6 Tips to Banish Emotional Eating

Chocolate Cake

Food is a source of nourishment. Food is fuel. Food is abundant.  However, many of us have lost touch with the ritual and true meaning of food.

We’re eating so many food-like substances these days (packaged and processed food) that we’re overfed and undernourished. We’re constantly craving more food because our body recognises that it’s lacking in vitamins and minerals. However, we keep fuelling our body with processed junk and wonder why we gain weight and struggle with hunger, cravings and emotional eating.

We have lost touch with our hunger and satisfaction signals. We use food to numb our emotions. We eat when we’re bored, stressed, sad, angry or happy. Instead of dealing with our emotions, we turn to food. We forget that food is a source of nourishment to keep us alive and well. Food is not here to solve our emotional problems.

Here are my 6 tips to banish emotional eating:

Recognise cravings – the next time you crave a particular food, ask yourself if your body really needs it or whether there is something else going on in your life that needs attention on an emotional level. Once we identify and work through underlying emotional issues, only then can we repair our relationship with food.

Practice affirmations – affirmations are fantastic for changing your thoughts that result in positive behaviour. Repeat the following affirmations, ‘this food nourishes my body on a cellular level’ and ‘my body knows how to digest and assimilate this food’.

Let go of guilt – you don’t need to eat healthily 100% of the time. Indulgences are an essential part of a healthy body. It is okay to treat yourself. One bad meal will not result in weight gain or a breakout. Remember, restrictions result in cravings which turn into binges.

Release restrictions – food is fuel. Food is not characterised or labelled as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  Release obsessive and preoccupied behaviours associated with food. Food is abundant and you are well equipped to make positive food and lifestyle choices.

Mindful eating habits – eat when you’re truly hungry; stop when you’re satisfied; chew your food until it’s liquid; eat at the table with no distractions; be aware and present with your food; eat in a relaxed stress free environment;  taste the flavours; feel the texture; smell the aromas and express gratitude for your food. Food is a positive experience.

Stop dieting – diets do not work. Dieters are emotionally connected to their food. Dieters think about food all the time. Dieters deprive themselves. Once deprived, our primal bodies think food is scarce and turn on survival mode. In survival mode, our metabolism slows and we store food for leaner times ahead, rather than using it for fuel and energy now. Diets are not sustainable.

Do you have any other tips to add to the list?

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