You have to eat. However it is your choice WHAT you eat every day. There’s that old saying: Eat to Live, in contrast to Living to eat.
Eat to Live
When you eat to live, you eat nutritious foods that are beneficial to your health. When you live to eat, you basically eat for taste. What tastes great is what you choose.
The problem with living to eat is that you may not get the nutrition your body needs to be healthy. Like it or not, your body needs nutrition. Your cells are replicating every day and when you put junk in, you are going to get junk out.
So how do you know if you have an emotional eating problem? Are you gaining weight or is obesity an issue? Do you have a lot of stress in your life? Are you eating more comfort foods than nutritious foods? Comfort foods are usually high fat, high carbs, high sugar or maybe all three!
Emotional eating often involves comfort foods that also taste goods. Comfort foods vary from person to person. Chocolate may be your comfort food of choice and for someone else it is pasta every day.
The reason you need comfort foods may be due to stress in your life. Do you have a problem in a relationship? At work? With your kids? Does life in general have you feeling down because you are lonely, bored, unhappy, or something else?
There is more to emotional eating that your general health. There is the scale as well. If you see the numbers creeping up on your scale, you want to think about what you are eating and why you are eating it.
Stress and Emotional Eating
Stress can affect your life in many ways. If emotional eating is your struggle, and if you want to do something about it, the good news is that there is help.
First thing to consider is that we all have good days and bad days. It’s how we deal with the bad days that makes a difference. There are better ways than eating for comfort – but they may not be as easy for you.
In fact, choosing food instead of finding a better solution, is more the easy way out. Food doesn’t talk to you, judge you or at least at the moment, ‘hurt’ you. You may be trying to avoid those things in the people or other things in your life.
Certain foods can actually make you feel pretty good, at least at the time your are eating them or shortly after. That’s because there are comfort fords that release endorphins similar to when you exercise. So you feel pretty good right after eating.
How about instead of emotional eating, that you often regret later (like when you get on the scale) – you exercise instead? You will get those feel-good endorphins, without the extra calories or sugar or fat or whatever non-nutritious component of the comfort food.
You have the choice to not hide behind your food instead of looking for solutions to your problems. Remember how I said emotional eating might be easier. It requires a little more effort to look for those other solutions.
How to Overcome Emotional Eating?
What can you do to stop emotional eating? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Own your problem. The first step is to realize you have the problem.
- Get help. It’s always beneficial to let someone who can help get you on the right track.
- Accept support. Bring the people you are around you each day on board to keep you focused.
- Exercise regularly. Some type of physical activity every day, even 15 minutes to start, is proven beneficial.
Something important to mention is that you are going to need a strong WHY you want to make a change. Write that WHY down and be specific. Look at it every day or even multiple times every day.
Last, when I mentioned to get help, consider the fact that a counselor or someone who has successfully changed an emotional eating habit can help you address your emotions and share things like visualization, relaxation techniques and problem solving skills.
Seeing food as nutritious, and really valuing your health, are what you will get on the other side of your emotional eating – when you address the issue, establish your WHY and then do the work you need to do to get past emotional eating.
To learn more about natural nutrition support to help you eat and live healthier, visit: Nutritious Foods.