As humans, we don’t just eat because we are hungry.
We are way more complicated than that.
There are so many other reasons we might decide to eat. We eat to fix boredom, improve energy levels, or simply because the food tastes good. Sometimes we will eat out of habit, or simply because it is right in front of us.
Put simply, we eat to solve a problem.
One of the biggest reasons we might choose to eat is because of our emotions.
Have you ever eaten something to help with your mood or emotions? Chances are, you have.
You’ve had a bad day at work, so you ordered take-away.
You’ve had a fight with your partner, so you stock up on your favourite chocolate.
You are really stressed from being in lock-down, so you turn to your favourite food to help cheer you up.
Unfortunately, food won’t fix our emotions.
Usually, eating a family size bar of chocolate won’t make us feel better. It might even make us feel worse. You might start to feel guilt, disappointment, you might even feel physically ill. And while we shouldn’t feel guilt about eating food, there are ways to avoid these feelings.
We often lean to food to create a happy feeling, or fill a void that we might be missing.
Emotional eating can be a hard habit to get out of, but with a bit of help it isn’t impossible.
So if food can’t help, what can?
Precision Nutrition calls it a Nourishment Menu, and I couldn’t love that name more. It’s super cheesy, but totally appropriate.
Creating a Menu of things that nourish you, or that you might be missing.
Doing THIS before THAT happens.
In other words, have a back-up plan for when the emotional eating urges kick in.
So, what exactly can you put on your Nourishment Menu to help you kick the emotional eating habits?
Here are my personal favourites:
- Go outside for some fresh air and sun.
- Put on your favourite song and have a dance.
- Distract yourself with a good Podcast.
- Go pat your pet for a minute.
- Tidy your working space to help you feel calm.
Whatever makes you feel good, do that instead. Chances are, these things will give you that feel good kick you were looking for!
Is emotional eating getting in the way of your health goals?
Take the time to sit down and write yourself a Nourishment Menu and see what happens next.