Emotional Eating Has Nothing On You, Girl!
We know it is not right. We know that it is not the way to fix the situation. But for some reason it is damn hard to do only what is right all of the time.
I used to be drawn into the kitchen every time there was an email I didn’t want to write or a project I resented. Almonds and chocolate made things better for a few moments. The bad thing is that it would were literally be just a few moments before I would feel guilty and unpleasantly full.
Recognizing this trend and making it a habit to breathe and say a short grace before eating (and snacking) made it a lot easier to recognize and prevent emotional eating. I still love almonds and chocolate but now I eat them happy not just when I am trying to avoid something.
Recently, an issue of emotional eating came up in a few 1-1 wellness coaching sessions with my clients. Beautiful women who seem to have everything going for them complained about uncontrollable emotional eating and a draining sense of guilt afterwards.
While I shared my experience and tips with them, I thought it would be useful to ask a few other people. I emailed 2 questions to well-known yoga instructors, fitness specialists, ayurveda practitioners and wellness gurus. They shared their answers and tips!
Today we’ll cover the first question: What is the most effective strategy to stop emotional eating before it takes over your entire day? Fri, I’ll post the 2nd part.
Experts weigh in: What is the most effective strategy to stop emotional eating before it takes over your entire day?
Tara Stiles – Come back to the breath. If you are having trouble with overeating and emotional eating, cultivate a regular meditation and yoga practice to put you in the moment. Emotional eating happens when we want to be out of the moment or numb the moment. Check out Tara’s new book Yoga Cures that has some cravings busting yoga tips. More from Tara at www.stralayoga.com www.tarastiles.com
Lisa Wilson – I try to focus on how nourishing food that will make me feel energetic and strong. When looking at foods I know I should not eat, I do not even see how they will taste in the moment anymore. I only see how sluggish, bloated and tired they will make me later. I’ll choose energetic and strong every time! More from Lisa at http://TheRawFoodInstitute.com/
Rebekah Borucki – Get BUSY! Exercise and simple movement is incredible medicine for almost any degree of negative mood, from clinical depression to boredom. I’ll pull out my yoga mat, ask my husband to take a car ride, or get out in the garden to fuss in the dirt. Sometimes distraction is the best way to beat emotional eating. It busies the mind and calms the nerves. More from Bex at http://bexlife.com and http://youtube.com/genghisgirl
Ashley Pitman – I find the more quickly I can face the emotion head on, the less it gets to make irrational decisions for me. I’ll sit quietly, take a few breaths and lovingly (that’s an important piece) ask myself a challenging question: “What one thing can I do to address this emotion so I completely eliminate the negativity from my mind and body?” Then I do it!
Also, a teacher of mine once gave me the assignment of meditating for a few minutes before each meal. The purpose was to ask my body if there was anything in particular it would like to eat. Then I would listen for a response. Sometimes the answer would be a specific food and sometimes a particular nutrient, like calcium, iron or protein. I do this a couple of times a week as ongoing ‘preventative ‘medicine’ to emotional eating, too. More from Ashley at www.vixi.com and check out her donation-based Gratitude cleanse
Lisa Munger – Ayurveda provides us with beautiful wisdom to transform the way we relate to food. Coming to understand how food is our best medicine when taken in according to Ayurvedic principles, and that on the other hand, food and poor digestion can be the root of all dis-ease. When we begin to see food according to its energetic properties, how it will or will not balance our minds and bodies, we can take emotion out of the equation and actually use our food to help balance our emotions so our whole being feels more stable. More from Lisa atwww.lisamunger.com and www.connectyogawellness.com/blog
Kristin McGee– Meditation can be super helpful as well as yoga. Meditation and yoga are proven to reduce cortisol levels and help us connect our mind and our body. Heightened cortisol leads to cravings and stress leads to emotional eating. I’ve found yoga to be the best way to help reduce stress, feel my body, listen to it’s true hunger cues and cherish myself to want to make better choices. Yoga also helps us be more mindful so we can start to separate our emotions from reality. Sometimes we get in to a posture that feels so uncomfortable or challenging and we learn to breath in it. When we can learn to do the same thing off of the mat in an uncomfortable or intense or emotional situation in life, we can tap in to our breath and use that to calm ourselves down. Chances are the more we stop and do that, the less we’ll turn to food for comfort. More from Kristin at http://www.kristinmcgee.com
Gillian B – When I feel emotional eating coming on, I first try to sort out my thoughts. I ask my self if I am truly hungry or if I am just feeling bad for myself. It is easy to confuse the two in a haze of mixed emotion. If I feel that I am exceeding the amount I would normally eat on any given day then I slowly bring myself to a stop. I reach for a herbal tea like nettle, camomile or even water to fill up on and calm my nerves. Personally, I know that one of the best things for me to do is go straight to my mat, close my eyes and just do whatever comes naturally. Forward bends like Diamond, Bound Angle and Tortoise Pose are wonderful for soothing emotional turbulence. More from Gillian at www.gillianb.com
What do you do when emotions take over and all you want is to eat a bag of cookies with ice cream and chips? Please share your tips!
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