Tips On Healthy Emotional Eating
When we think about emotional eating, we usually associate it with deliberately eating foods which we hope will comfort and soothe our upset emotions. This is often a common occurrence when we are upset or distressed in any-way, and of course it can be incredibly damaging both physically and mentally.
There are however alternative, healthier options to eat when we are feeling emotional, that can actually help us to lose weight.
Firstly we need to consider when induces us to feel the need to eat when our emotions are in turmoil. Is it purely the need to be comforted? Perhaps there is a possibility that we can gain comfort by eating healthy, nutritious food just as effectively as we can by indulging in high calorie, fattening foods.
Perhaps we could opt for a bowl of hearty vegetable soup, remember how soothing and comforting that can be if we are feeling cold or under the weather? How cooling and refreshing can juicy chilled fresh fruit taste on a hot sunny day?
We need to establish exactly what healthy food will satisfy and comfort our emotions at certain times. What are we craving at that moment determines what we choose to eat. Do we want something hot, cold, crispy, spicy, savoury, sweet or hearty? What effects are we hoping to achieve after we have eaten? Do we want to feel comforted, satisfied, warmed up or cooled down? We should select healthy, nutritious foods which will fulfill our cravings and help us to overcome these emotional issues.
While we are eating, we should mentally engage with the food we are eating, paying attention to the way we are feeling as we eat. We should also pay particular attention to the flavour sensations and savour each bite, while relishing the food entering our stomach and relieving hunger pangs.
It is amazing how we will find a healthy, nutritious meal or snack can be equally as comforting and satisfying as a more fattening alternative.
Two important things to consider:
#1 – When we implement these tactics, we may be tempted to continue to eat, exceeding the point of physical satisfaction and comfort. This may be due to the pleasure of our emotional satisfaction. This is the reason that we have to stay focused on the way we feel as we eat. We should eat slowly, enjoying and savouring every morsel, but when our stomach lets us know when it has had enough, then stop. We will be less likely to overeat if we learn to read, be aware and tuned into our own body.
#2 – Before trying this method, ideally we should aim to try to resolve our emotional turmoil where possible. If we are angry, sad, stressed, anxious or nervous, we should avoid the use of food as a salve to make us feel better. Instead we should take steps to try to work through these feelings before eating, and then savouring the food when we are feeling better and in control. We should not use food as medicine for our negative emotions we should us it to enhance our positive ones.