Emotional Eating

“Food is one the most abused anxiety drugs and exercise is one of the most underutilised antidepressants….!”

Emotional Eating is one of the greatest challenges some people struggle with – they use food for comfort after an upset or as a reward when something goes right.  This often leads to food addiction which, quite simply, is being addicted to junk food.

A food addict receives a feel-good-buzz from eating junk food, much the same as the buzz that is sought after by drug addicts.  This buzz is caused by the release of certain chemical neurotransmitters in your body.

Did you know you that you can get these feel good buzzes from exercise and each time we say no to food? It’s true………

If you are feeling emotional, before you seek out food, ask yourself: Am I really hungry?; What am I feeling?; When was my last meal?  If the answers tell you that you are not hungry, then you need to get busy and find a distraction.

One of the ways to help control emotional eating is to replace the habit with exercise – you will get the same “buzz” except it comes from an activity that is good for us.

We need to think of other ways to break this habit and stop the excuses.  Give these tricks a go and see which ones work for you:

  • Stop! Think about the source of your stress. Is this something that you can control?
  • Changing your words
  • Putting temptations in front of you and being proud each time you turn it down. E.g chocolate bar in your fridge every time you open the fridge, shut it and say I don’t need you ☺
  • Go for a walk whenever you are weakening or temptations are too great
  • Keep your fridge and pantry full of good clean food.
  • Drink lots of water- every time you feel tempted in overindulge drink 2-3 glasses of water and get out of the kitchen
  • Find some new hobbies
  • Keep busy
  • Go for a good run!☺
  • Join a support group
  • Take a bath or have a shower
  • Meditate
  • Drink tea
  • Call a friend and talk out what is going on with you.
  • Write in your journal/blog
  • Watch a movie that you like or curl up with a good book
  • Clean your house
  • Listen to music that you can lose yourself in
  • Walk around the block then attack your to do list.
  • Promise yourself a non-food reward for everything you cross off your list. E.g Get a massage
  • Cry or Scream into a pillow
  • Dance
  • Slowly inhale to the count of 5 then exhale to the count of 5. Do this for 5 minutes then let it go!

I’m not saying that this is going to be easy.  In fact, I know it will be challenging, but as Fred DeVito said:

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”

For more tips from Tracy Adams, registered Personal Trainer, on how to get fit and keep motivated, opt-in to our newsletter NOW!