Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Are you an emotional eater?
Maybe you already know for sure, maybe you think you're not. Maybe you fall someplace in the middle where you have great control but moments of ravenous hunger moments *is that truly hunger or a nagging feeling to feel full for other reasons?
Emotional eating can sabotage your weight loss. It can also be detrimental to your health, confuse the body and consciously or unconsciously you need to know about it and then you stop it.
I challenge everyone to record what times of day they ate, what times of the day the felt the most hungry. Next to those times/feedings to document exactly what you were doing and feeling. Were you at work, home, in bed...in front of the TV. Those feelings can include, tired/bored/restless/angry/happy/sad.
Do you simply love food and feel like you have no self control? You have an emotional love affair with your food. Then you basically eat no matter the times/feelings and you do it because it tastes good and you are rewarding yourself with food. I'm not sure from this standpoint that I'd call you an emotional eater but one that certainly is addicted to food, to feeling good when you eat the food. I can make another blog post about that. Cause I too was in love with food, on top of being an emotional eater.
After a few days or a week you will begin to see a pattern emerge. Very likely you ate too much during specific parts of your day. Maybe certain emotions triggered to want to eat. You may unconsciously find yourself walking to the fridge/pantry and start thinking about what is 'light' for you to eat. Then you may eat something 'light' then you find it was not enough. So then you go back for something else. C'mon we all have done it! I did too. Learning all this stuff did not come over night for me you know. My first 6months I never worked out and I just challenged myself to start making changes slowly enough that it's practical. Of course I had no one shining the light in any particular direction, so I'm sorta glad you found me, lol. Ok, off my pedestal, I'm not perfect. But I've certainly won my battle with obesity and I know for fact there is no way I'll ever go back!
Ok.....so you will know the emotions/times that trigger your eating. But how about the things in life that come up and bite us right in the ass?
Well now I do some Cognitive Behavior Therapy with you!
In order to accept the idea of change, you came. In order to understand your what areas need to be fixed...you focused and paid attention. Now we set the plan.
Never Eat when you are Angry.
Never Eat when you are Sad
Never Eat when you feel Anxious
Never Eat when you are fighting with someone
Never Eat in your Bed at night
Never Eat in front of the TV
Never Eat when you are Bored
That's what you did! This is now what you'll do!
- Leave your food, save it for when you are not feeling something other than normal/hungry. I don't care if it's warm and it looks good and you really freaking hungry....TOO BAD...WAIT!!! Walk away, go put in the fridge, warm it up later and eat then!
- Go meditate
- Go Do deep breathing exercises
- Repeat Positive Mantras to yourself. Re-phrase to yourself that you are strong, that you have self control. That you control the food it does not control you.
- Call a friend
- Go exercise, go for a run, box, sit ups, push ups, planks,box go work out some frustration or emotions
- Go Take a hot bath or shower (I do this one all the time if I don't just go run!)
-create a new comfort food that is HEALTHY!
I want you to dissociate the food from your emotions. In order to that you MUST not eat during vulnerable times. I really need you to make a conscious effort because for far too long you ate without even thinking about it.
I want every bite of your food to be enjoyable. To be eaten slowly. Food does taste good and you want a friendship with it. When I look at my food I will ask if this food has nutritional value. Is this food can to help my good health or hurt my good health.
I think sometimes people are confusing boredom eating and night time binging on boredom. Perhaps. But maybe more likely if you are not trying to fill a void, satisfy a twisted need then you are rewarding yourself and not paying attention.
How to tell the difference:
- Emotional hunger happens quickly where as body hunger sorta happens slowly
- Emotional hunger you tend to 'crave' something specifically
- Emotional hunger feels 'urgent' needing to eat quickly
- Emotional hunger is when you know you rationally ate enough and should be full
- Emotional eating is when you are eating your favorite comfort food
- Emotional or extra (situational) eating normally occurs in social situations as well! So be mindful of that!
- Emotional eating is associate with negative thoughts and negative self worth.
Tips for Night Time Eating:
- Avoid eating after a specific time in the EARLY evening. You know 6 or 7pm! Kitchen & Pantry closed, just that simple!
- If you are really that hungry and can't help yourself then maybe you didn't eat enough at dinner. Maybe you need more protein rich, fiber filling foods. Maybe you really are hungry.
- If you really are going to eat. I want you to avoid the sweet treats. Avoid the high fat foods. Aim for fresh, aim for lean protein. If you are ravenous and need gut fillers then try another packet of oatmeal, try slowly eating a protein bar, try egg whites, fresh fruits/veggies. WATER!! Don't Forget...drink up!
- Ask yourself "Am I really Hungry" has your stomach growled? are you feeling sick to your stomach hungry? if yes then please eat something light and healthy. If not then you are likely mindlessly or emotionally eating.
I saw a Nutritionist once and I told her that I eat ALOT at night. I would guess that half my calories in a day were around 9pm-1am and she said it so simple that it made me feel sorta stupid "Connie, just go to bed" ...........I know, I know.....SLEEP!! If I actually go to bed a normal and healthy time I can avoid sitting around eating myself to death.
As you learn to incorporate more appropriate coping strategies and to curb excessive eating, remember to reward yourself for a job well done. We tend to repeat behaviors that have been reinforced, so reward yourself when you meet your nutrition management goals. Buy that blouse, take that vacation, or get that massage you wanted. By rewarding yourself for a job well done you increase the likelihood that you will maintain your new healthy habits.
So there you have it. What is emotional eating, how to recognize it, how to tell the difference, what to do instead of emotional eating.
Now I want you to work hard on the challenge this week with your foods/emotional ties *P.s.* let's make this about WINE too, since I have so many of you addicted to more than just one glass a day! Oh I'll be plotting my next blog about that one! but I want you to control and cut back on your wine this week and well into the future too!
Most importantly I hope you all begin to feel really great with fitness and losing weight that you don't want to eat that stuff anymore simply so that you keep feeling good with lots of energy. I wish for everyone to view food as fuel and by golly yes you can enjoy it, just a new and healthier way now.
Keep working on it, it does get easier that I promise.
Posted by Connie York