How to Curb Emotional Eating

Emotional eating has increased during the pandemic and with so many people spending more time at home, their natural defenses are failing. And they don’t know how to stop!

Where does Emotional Eating come from?

Emotional eating often starts at home, when you were little and how you were raised. when you came home with a scraped knee, someone pushed you or something like that, you’d come home crying. And usually the first thing that our parents would say was

  • “stop crying” 
  • “It’s not that bad”
  • “It’s not that dramatic”

And the next thing that you would actually get was something to eat, to shut you up, right? And usually it wasn’t something healthy or nutritious. it was carrot cake instead of carrots. Something sugary to appease you and make you stop crying.

What this teaches a child is to push their feelings down, that feelings shouldnt be expressed. And food becomes the mechanism to avoid your feelings…

  • “Do not make a scene”
  • “It’s Nothing”
  • “Stop Exaggerating”

We have turned this into Eat something and Shut Up…And we eat every time we experience emotions.

This even happens when we are experiencing good emotions. When we’re happy, we’ll bring a cake. Well, we’re happy, let’s have popcorn. So in society feelings = food.

So what does that mean for us as adults?

Well we need to take responsibility for how we behave, and we need to start facing our feelings. 

What am I feeling?

Feel your feelings

Let yourself cry

Punch the pillow

You have to confront the feelings to understand where they are coming from. Because when you do, then you’re less likely to eat a whole bucket of Haagen Dazs. You’ll maybe have a little bit, but you’re not going to be able to keep pushing it down and keep pushing it down.

You are able to say “I was really upset because this happened. Maybe I’ll take a walk and then come back to the Haagen Dazs.” And then maybe you’re not even going to touch the ice cream. Maybe you’re going to say “I’m just going to have a little bit, cause I’ve just taken a walk and I feel better.”

Another important thing that we need to do alongside is to help our body avoid habitual eating. You know the kind; when you are bored, you end up taking countless trips to the fridge and snack cupboard.

The one thing that we really need to do is just confront our emotions and we can do that by writing them down on a piece of paper and you can throw it away afterwards. But just sitting down and writing it gets the emotions out of your head and body.

Another great example is to take a shower and cry it out, or take a walk or anything that you feel will actually help you take a moment for yourself, focus on yourself and help yourself confront these emotions.

Activities like these help connect with yourself a little bit more, bring more love and less shame. And when you love yourself, you’re really a lot less likely to, to just go for crappy food.

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