Are your emotions controlling how much and when you eat? It starts innocently with one cookie, then another one, and then you realize you have finished the whole packet. You feel guilty and blame yourself for doing it. You make a promise to yourself that won’t do it again…until next time.
Here are six strategies to help you overcome emotional eating and make it easier to follow your nutrition plan.
- Write a list of all the nourishing foods that you enjoy.
Start with what you like the most. Start adding them to your diet daily. You can add one by one until you eat the wide variety of recommended foods.
- Write a list of ‘high risk foods’.
We all have them. It could be a tub of ice cream or cookies. Maybe it’s a chocolate cake or a packet of crisps. ‘High risk foods’ are the foods we can’t resist, especially when we are stressed and hungry. You get a temporary good feeling when you eat them, but what happens later is, you feel guilty.
- Don’t skip your meals.
Regular meals will regulate your blood sugar levels and help stay away from the ‘high risk foods’. Skipping meals stresses out your body and you are more likely to eat junk food.
- Planning is key.
Have you heard the saying “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”? A little bit of planning can go a long way. Make smoothie packs. Place all the ingredients in a bag so you can quickly make a smoothie for breakfast. Use a slowcooker to make simple soups and stews that are ready when you come back home from work. Double recipes and freeze in small containers so they can be easily defrosted when you don’t have time to cook.
- Know the triggers.
Do you eat to comfort yourself when you are stressed? Do you eat when you are alone? Ideally we would avoid situations that trigger emotional eating but very often that’s impossible. Give yourself 10 minutes and try breathing exercise, play with your pet or go for a short walk. Work with your Nutritionist to help you find ways and strategies to help you overcome the vicious cycle.
- Relax and be kind to yourself.
Even 5-10 minutes of breathing exercises or meditation a day can make a difference to how you respond to stress. Start with 5 minutes daily and increase the time as you progress.
And the most important, be kind to yourself and avoid negative self-talk. Remember it’s a journey, have patience, you will get there.