Do you find that only a big bowl of mashed potatoes can make you feel better after your boss criticized you for doing the right thing? You may have a problem with emotional eating. Everyone has heard of comfort foods, but there are also foods to help reduce tension and anger. These are often crunchy and give you a chance to crush your teeth together to create a life-affirming noise. A primary strategy to stop emotional eating is to identify it.
People often stuff their feelings down and don’t acknowledge them. Instead, they turn to food to handle the problem. Focusing on what you’re feeling when you eat can aid you in identifying the problem. The only way you’ll do that is if you journal. Thoughts are fleeting, but if you write them down, you’ll often see a pattern form. You ate a bowl of ice cream. What happened before eating half a cake, and how did you feel? Did you want those potato chips or just enjoy the feeling of control from the crunch they made? A pattern will eventually show.
Once you realize you’re substituting food for feelings, dealing with your emotions is a priority. Sometimes just acknowledging they exist is enough. Sometimes, you need to take action. If you can’t take action, find a different way to deal. If someone you care about hurts your feelings, tell them. It’s hard to do, but until they know, they’ll continue. Sometimes people don’t do that because they fear the other person won’t care, so their feelings are misplaced. If you’ve had a problem at work and speaking up isn’t appropriate, find another way to deal. Instead of eating crunchy food, do a high-intensity workout to burn off steam.
Do you pass a colleague’s desk and grab a few candies from their bowl? Are you the person that eats the last bite of casserole in the bowl, rather than throwing it away? If you have nothing to do, do you binge-watch videos while snacking throughout the videos? These are all mindless eating examples or eating patterns that come from boredom. A food diary can make you more aware of the problem. .
For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio