You won't stop having emotions...but you don't have to let your emotions take over your eating habits.
So, you've got the basic equation down. Having a healthy body composition involves a bit of math involving exercise and the food you eat.
If you burn more calories than you consume, then you're on the right path.
Simple enough. But…
There’s another piece of the puzzle you can’t ignore: Your emotional state.
If you’re feeling sad, lonely, stressed out, or deprived, sticking to your eating and exercise plan will feel impossible.
Those food cravings can hit just when you’re feeling vulnerable – and then, bam, here come the empty promises and false comfort of junk food.
So, since you’re going to continue having emotions, and since sometimes they might run away from you because you are, you know, HUMAN, let’s tackle this issue head-on.
⑤ ways to manage emotional eating:
Spot your triggers. Not getting along with someone? Work deadlines tight? Are kids on your last nerve? You know what presses your buttons and makes you want to grab the chips (or chocolate or whatever your go-to is). Knowing your triggers helps you hit the pause button on impulse-driven choices you’ll regret.
Move It. Try to do something physical in response to these triggers. Go for a walk, play with your dog, or schedule workouts to follow your stressful job shift. Meditation and journaling can be lifesavers, too.
Keep Track. Use a food diary, or record what you eat using an app on your smartphone. Note how you’re feeling before and after you eat.
Limit Temptation. A little prevention goes a long way. If you don’t buy junk food at the grocery store, it won’t be in the house when you feel low. Keep healthy snacks on hand instead – at work, too.
Moderation, Not Deprivation. Avoid the all-or-nothing mindset. Strive for balance, instead. Eat well most of the time, enjoy a little indulgence occasionally, and be consistent over time.
Break the Chain
💡 If you still feel troubled by emotional eating, this worksheet could help you understand why you were triggered in the first place. I use it with my clients to help them notice, observe, and record what led up to any food cravings, emotional eating, overeating, and/or any other times they feel “out of control” with food and eating.
Give it a try for yourself and see what you discover. This worksheet will help you gain insight into your eating habits and get ideas for how to change them. From there, you might want to work with a nutritionist to help you take action on those changes. (I'm here for you! See below.)
Seeking support is a sign of strength and is one of the best tools to help you develop a more peaceful relationship with food.
Do you struggle with emotional eating? Do you find it difficult to make nutritious choices when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed? With the right support, you can change these patterns without adding more stress to your life.
Hey there! My name is Marissa Rivera-Davis, and I'm a certified health fitness professional and founder of Her365 Fitness, a 24-hour studio gym & wellness community for women. I help women find the time and energy to move more and eat better so they can finally achieve the health & fitness goals that matter to them. My mission is to empower women with the skills and support they need to break free from a mindset of limitation & restriction to find pleasure and joy on their path to improved well-being. Learn more here.