We often find ourselves in the never ending cycle of eating and using food as a crutch to help us cope with stresses of everyday life. It is also used to numb our emotions of guilt, shame, depression and more. Here are 8 tips you can use right now so you don’t feel so out of control. Here are 8 steps you can take right now to break the cycle of emotional eating.
- Baby steps: Food is a basic necessity and we need to eat everyday. We can’t just rely onour willpower to stop eating becuse it just doesn’t work. I find that trying to deny yourself food makes you crave it more.It is important that you believe you can change and that you want to change or it will never work.
- Don’t stock your kitchen: Stock your kitchen but not with foods that trigger you emotions causing an episode of excessive eating. Stock the fridge and the pantry with quick, easy and healthy stuff. Implement, purchase and practice portion control to avoid over eating.
- Be mindful: Be mindful of where you are eating. Where you eat can be a trigger and cause a binge. Some places you eat may provide to much temptation and cause you to fall into old eating habits. Try to avoid these places as much as you can.
- Retrain your brain: Fool your brain by switching to smaller plates. Over time you will become accustomed to it and it tricks your brain into thinking you have a full plate of food.Leave some space on the plate to reduce the amount of food you eat which will become an ingrained habit in know time!
- Fix your tastebuds: The best way to manage what you eat is to restore your sensitivity to different tastes. And you don’t need to deny yourself certain foods. EG: If you crave sugar keep a bit of sugar in the diet with healthier alternatives like honey or maple syrup but avoid buying packaged foods with added sugar. Always check the ingredients. When trying new things several times your tastebuds change to adapt to the new flavours. Keep introducing new healthy foods into the diet weekly.
- Workout: Exercise is the best trigger for our pleasure hormone dopamine. Eating dark chocolate also does the same thing! All you need is 30 minutes a day of an exercie you enjoy doing so get out there and move.
- Know what it feels like to be physically hungry: Use a hunger scale. -0=famished and 10= stuffed. Start eating at a 2 or a 3, and finsh eating at 6 or 7.Pay attention to what your body is telling you. It is really good at doing that we just have to start listening.
- Feel the feelings: Instead of using food as a coping strategy to deal with uncomfortable emotions. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable like feeling bored, sad, angry etc. You do this by journaling,meditating and being mindful with your choices.