got me to thinking...

It is a lot easier to stop before the first emotional bite, rather than half way through the first (bag of?) cookies.

5 Steps to End Emotional Eating

1. Recognize Emotions.

  • Name your feelings out loud.   "I'm Really Sad." or "Holy Crap, I'm Angry!" feels validating.
  • Notice what do you "DO" when you're feeling -  cry? yell? get quiet?

2. Recognize Emotional Eating.

  • Keep a food journal and write down how you're feeling each time you eat... patterns show up quickly in ink.
  • H.A.L.T. before you eat.  Ask, "Am I Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired?"

3. Give Yourself Options.

  • Make a list of non-food options for coping, like calling a friend, going for a walk or writing it down.
  • Empower yourself with choices!

4. Get out of the kitchen.

  • close the fridge.  turn off the lights in the kitchen. and walk out.
  • CHOOSE to go feel, share or channel those emotions in another room.

5. Give Yourself Grace.

  • Guilt and shame are powerful emotions that will feed urges and cravings.
  • When you DO give in to emotional eating urges - DON'T beat yourself up!

Developing a coping "tool belt" that does not include food will channel negative energy and negative feelings into a sense of personal empowerment.

I (trainer confession!) have found myself knee deep in a bag of Arrowroot Cookies!  There is no better feeling than saying - out loud - "Wow.  I'm Sad."  Then rolling the bag up, putting it away and walking out of the kitchen.