“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.”Jack Dixon
Ending your emotional eating might be one of the ongoing goals that you keep on adding to your wish list!
Often, our food cravings are strong enough to get us out of bed and make us head to the fridge, grab that bag of chips, or eat that chocolate bar. Or even it can make us order our favorite meal from our best fast food restaurant!
While we struggle with holding ourselves back from overeating, it is essential to note that the “healing” process requires us to understand our emotions.
Some of us might increase or decrease their food intake as a result of distress. When facing a stressful event, we tend to overeat to jump from feeling the “emotion” to eating. Eating is a means to an end- to avoid or turn off the feelings. At first, it might be soothing and relaxing, but eventually, that feeling will lead to more anxiety, blame, and shame.
Emotional eating will only add more psychological weight to your own experience.
So how to deal with it?
We all tried and failed many times to keep up with a diet plan. That’s because we don’t truly understand how to deal with an eating disorder. The true essence is not punishing & starving your body, neither is it resolved by pushing yourself to go to the gym and work harder.
Welcome to the Healing Journey-Your way to a healthy relationship with food starts here!
Healing #1: It is not your problem
Yes! It is not your problem that you overeat & crave the fatty milky food. Blame it on human nature! When you feel stressed anxious or depressed, you tend to look for a meal rich in fats like a fried chicken or that box of cupcakes. You binge on those categories of food because the feeling you get while eating will take you back in memory. An unconscious recollection of childhood when eating- the milk- kept you alive. Also, it is your reward instead of giving yourself a pat on the back, you reward yourself with food full of sugar.
Your instinct wants you to have that amount of sugar, all that you have to do is avoid “sugar” in your house because your mind will always search for it. When smokers want to quit smoking, they won’t keep a pack of cigarettes on the counter. Keep that in mind.
Start by removing the toxic from your kitchen.
- Avoid “all you can eat” promotions.
- Avoid open buffet: Variety will push you to want more.
- Avoid the dessert tray in restaurants, be aware of that trick- when you see food, your mind will crave it.
Healing #2: Control your Emotions
To change your habit, it is crucial to understand what the meaning of “emotion” is. The definition of emotion is the E-energy in motion. This energy comes from the quality of food you eat during the day. It will determine the condition of your mind, which affects the state of your well-being. The Ayurvedic principle (a type of alternative medicine) states that proper digestion is fundamental to health creation. Food is medicine, and by improving our diet, we can increase the “Ojas,” the strength in our body, which creates balance & immunity, and bliss in the mind. The next time you notice yourself in an emotional overeating phase, be aware of what you are feeding your body &mind.
Grab your notebook and write down your feelings: before overeating;
- What was the situation? What bothered you?
- With some distance, what emotions were present? What did you feel?
- How did your emotions affect your eating? Notice the food you chose, notice the way you ate faster, and you ate more.
Now bring to mind the emotions you experienced after eating. What were they?
By doing this exercise, you are bringing awareness rather than guilt to your emotional eating habits. The development of consciousness is fundamental to a healthy body & mind.
Healing #3: How to improve your habits
Start by choosing a goal. A small goal that you want to achieve. Write it down and select small steps – small changes- to meet your goal. Make your goal measurable. It will be easy to track and evaluate your progress. Here is an example:
Case: Client A needs to stop adding sugar to his daily beverages. He consumes 2 tsp of sugar in his coffee.
Phase1: Invent the new habit to ¼ and keep the ¾ of the pattern you want to change.
Client A reduces his sugar consumption to 1.5 tsp of sugar instead of 2 tsp.
Phase 2: Enjoy the old, and the new habit- each of them is equal now.
Client A reduces sugar consumption to 1tsp.
Phase 3: the new life-supporting habit is ¾-the former ¼.
Client A consumes 0.5 tsp of sugar.
Phase 4: You made it- 100% new healthy behavior
Client A reached his desired goal of eliminating sugar in his coffee.
When making a change, don’t go hard on your body. Be gentle, you don’t want to shock your body as it will backfire. Take the time you need on every phase and reach your goal peacefully.
Healing #4: Golden Rules for Food intake
Changing old habits through an easy gradual process is essential. In addition to the above tips, it is vital to boost them with some small bits of advice you can add to your daily routine:
- Warm water for purification: drink warm water every 30 min if possible. It will purify your body. Avoid it during mealtime
- Have a light breakfast: Add some fruits & veggies.
- Have your main meal at lunch: preferably between 12 pm-2 pm- as your digestion is at its peak.
- Have a light evening meal: start it with a salad.
- Have a friendly surrounding during food intake: remove any distraction.
- Eat with a settled mind: if you are agitated, meditate before, or do some breathing exercises.
Anyone can benefit from Mindful Eating tips. Mindfulness will help you if you tend to overeat at times, or sometimes struggle with emotional eating. It will help you get rid of unhealthy patterns you may have. By using conscious awareness, you break your old habits, and you separate yourself (the challenge you are facing) from your cravings. You create space between mindless eating and mindful eating.
Remember, You are what you eat.