Have you ever noticed how “stressed” is just desserts spelled backwards? Coincidence? Maybe!
Feeling stressed, bored, lonely…..we often can tend to reach for the cookie jar or pint of Ben n’ Jerry’s! But maybe the next time the craving comes along, try chugging a glass of cool water, wait five minutes and see if the craving is still there. Sugar cravings are often our bodies response to dehydration. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t….but it’s certainly worth the try.
When we eat out of stress, it usually is just a temporary fix. But after the binge is over, after you fill that temporary void, that emotion is still there. And often it is now added the emotion of shame and guilt. So let’s take a look at how we can change the feeling toward eating. Let’s first look at what emotional eating even is.
What is emotional eating?
Emotional eating is also well known as “stress eating”….it’s a type of eating that we are using food for a purpose other than nourishment. We use it as a coping mechanism for emotions that you don’t want to feel. We use food to feel better, self-soothe, numb or fill a temporary void and sometimes it’s a way that we feel in control.
Some common reasons we emotional eat are:
Here are some common differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger:
Emotional Hunger: Physical Hunger:
-Comes on suddenly -Arises gradually
-Feels “insatiable” -You are able to stop eating when satiated
-The need for instant gratification -Can delay gratification if needed
-You crave specific foods -Satisfied with a wider variety of foods
-It’s often accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame -Lacks “negative” feelings
-It is in response to the mind -It is in the response to the body
Let’s talk about intentions, shall we? It is really important when it comes to emotions that we are really being intentional with our choices. In order to change our habits, we need to figure out what triggers that emotion.
For instance, when you were growing up was food looked at as a reward for being “good”? Were you “treated” for that behavior? At larger holiday gatherings, does your family use that as an excuse to overeat?
Let’s work on becoming more mindful and ditch the mindless thinking!
First we really need to become aware of the triggers that push us to stress eat in the first place. When we listen to our cravings, we are being mindless. Before you know it you have eaten an entire pint of ice cream and you weren’t even hungry. Now you are left feeling bloated, empty, low energy and just plain miserable.
So if you are feeling stressed, lonely, bored and want to reach for that bag of chips….assess what’s actually going on. Notice where you are feeling those emotions within your body. Then take steps to possibly fill that void in a more efficient, healthy way. Maybe instead of grabbing something unhealthy, grab a glass of water. Go for a walk. Meditate. There are lots of ways we can shift our focus to fill that same void.
If you have control over your appetite, you can have control over your emotions. You are not always going to be in control of your emotions, but when it comes to food, figuring out that balance and gaining that control will put the power into your hands to find that freedom. I hope this serves you well and feel free to comment and tell me how you are working towards gaining control over your emotional well-being?
Hi! I’m Robin.
I love farmers markets, I’m a coffee junkie, fitness obsessed (especially Muay Thai and Yoga), beach days and love me some essential oil and crystal therapy.
My superpower is empowering other women to create body freedom, end self sabotage cycles that leave them powerless and regain that love for themselves that they never dreamed was possible.
I wear many badges. Nurse, mom, wife, dog mom, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Health Coach, Certified Life Coach…..and I received those last few from some of the best leaders in the industry.
Over the past two years I have spent my time training and educating myself on changing women all across the globe.
As a teen I battled an eating disorder that ate its way well into my 30’s. It wasn’t until my youngest was born that I was able to end the cycle once and for all. It is a battle that no woman should ever have to deal with and I want to empower every woman to overcome it.
I have created a 12 week transformational “Uncaged” program to help women like you create that life, create that transformation and finally love their body from the inside out. No more body shame. No more judgements. No more yo-yo dieting. No more should-ing your way through life. Just love. Just peace. Just belonging.
Click here to learn more.
Peace and gratitude,