Notice and work on the unhealthy habits you might be forming. That’s the first step to change.
Food can be a way we try to control that sense of helplessness some of you might be feeling and negative emotions that can impact on your eating habits.
When we eat sweet foods the reward centre of our brains lights up. The sugar produces dopamine which provides us with a temporary high, feel good signals that encourage us to repeat those behaviours.
If you find yourself emotionally eating ask yourself some questions:
- Why are you eating?
- Is it because you are lonely?
- Are you bored?
- Or are you actually hungry?
Consider these questions before you eat. The chances are if you over indulge you’re going to feel even worse, especially if you’re trying to satisfy a void – the problem will still be there.
What can you do?
- Start putting barriers in the way so you aren’t doing it subconsciously. Get out of that autopilot state.
- Get unhealthy food out of your house
- Give it away
- Put it right at the back of your cupboard so it isn’t as easy to get too
- Replace with more healthy options
- Put the healthier options where you can see them – eg. Fruit bowl
- Don’t continue to eat when full – it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell the brain when its full (take a break before dessert)
- Don’t go shopping when hungry
- Unconscious eating is easy to do when you’re distracted, in front of TV for example so instead go and sit at the table
- Eat slowly, be present
- Journaling may help so you can notice and improve.
It’s perfectly normal to try and comfort yourself with food but try and lean into that discomfort instead.
Be easy and kind to yourself, slow down, Give yourself time, a bit of silence, and find a better way to navigate through this.