Got to open this topic today on our blog. Just couldn’t resist…
Did you ever tried to replace your emotional weakness or distress with juicy, opulent meal? Many do that not knowing that this is the way back to gaining weight.
It is quite natural to reach out to some form of comfort when one feels down and emotionally depleted, when you are angry, hurt, frustrated, stressful, in fear, bored, sad or lonely. Some people do it consciously and other to it unconsciously. Such eating is called emotional eating.
Triggered in so many ways of today’s “modern way of life“, emotional pain or frustration can really consume a lot of our energy and we feel that by taking a good meal the energy will come back. But if you eat while feeling not good or not calm, you actually increase the negative feelings.
Emotional eating can sabotage your plans and intentions to lose weight. In many cases emotional eating is connected with taking sweets and high-calorie food that quickly adds back the weight we already lost. However, emotional eating doesn’t have to be that bad for you if you follow little tips I am about to reveal.
It’s completely ok to be emotional eater, provided you follow simple rules that will help you maintain our good health and weight. Here is what you can do when feeling emotionally down:
1. Make a distraction
When we don’t feel good, we have the tendency to ponder in our mind what went wrong, how this happened, who is guilty, what we could have done etc. By doing this you are more and more empowering your mind to feel even more bad.
Therefore, distract your mind with something opposite like jumping on the stairs up and down 10-20 times, 30 seconds fast workout on elliptical or treadmill, 10-15 push-ups etc. Somehow or other, distract your mind and body from the emotional pain and stress.
2. Calm down your system
As we said before, it is not good to eat when the body and mind feel stressed. Make it a rule; always calm down into happy and peaceful mode before eating. You can perform some yogic asana or do some yoga breathing technique, meditate, do one of the relaxation exercises or simply read a good book for 10 minutes. You can play your favorite ambient music all the while. Remember, don’t eat before you calm down.
3. Have hunger-check
After you have calmed down, ask yourself if you are really hungry – is your craving physical or emotional. Check out the time whey you have eaten last time. If your stomach is not rumbling like two hungry tigers and you have eaten one hour before, most probably you are not hungry.
4. Eat something nice and good
If you have detected that your hunger is emotional, eat something nice and sweet. If you have done first three steps, by now your mind will be calm and away from craving attack, and you will be able to think more rationally about what food to take.
Instead taking heavy food filled with calories, you can take some fruits and nuts. My favorite is two bananas with handful of hazelnuts, walnuts, dates and raisins, taken with one cup of plain yogurt. This immediately gives energy, it is sweet and it satisfies the need to eat something.
You can, of course take some fresh fruits like pears or apples, they expand in the stomach and give the feeling of fullness.
5. Keep your own emotional eating diary
If you keep the diary on a regular basis, you will begin to notice a certain pattern that triggers your emotional eating. You will be able to recognize connection between your mood and food. Get some nice app on your mobile phone/tablet and keep track.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is very important to feel happy and directly affects our health. If you sleep to less, your mind will be restless and will crave for some sort of gratification. Restless mind is easy to agitate. But also don’t sleep too much as this brings you in sullen and negative mood. So don’t go with less than six and more than eight hours of sleep.
7. Build-up your support system
Whenever you are on some kind of project, it is always important to have people who support you. If you are on the weight lost project, surround yourself with people who understand you, who support your decision to lose weight and who will extend a friendly hand when you need it. We are social beings and, according to many studies, 80% of our satisfaction and happiness come from maintaining good relationships.