Emotional eating isn’t just a female thing but it is an issue that most of us have experienced at least once in our lives. Add to the mix our everyday efforts to lose weight, often including destructive fad diets, and life gets even more stressful as we even make the time to work out, only to derail our efforts by binging, later on, a vicious circle that’s often hard to break. Worst of all it wreaks havoc on our self-esteem, often making us feel out of control and even helpless. Basically, emotional eating takes a lot out of you and can lead to severe health and psychological issues. The important thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone and there is help out there that can be life changing. FINE to FAB is designed to help you setup an encouraging and loyal game plan, and you’ll have the skilled and motivational support you need to begin your emotional eating treatment, and improve your life. First, however, there are some things to keep in mind that can make your experience a successful and positive one.
First of all eating for most of us isn’t just about sustenance and satisfying hunger; it can end up serving an emotional purpose. You probably already know this on one level or another but if you aren’t already accepting it as what it is, you need to now. Eating is often used as a way to satisfy yourself as either a reward for something (at least that’s what we call it), to get rid of stress, to comfort yourself in a time of sadness, or really anything emotionally charged. It’s important to remember that eating to satisfy an emotional need doesn’t actually solve any problem, it is much like liquor in that way. Some people drink to feel numb to their problems but it never makes them go away, and it almost always leads to more. While alcohol leads to you making poor decisions, food not only does the same, it also punishes you in other ways; it packs on the pounds, is unhealthy, makes you feel bloated, lethargic, unhappy and even severely depressed. Exercise is a great way to make yourself feel better, but no one wants to binge eat and then go work out.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions you’ll want to consider emotional eating treatment.
• Do you eat more when you are stressed?
• Do you eat when you are full?
• Do you reward yourself with food?
• Do you eat until you are bloated regularly?
• Do foods make you feel safe?
• Do you feel like you don’t have control of yourself around food?
Emotional eating is much like the physical need to eat in the way that you feel as if it is a necessity, even when you’ve had more than enough to eat. Of course, there are many differences between the two you might not pick up on instantly. For instance, emotional hunger never seems to be satisfied, even with a full stomach. Emotional eating triggers different sorts of feelings, usually starting with a comforting feeling, but always leading to feelings of shame or guilt. Actual physical hunger won’t bring on any negative feelings; it’ll just make you feel satisfied once you consume what your body requires. Healthy eating habits leave you feeling energetic and satisfied; physically and emotionally.
Emotional eating habits are dangerous and you need to know how to identify them and treat them. To understand the cause you have to think back to what feelings led you to eat in this way. Was it a childhood habit? Were you rewarded with snacks that are salty or sweet for accomplishments, or told to eat everything on your plate or you’d be punished? Does boredom drive you to eat? Did it come on due to your social group? Did this emotional eating start with a period of stress or intense emotions, perhaps becoming an empty nester, financial problems or going through a divorce? There are countless causes and it’s important to know which one it is for you, identifying the key events that act as a catalyst to your emotional eating.
To start identifying what incites your emotional eating you can help yourself by writing in a journal every time you start feeling the urge to mindlessly eat. If you have to eat something, and it’s not because of a physical hunger, you are eating for the wrong reasons. You have to eliminate these incidents in order to eat right. If a phone call to a family member or worry about something leads to destructive emotions, you need to mark them down. If it’s paying the bills or someone at work, mark it down and if possible eliminate the cause.
Once you identify your emotional eating triggers you’ll have to find other ways to feed your feelings. You’ll need a release to let out the stress and the fears that can occur in life other than food. If you feel lonely, call someone you know who you enjoy talking to. If you’re anxious then try listening to a song you enjoy, meditating or take a walk. If you’re tired, take a nap, need to unwind; take a bubble bath, enjoy your favorite movie cuddled up in your favorite blanket with a lovely cup of tea. If you’re bored put time into your hobbies; if you don’t have any find one, even if it’s just reading a good book (that’s right – ready can be your hobby!). Whatever you enjoy doing you’ll appreciate it a lot more when you are truly bored and need a pick me up.
Emotional eating treatment comes in many forms and it differs from person to person. The FINE to FAB consulting group will help you understand, treat and avoid emotional eating triggers. You can discuss your catalysts, the particular foods that cause you to cave, and many of the psychological problems you may have. You can enjoy life without eating; it doesn’t have to be a crutch. Emotional eating and treatment for it does exist and can get you back to living the life you deserve.
If you need to get a handle on your fear of being not good enough, please reach out. We can help you can get on with your life.