Overcoming Emotional Eating

Sharon Jane Akinyemi

Sharon Jane Akinyemi

Sharon Jane

I bought a healthy butter last two weeks, and most of it is still in my refrigerator! My daughter was so excited she could hardly contain herself, she loves to eat bread with butter. ”

You’ve got to know, this is the first time in a very long time this is happening! I’ve been telling myself there are no forbidden foods that I can eat what I want, when I want to, so why eat it all now? And I’m really starting to  believe it! I don’t feel guilty. I feel like am finally in control after all these years!”

Statements like this touches me. After years of struggling with my own emotional eating issues. I fully understand the incredible sense of victory and release that comes with triumphing over an unhealthy relationship with food.

We all have different issues that drive our relationship with food.   This article is designed to help you go beneath the surface to desire healthy food!      Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better-eating to fill emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach.

Using food from time to time as a pick me up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism when your first impulse is to open the refrigerator, whenever you are upset, angry, lonely, exhausted, bored and stressed-you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed .

Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feeling that trigger the eating are still there and you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. You beat yourself for messing up and not having more willpower . Compounding the problem, you stop learning healthier ways to deal  with your emotions, you have a harder and harder time controlling your weight and you feel increasingly  powerless over both food and your feeling.

Before we dig into some practical ways of dealing with the day to day temptation with food,you must understand that there is no amount of self-control or eating strategies that will ever take the place of the self control that comes with you doing a deliberate work on yourself.

Emotional eating is just one battle of the flesh in the lifestyle arena because it’s my observation that the large majority of women who have weight problems are also emotional eaters.

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Do you ever feel like you live to eat more than you eat to live? Is food a driving force in your day? Do you wish you could simply put it out of your mind and desire it only when you are physiologically hungry? Do you eat more when you are feeling stressed? Do you eat to feel better? Do you regularly eat until you stuff yourself ? Does food make you feel safe? These are questions calling for answers.

But I have great news. You can get there-maybe not every single hour or every single day, but more often than not. And sometimes you will actually forget to eat. What a concept.

Think of the times when food wasn’t on your mind. In times of great pain-like when a woman is in labour! Or times of great fear when someone almost runs you off the road. Or times of great anxiety-when you have to give a speech in front of two hundred of your peers. Bet you weren’t thinking about food during those times. Are you?

And of course there are times when you experience something so special that food is absolutely the last thing on your mind-like when you are walking down the isle with your new wife/husband.  If you feel you  are a miserable wretch because food seems to have so much importance in your life, don’t feel too badly. There is still hope for you.

Be An Overcomer. Create diversion. If a craving calls, call a friend. Chat for about fifteen minutes, the time it takes for the hankering to become history. Other distractions that work fine: a sport, an entertaining novel or TV programme you really enjoy. When the craving strikes, pick your skipping rope, jog on the spot  or take a walk  for 15 minute.

Seek Support: Studies reveals that dieters who feel supported by family and friends lose the most weight and keep it off. Join a weight watchers group, a sport club or create one. Recruit a friend. Try on-line support groups. Another aspect of involving others in your diet plan can be broadcasting to several key friends that you are going to lose X amount of kilograms by X date. It will motivate you to shoot for that goal and hit it. Embarrassment is a great motivator.

Speed Up. One of my biggest weapon against overeating is staying busy. It’s when I’m bored and lazy that I think constantly about eating to entertain myself. I just can’t allow myself time to sit and snack. When I’m mentally focused on a task, I became completely unaware of my growing stomach and can actually go without eating for hours at a time. Not allowing my mind to dwell on my craving is key. Clean the sitting room. Go shopping. Run errands.  Staying active and busy is absolutely  my best way to curb  unnecessary eat ing.

Slow Down. Let time be your biggest asset. By eating at a leisurely place, you give your body the twenty minutes it needs to recognise  that it has been fed. Enjoy each bite. Put your spoon down frequently and talk. Sit and sip your tea or coffee slowly. In the long run , you’ll eat less.