I’m an emotional eater – here’s how I deal
I have to admit, I’m a stress eater. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or down, I want to eat. It’s not a great habit of mine but, hey, nobody’s perfect!
I think most of us have an emotional relationship with food, of course we do. Cake to celebrate your birthday, cake to cheer you up when you’re having a rough day. Food isn’t just fuel – frequently we eat because we need a pick-me-up, a reward, or a way to soothe our spinning heads. Food and emotions go hand in hand. And the trouble is, emotional eating can often make us feel worse.
However, emotional eating doesn’t have to always be your response. Over the last few years I’ve become much better at solving my worries through other methods than stuffing my face – and sidestepping that trap makes me feel so much better about everything. Here’s what works for me…
1. Scribble out your stress
Next time you feel down and desperately in need of cake, grab a pen and scribble down 3 steps you could take to make you feel better. It might be to call someone, send an email or I find that just writing down what’s going on and how I’m going to solve it can be very therapeutic!
2. Make a brew
Hot drinks can be wonderfully comforting emotionally – there’s a reason Brits turn to tea in times of trouble. What’s more, being properly hydrated can help cut cravings, big time. I like a cup of Camomile and Manuka Honey – the herb is proven to calm the nervous system and the honey adds a dash of healthy sweetness.
3. Have a shower
Showering gives me a great shift in perspective. It feels like a fresh start! Sing to yourself and enjoy this time out, away from your inbox and your to-do list. When you’re feeling a bit wobbly and the cookie jar feels tempting, having a nice hot shower can feel more comforting than biscuits. And you can’t mainline HobNobs in the shower, right?
4. Practice some self-love
Do something because you love your life, not because you hate it. So dance in your kitchen, think of something you did well today at work, or scroll through your WhatsApp to re-read nice message from a friend. Doing something positive, even for only a minute, will shift your thinking in a more positive direction.
5. Eat mindfully
OK, if you still want to eat, eat mindfully! Focus your senses completely on this moment: look at the beautiful food in front of you, paying attention to its colour and shape and ingredients. Inhale the scent of your cake, listen to your fork squidging into that slice and feel the weight of it as you lift your hand to your mouth. Finally, appreciate its taste in your mouth. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the present to feel calmer.