These days everyone talks about being “busy”. We’re always running from one place to the next. Trying to stay organized, spend time with friends, family, work, exercise, cook. . . . the list goes on! Our calendars are full!
This has become the new norm for many of us! The problem is that this leaves little time for self-care, having fun, rest or relaxation. Making us more stressed, more emotional and physically leaves us with more cortisol (the stress hormone) running through our bodies!
But what does this have to do with our eating habits?
From a survival perspective our bodies have been designed to enjoy food. The act of eating actually produces endorphins and positively stimulates our brain. If it didn’t, we would forget to eat and we wouldn’t survive. Food has to make us feel good so we remember to eat it.
So it’s natural that food also becomes a way to soothe negative emotions, thoughts and stress. It literally balances out stress hormones in our body.
The problem arises when food becomes our only mechanism for coping with our emotions or stress. Food becomes that reliable best friend that’s always around and allows us to temporarily check out and be soothed.
Crunchy things and chewy things become a way to temporarily relieve stress.
Creamy foods soothe anxiousness for the moment you’re eating them.
Sweets help to produce endorphins fast and easily to immediately make us feel better until we crash.
All are temporary mechanisms for coping that eventually leave us feeling guilty or bad about ourselves.
Here are 2 tips to help you prevent yourself from emotionally eating:
First, have more fun! Bring more pleasure into your life, laugh, do fun things, spend more time relaxing! One great way to do this is to start a joy list. Write down 20 things that bring you joy that don’t involve food or a lot of money. Whenever you feel like you’re reaching for food and you’re not hungry, look at your list and see what you can do instead.
Second, Don’t make yourself feel bad when you use food to soothe your emotions, instead, be curious and come up with a plan for the next time. When you feel bad, you start a cycle of negative self-talk. Even though it would seem like disciplinary self-talk would help you stop, it actually makes things worse! You feel so bad you’re more emotional and need more food to cope. Or you say screw it, I messed up I’m just going to go crazy and the cycle continues.
Find pleasure and notice what happens to your eating habits this week!
This article was written by guest author Marisa Molina.
Marisa has helped hundreds of men and women regain control of their eating habits, lose weight, and love their bodies. Through her support her clients have transformed their relationship with food, loved themselves for the first time, built the relationships of their dreams, and found a new sense of confidence in themselves to do things they never thought possible. Marisa is the co-founder of Hello Beautiful Health, a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and has a Master’s Degree in Public Health, concentrated in Epidemiology. Prior to starting Hello Beautiful Health, she spent 10 years in public health research and 5 managing an Obesity Prevention Research Study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that promoted physical activity and healthy behaviors to low income women. Visit Marisa at www.hellobeautifulhealth.com