Are you an emotional eater?
Many of us are in the position we are in because we overeat when we are stressed, depressed or in a mess. Emotion and appetite are intrinsically linked and this link is one of the hardest of all to break. There are ways though and this email is going to teach a couple of them.
Did you know?
Did you know there is a pattern to emotional eating? That you can identify what emotion you are feeling by the food you’re craving? While everyone is different, there is a pattern to the majority of cravings.
- If you crave chocolate, you’re likely experiencing loneliness, some relationship trauma or heartache.
- If you crave starchy foods like bread, cake or pasta you could be suffering with depression or anxiety.
- If you crave salty or crunchy foods, you could be contending with stress at work or at home.
These aren’t hard and fast patterns but are something we have discovered along the way. We think it’s because of the chemical reactions caused by each food type. There is still a long way to go to know for sure but we are learning all the time.
Everyone is different though so don’t automatically assume because you’re craving Hershey’s that you’re lonely!
Getting a handle on emotional eating
I won’t lie to you. Overcoming emotional eating is tough. But that’s why you’re here right? To master yourself and take control. Try these techniques to help overcome emotional eating.
Stop blaming it on the situation
The first things to do is stop blaming emotions. ‘I’m depressed, of course I need more cake’. That’s almost an excuse that enables you to continue the behavior. That is not how this works. It is great that we understand reasons behind what we do but we must balance that with not using it as an excuse.
Processed foods and the chemical high
Processed food has very little nutritional value and a lot of chemicals. These invade the brain giving us unnatural responses to food. This is partly why overeating is a thing. Our brains very quickly become attached to those chemicals and the high they provide.
Start thinking of processed foods as legal highs. We don’t do legal highs. We know they are bad for us and we know that dependency can have serious consequences on our psychological state. If you can create a mental link between processed foods and legal highs, you should soon stop wanting them quite so much.
Accept the roller coaster of life
Nobody except poets and fiction writers have ever said life was supposed to be easy. As we all know, life throws us curveballs and all kinds of trials and tribulations to overcome. Accepting that life isn’t all roses and will challenge us regularly should begin to help you come to terms with that fact.
Come to terms with the reality of the roller coaster and you should react less emotionally. React less emotionally and you should be able to resist the urge to eat emotionally.
I’m not going to pretend it’s easy because it isn’t. I was an emotional eater and I had to work incredibly hard to overcome it. I am still working hard to overcome it. But we can overcome it. We have to overcome it. The price of failure is just too high.
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Thank you for reading today’s blog.
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Your Coach Alan Steiner DMD