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Emotional Eating - How to Walk Away from the Cupboard

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020
I just added Strategies for Emotional Eating to The WHE Classroom!
I had no idea when I started thinking about putting together a class on emotional eating several weeks ago, how pertinent it would be now. COVID-19 “stay at home” orders have been active now for a month and I find myself struggling with this more than ever. The pantry is all too convenient. When my kids snack I find myself joining in. All of the evenings and weekends at home have resulted in more baking than usual. I had forgotten how delicious fresh banana bread is! From the looks of social media, I am not the only one experiencing this.
Emotional eating is one of the most common complaints of women I see. So many people find that they struggle with eating as a method to provide comfort in some way. If you are challenged by this you are NOT alone! I feel like it’s an issue that doesn't get addressed frequently enough. Many women have long histories of chronic yo-yo dieting and failed attempts at sustained weight loss. They have a history of extreme food restriction which is not sustainable long - term, followed by their weight rebounding when the restriction is lifted. All of the efforts are put into the latest diet but rarely are the underlying reasons for overeating addressed. Since my philosophy with Women’s Health Elevated is to address the foundations of good health. I decided addressing emotional eating early on in my classes was so important.
It's not just the food that is the issue with emotional eating, there is a cycle of emotions frequently involved. First, something happens that is stressful or upsetting. You feel an urge to eat to soothe these negative emotions. This creates feelings of guilt or feelings of powerlessness. This cycle prevents you from learning healthier ways of dealing with negative emotions and feelings. Emotional eating many times can be the proverbial “canary in the coal mine”. It can indicate some underlying emotional needs which need to be addressed. Frequent struggles with stress eating can be a sign that better stress management techniques are needed.
Interested in some strategies to try? Experiment with these few steps.
  1. Identify that emotional eating is something you are ready to work on - are you feeling confident you are ready to make some changes?
  2. Understand your “why” - as you start working on this, it’s important to clearly know your reason why you want to improve your emotional eating. When you are faced with a challenge up ahead - knowing this “why” will help you achieve success!
  3. Start identifying the difference between the signs of physical hunger versus emotions and feelings causing you to eat.
  4. Start a journal - identify the emotions and feelings before and after you eat.
  5. Brainstorm ideas - how could you respond to these feelings differently? Make a list, a big list, without judging it.
  6. Develop an experiment with yourself. Next time you catch yourself heading to the pantry in the middle of the afternoon, try one of your brainstormed responses! Are you bored? Go check your email instead or go for a short walk. Feeling stressed out? Do a short meditation or call a friend. Most importantly, have a plan!
  7. If you end up eating, do not view it as a failure. Analyze and learn from the experience. Remember it is a science experiment! Only YOU can find the answers that will work for you!
Need more detailed information and strategies?? Visit The WHE Classroom !!! My course on Strategies for Emotional Eating is FREE!

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