10 Tips to Overcome Emotional Eating

Rewarding yourself with a chocolate bar and a glass of wine once you reached a goal or drowning your sorrows in a pint of ice cream may not be news to many women.  However, when this becomes the norm and not the exception we have entered into an unhealthy relationship with food.

As a fitness and nutrition expert I help others, mostly women, with their nutrition.  I teach how to make quick and easy homemade meals with love, how to choose meals, pinpoint areas that can be improved on and teach compassion and gratitude for where we are in our health journey’s.  Imagine my surprise when I found myself emotional eating.  It’s OK, as I said before, it is a healthy journey and we are always changing, and hopefully, learning.  As a self-proclaimed SelfLove Junkie, I knew that once I pinpointed an ouch point, meaning I discovered a temporary set-back (it’s only a failure if I allow it to continue or give up), it was time to create a plan to a healthier me!

10 tips to rock your health and overcome emotional eating

  1. Stop rewarding with food. When you reach a goal, find non-food ways to pat yourself on the back. Maybe a pedicure or a massage!
  2. Assess if you are hungry vs. wanting to fill a void in a two step process:
    • Drink a glass of water – many times we think we’re hungry, when we’re actually thirsty.
    • Journal your feelings and see where you are emotionally. Maybe it is a time to eat, but it’s always good to check in feeling-wise.
  3. Have plenty of delicious homemade snacks/meals ready to go for when meal time hits.  You can do this by prepping meals on a Sunday afternoon for the week.  At first, it may seem daunting but once you start, it becomes routine and kinda fun.  I always see how many meals I can make in my crockpot.  I make a game out of it.
  4. Sit down at the table for each meal.  Chew slowly with no distractions.  It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you are hungry.  Slow down your eating and try to take at least 20 minutes for a meal to eat.  Get away from the computer or TV.  Talking at the table is always encouraged but only when there is no food in your mouth!
  5. Track your food.  Now I stress caution here as this can lead to food obsession.  I would do this with a flexible eating coach who specializes in meal planning and has been on their own health journey similar to your own.
  6. Give yourself a break.  There is not need to judge or be harsh with yourself.  Be proud that you made realization and created an actionable plan to a healthier you!
  7. Choose start date.  A plan without a start date is just a dream.  Ideally, you start RIGHT NOW.  This prevents the “I’m gonna binge on pizza and beer for a weekend first and then start Monday”.  This is not the best start to your health journey.
  8. Have a day off.  With lots of BBQs, travel and cottaging if someone orders pizza or makes hot dogs, say YES but also ensure there are lots of veggies on the plate!
  9. Never say you can’t have something.  Instead say you choose not to something.  This may seem like a silly change of words but when we make food items unattainable they become more appealing.  Can you have pizza and wings?  Of course you can.  Are you choosing to eat pizza and wings.  Nope, you are choosing something else that will fuel your body and be kind to your digestive system!
  10. Be honest.  By sharing my ouch point with you and being open and honest with myself, I can make changes much quicker as well as share these tips with you which, hopefully, have helped you make changes to enhance your health journey.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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Kelly Fernandes
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