Emotional eating/stress eating seems to be a very common struggle for many of the people I work with and something I’ve definitely struggled with in the past too! Which is why I wanted to share some tips to better cope with it.
We’re tired, stressed, angry, upset and food seems like the perfect coping mechanism to dull these feelings right? Not really. But of course that’s what we think IN THE MOMENT. Per usual, we’re looking for a quick fix to feel better.
But here’s the thing, it’s just that… a temporary fix. It doesn’t solve any issue you are having or feeling you are experiencing. It masks it temporarily but when said and done, it actually leaves you worse off than before. Now you’re feeling guilty, uncomfortable and disappointed in yourself ON TOP of the emotions you were having beforehand.
So, what can you do to stop this self sabotage?
1. Let yourself FEEL what you are feeling. Life isn’t sunshine and butterflies. You’re going to feel many things other than hunky dory from time to time. You have to recognize that this is normal and in order to get through it you have to GO through it. Don’t try to hide it or make it disappear, FEEL it, accept it and figure out what you need to do to ACTUALLY solve the problem.
2. Journal. This is where REAL solutions will arise. The second you start feeling the urge to turn to food for comfort, grab a pen and piece of paper. Start writing down what you are feeling, WHY you are feeling that way and be honest with yourself. Most of us know what we need to do to solve an issue but we’re too scared to do it because it’s HARD. Write down actionable steps and tackle it. The only person that has the power to solve this is YOU.
3. Find another outlet. Sometimes you do just need some self care. Find other things that bring you happiness/relief that don’t involve food. Could be a trashy magazine, a bath, drawing, building something, going for a walk, lifting weights, yoga, online shopping. Find activities YOU enjoy and turn to those. They will help ease your mind without the repercussions. Think if your friend was going through a tough time, you wouldn’t just shove food down their throat in hopes it’ll make them feel better. You’d listen to them, be a shoulder for them to lean on and help them make the situation better. Treat yourself like you would a friend.
4. Maybe you actually do just WANT an ‘indulgence’, whatever that means to you!!! Here’s the thing, eating emotionally isn’t always detrimental. It’s when it becomes a habit that it becomes unhealthy/unhelpful and that’s what I want to emphasize here. Food should bring you pleasure!! Trust me, I’ve had plenty of days where a nice bowl of ice cream was all I needed to lighten my mood. There’s nothing wrong with that and you should NEVER feel guilty for eating something you enjoy. (Check out my newsletter on food guilt for more on this). And on the flip side, food/drink is also part of celebration! Food is supposed to bring us joy and be a happy experience, it’s not just fuel. We just can’t use it as our ONLY vice.
Hope this was helpful and as always, click that reply button if you have any questions or comments! I always love hearing from you <3