Breaking My Emotional Eating!
Emotional eating is something that I struggle with and something that I'm sure a lot of you do as well!!
I am the kind of person that when I'm stressed, I always find myself turning to food, and it's never good food either. It is because you get that instant hit of gratification. The food acts as a really quick pick me up. You feel better for a little bit, but it's only temporary, because then the guilt kicks in. Ever since having my daughter, 2 years ago, I have become very conscious of my own relationship with food, how that impacts me and how it impacts my daughter. It really shook me one day when she was upset, she was crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "I'm upset. A yogurt will make me feel better."
That really hit me because obviously I have been subconsciously reinforcing this behavior in her, and it's not something I want for her, because it is something that I still struggle with daily. But I've never been aware of how I was doing it until I seen my mum with her. My daughter was upset. Mum said to her, "Come on, we'll get you a snack. It will make you feel better." I realised that this relationship I have with stress and eating, it is a learned behaviour. It is something I picked up as a kid, and like I said, that is something I don't want for her. So now I make the conscious effort not to use food as a crutch for my emotions or for hers.
I'm just going to list a couple of things that have helped me deal with my stress and not turn to food so often.
Indirectly, first of all, I found that using my fitness pal actually really helps. It keeps me accountable. I'm less likely to overeat or binge on junk when I know that I have to record it and that people can see that.
Eating regularly is another thing that really helps because before I had the mindset that less is more, so I was only eating 1000 calories a day, if I was lucky. Now I'm eating about 2,100+ calories a day so that when I do get that urge it's not as strong, because I'm already satisfied with everything that I've already eaten throughout the day.
The other thing I do when I do feel the urge to binge because I'm stressed is I will FaceTime my family. So my mum, my sisters, my nephews, I'll give them a call, this acts as a distraction from why I was stressed in the first place and it takes my mind off wanting to eat junk, and really it just picks up my mood so it makes me feel a lot better.
But the number one thing that has helped me and has actually replaced my emotional eating is exercise. So when I do feel that I'm getting really stressed, I will try to do some sort of exercise. Even if I go for a walk, do a little bit of yoga, just do some squats, some burpees, anything that gets my heart rate up, it really just improves my mood, it brings me back to a calm state of mind. The exercise, it triggers that release of endorphins in your brain. So it's like what the food does, but without the guilt, therefore you end up feeling a lot better than just bingeing on something. So exercise is definitely my go-to now when I am stressed, and if I don't exercise almost every day, I can feel it and it's not good.
Anyway, so those are just a few things that I try to do to help me deal with my stress and to avoid the emotional eating. Hopefully, something in here has resonated with you, or it can help you if you struggle with emotional eating like I do.