Do you struggle with emotional eating?
Emotional eating is the tendency to eat in response to positive and negative emotions. Humans will do anything in their power not to feel uncomfortable, so to make it go away/ distract themselves many people turn to food.
In this episode we share the spectrum of emotional eating - there are different levels and some are healthy and some are not as self honoring.
This is to say that some emotional eating is completely healthy and normal, but there does come a time when it can be destructive to your relationship with food and your body.
A first step is to assess where you are on the spectrum.
Normalizing emotional eating is definitely something you'll want to do - you may be in a place where accepting the emotional eating that is happening, is the best next step.
Dieting/ the desire to eat less/ “food is fuel” narrative has demonized all emotional eating when in fact it’s just a part of normal eating….
But yes there are times and degrees of emotional eating that you might want to work on shifting to improve your relationship with food and your body.
The overarching key is repairing your relationship with food and your body
- This means normalizing food, getting rid of guilt and morality around food, releasing the “specialness” and “forbidden” mentality around certain foods
- Its unlikely you emotionally eat salad - which shows its the forbidden thoguhts and unhealthy relationship with these foods that make us use them as a coping mechanism.
- I have never come across someone with a healthy relationship with food that using food as a coping mechanism
- The thing is, we need coping mechanisms, we need them, they arent shameful. But if they are self destructive we probably want to work on this.
Once you realize you can eat ice cream at any time for any reason, it loses it’s power and wont have the same emotional effect it used to, therefore you will stop using it as a coping mechanism.
I had a client in the past that was jokingly mad, because after a hard, stressful day at work that big cheesy pizza just didn’t do the trick anymore. She had to discover new ways of unwinding, de-stressing - which felt great for her but the food really did lose it's power over her.
This is a common occurrence in The UnDiet Academy and its BECAUSE these women are repairing their relationship with food and their bodies.
That being said, here are some small steps you can take to alleviate emotional eating that you feel is not serving you.
Make a list of things that you know help you destress/ relieve emotions etc.
- Have other alternatives to food, but eating can definitely be on the list, this isnt about avoiding eating emotionally all together, it’s about giving yourself other options
- When you feel you do need something, look at the list, tune in and feel into what would serve you the best right now, sometimes that’s going to be journaling with a cup of tea, eating, or going for a walk with your favorite podcast.
- Another important thing is to express your emotions, when we bottle them up it feels easier to stuff your emotions down with food. Saying things out loud releases a lot of the heaviness of it. Having people to talk to is vital. WHo can you reach out to in these moments?
ALLOW FOOD - we say this all the time but it is kind of the basis of everything.
If food is special, it will always have power over you. If food is forbidden you will always break the rules, forbidden fruit is the sweetest
- Find you have a struggle with oreos? Get them in your pantry and allow yourself to eat them any time of day
- When this is coupled with the mindset work and physical tools of becoming an undieter, which are fully explored in the undiet academy, you will find you can have a cookie here and there without thinking about it all day and the 12 cookies at night after the kids have gone to bed is a pattern of the past
Let us know in our FB community (www.facebook.com/groups/howtoloveyourbodypodcast) - what level of the spectrum do you feel your emotional eating is at?
We will support you in moving forward from where you’re at.
Lauren and Jenna