Are you an emotional eater?
Happy, sad, stressed, you turn to food for comfort?
Yep, that’s me too! Especially when I’m stressed. The chocolate cravings are out of control. As soon as my workload or stress gets crazy I instantly crave sugar. Emotional Eating is really common, some people turn to food others it might be alcohol. Whatever it is if you’re using it to make you feel better emotionally, it’s your comfort food!
Then you have the other end of the spectrum, some people can’t even think about food when they’re stressed, geez I wish that was me, ha, ha.
Anyway, the point of my blog today isn’t to tell you how much chocolate I can consume when I’m stressed (it’s a lot, ha, ha) but instead to make you realise YOU ARE NOT ALONE and give you some tips to improve your relationship with food.
So many of us struggle with emotional eating and it’s not a bad thing and you’re not a bad person. You just LOVE food and sometimes use it to make yourself feel better. Geez why wouldn’t you want to, it’s so bloody yummy!
We get told it’s wrong to eat too much food and food is fuel. Well that’s a bit of bullshit really. Food is fuel but it also should be enjoyed and it’s a huge part of social interactions and gatherings. This doesn’t mean you should go all out all the time but saying you’re going to eat clean and never have a treat is extreme and not the way I want to live!
First step is ACKNOWLEDGING where it becomes an issue.
For me when I get super stressed and busy I turn to sweets. Which might be OK if it was in moderation but when it’s happening all the time and you start to notice your pants don’t fit it becomes an issue. Actually, the pants not fitting isn’t as bad as the fact that I notice that my mood also plummets. It’s the crappy feeling that overeating brings that makes me want to improve it.
Nothing beats feeling good about yourself. When you wake up feeling energised and start the day on a high. This is the feeling that is my driving force and stops me from going too far off track for too long.
When I notice, my mood slipping and the clothes not fitting too well I know that I’ve been turning to food a bit too much.
So, what can you do about it emotional eating?
First you need to acknowledge where the issue is? What’s causing you to turn to food?
If you’re stressed, upset or life is just crazy the first step is to try and fix the REAL problem. Just trying to stick to another diet or be super strict for a few days won’t cut it. You need to work out WHY you’re doing it? FIX THE REAL problem first.
For me the issue is having a crazy schedule, no real routine, lack of time for me and nice things.
Steps I need to take:
- Readjusting my schedule to create more balance. Become more realistic about what I can achieve in a day and ensure I include more balance.
- Ensure I get at least 8 hours sleep a night. When I’m tired the issues, all get worse and the cravings are worse than ever.
- BE ORGANISED. My life will not become calm and Zen overnight but by being organised I can alleviate some added stress. Being organised for me means having a plan, having food prepared and being ready at the start of the week for a few days of craziness.
- Scheduling in nice activities throughout the week to create balance.
- Having alternatives other than food for when I get the cravings. I love walking, reading and time and the beach. These are things that MUST be included into my week to create more balance.
Another huge part of managing your relationship with food is knowing IT’S OK TO HAVE TREATS. I’ve always been a huge believer in including regular treats as I find it keeps you on track. The reality is that food is to be enjoyed and sometimes you might want to include a chocolate brownie, nothing good in there although bloody yummy, and guess what, that’s ok.
I think with the influx in diets out there and images of perfection we all assume that to get awesome results we need to be perfect. Let me tell you perfection is CRAP!
I’ve never, ever, ever trained ANYONE who was perfect. It’s unrealistic and to be honest I don’t think it’s great. I find the more someone cuts out the foods they love and avoid treats, alcohol or whatever their vice might be they just set themselves up to crave it all more “AFTER”. It’s true, how many people do you see that achieve these awesome results only to put it all back on again in record speed.
So, what I’m suggesting is that you find a way of including treats regularly! The more you know it’s OK the less inclined you’ll be to binge on it or beat yourself up for having it.
My next blog is on why strict diets don’t work and ways for you to include regular treats.
If you’re struggling with emotional eating, acknowledge what is setting you off. How can you change your situation and what alternatives are out there that will make you feel great without the food coma at the end of it.
Don’t let emotional eating beat you. YOU CAN CHANGE, first step is awareness, next step ACTION!
Have a great Easter, enjoy some eggs but enjoy your friends, family and time out more!