Watch my segment on EMOTIONAL EATING on Breakfast Television here: WATCH
I talk about the difference between emotional hunger and true hunger in this segment and what you can do about it. I also mention my D-list for strategies on how to tackle emotional eating:
Andrea’s ‘D-list’ for help with emotional eating
Tackling emotional eating is a tough task and requires ongoing practice. Here is my “D-list” that may help you start exploring some strategies to help you with emotional eating:
- Determine what’s eating you? Are you stressed, sad, bored, angry or eating out of habit when you are not truly hungry?
- De-stress and consider, how can you comfort yourself without food? Could you take a bath, read a book, call a friend or go for a walk?
- Delay eating an unplanned snack. Most cravings fade within 10-15 minutes. The temptation to give in to a craving becomes less frequent and progressively weaker when you outlast the urge.
- Distract yourself by engaging in something that takes your mind off food. Fold the laundry, water the plants, do a craft or think about other ways that you can keep your hands busy.
- Do the opposite of what your body is feeling. If you are physically exhausted, then choose something mentally relaxing such as listening to peaceful music. If you are mentally exhausted, choose something physical that will get your heart rate up such as a brisk walk.
- Don’t fret if you decide to indulge, no one needs to strive for perfection. Don’t beat yourself up because you are human. Everyone eats for emotional reasons.
- Distance yourself from your major comfort foods. Manage your environment by choosing not to stock your home or office with foods you find challenging. Make yourself work for your treats instead of having them stocked for easy access.
- Decide how you can handle things better next time if you didn’t eat as well as planned. Be gentle with yourself and remind yourself change is a process, not an event.
- Demand the delicious and delightful. As soon as you tell yourself you can’t eat certain foods, that will be what you crave. Give yourself flexible eating patterns that allow for some of your favourite treats while not giving in to all your cravings. Make the decision not to go on a restrictive diet. Instead, go for sensible, balanced eating that includes all foods.