My #1 Go-To Emotional Eating Strategy
I’ve been thinking about why, after all these years, I STILL get tempted to run to food (preferably cupcakes) whenever life throws a little drama my way?
Today, I’m chatting about my go to strategy when emotional eating rears it’s ugly head.
If I had a magic wand and could make this emotional eating thing go away forever, I would. It’s been the #1 cause of weight gain and failure to lose weight over the past 10 years. I won’t say that I’ve got it all together, but I’m much further along than I was even just a couple of year ago.
It’s something that creeps up on me from time to time and unless I have a solid game plan to deal with it, it will get completely out of control!
Don’t Eat Your Feelings
That’s great advice, if your conscious that your doing it. From my experience, and from working with clients who struggle with emotional eating, they aren’t aware that they’re doing it in the moment. I like to call it a trance. The emotional eating takes over and when you finally snap out of it (and 15 lbs heavier), you’re like, “How the heck did that happen?”
How did I start to become aware? I had to do the work. I have a free 30 day Emotional Eating Journal for you to download HERE! It’s helped me get crystal clear about times when I do turn to food and some other behaviors I can do instead. It also helped me have my AhHa moment and discover when all this emotional eating business started.
The Inner Critic
I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but after I come out of my emotional eating trance, I’m always really hard on myself.
“I can’t believe you just did that. You’ve just undone all that work you’ve done to lose 70 lbs. You’re such a failure….” (tell me I’m not alone in this)
One of the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up. Instead, learn from what just happened so you can be aware of it in the future. Now when I have an emotional eating episode, I’ll sit with my journal and write down everything that comes to mind….
- What was I feeling?
- What was going on?
- What did I eat?
- Did I binge?
I get as detailed as possible so I can be more conscious the next time I’m in that situation.
My #1 Go-To Strategy
I want to be able to be conscious of my emotional eating before it happens. That takes practice. I used to put post it notes on the refrigerator, on the pantry door and in my car (Hello! Starbucks drive thru = danger!) that simply said, “ARE YOU HUNGRY?”
It triggered me to ask if I was legitimately hungry or if I was wanting to feed my emotions. If it was the latter, I would have to do this little exercise BEFORE I could indulge.
What? Did you say you’d actually indulge? Yes. Sometimes I do…
It’s called Mandatory Questions. I have to answer these question, but not just answer them, I have to write them in my journal.
- How do I want to feel in 30 minutes?
- If I eat this _________ (donuts, brownie, chocolate cupcake, etc.) how will I actually feel 30 minutes from now?
- Is it worth it? And on a scale of 1-10, how worth it?
- If you said, yes it’s worth it and your # is 5 or higher, why do I feel it’s worth it?
- If I were to make this decision every day for 1 year, what would my body look like?
- What type of person makes this choice.
This is not a judgment exercise. It’s to get your head straight. This is to help you recognize a pattern of behavior. Sometimes at the end of the exercise, I still eat whatever it is I think will make me feel better. Sometimes, I’m able to come up with a better strategy to deal with my emotions.
I wish I could tell you that that magic wand does exist, but it doesn’t. So we’ll have to do the work to experience freedom from emotional eating. I can tell you from experience, it does get easier!
At some point in your life as an emotional eater, you have definitely wondered “Why do I DO this?!”
You tell yourself tomorrow will be different and that you won’t keep chocolate in the house anymore. You swear you’ll never eat Krispy Kream again because it gives you a headache. You promise that you’ve learned your lesson this time – feeling this full is no fun and you’ll be moderating your portion sizes from now on.
I told myself these things for years. So. Many. Years.
I’d get frustrated at myself for causing my body and mind so much pain with my food choices… which weren’t choices so much as rationalizations and self-sabotage I called ‘choice’ to make it feel more empowering.
But I wasn’t empowered at all. And if you’re asking yourself “Why do I do this… why did I eat that… why didn’t I stop…?”, you’re not either.
But you can be.
I want to show you how. Let’s get on a call where I will help you identify your number one emotional eating trigger and give you at least one technique to stop yourself from eating at those times, stop yourself from feeling guilty and maybe even help you drop a couple of lbs.
CLICK HERE to Schedule Your Free Call!