1 May 2018

Top 10 Tips for Emotional Eaters (Part 1)

Do you struggle with your relationship with food and with your self-esteem? Do you sometimes eat in secret and feel guilty about it? Trust me you are not alone.

Emotional eating is a journey and I struggled with it myself. This is why I would like to give you my top 10 tips to help you find a more enjoyable and peaceful relationship with food and yourself. Tip 5 is my personal favorite and I have a gift for you…

1. Let go of excessive control

Exercising compulsively, controlling our diet excessively or watching our weight constantly feeds the same vicious circle. We need to break away from beating ourselves up, guilt and self-deprecation. Compassion and accepting that we are not perfect will help us shift our mindset to a more positive and loving attitude towards ourselves and will make us enter a virtuous circle.

2. Balance blood sugar

Balancing our blood sugar level is key to balancing our mood. We need to avoid our blood sugar levels going up and down because when blood sugar drops cortisol and adrenaline are released. Both are stress hormones putting our body in an acute stress response (‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode).
Foods containing sugar or refined carbohydrates (e.g. sodas, cakes, bread, rice, pasta) all release glucose into the bloodstream when digested, which make our blood sugar levels fluctuate. Hence, it is important to moderate our intake of these types of foods.

3. Don’t skip meals

Avoiding breakfast because you ate too much the night before is not a good way to deal with emotional eating. It feeds a vicious circle of restricting and overeating. Drinking diet sodas to fill you up and avoid meals won’t help with cravings and weight loss. Eating regular meals filled with nutrients helps us both physiologically and mentally to stay away from overeating.

4. Eat a nutrient-rich diet

As Hippocrates said, “Food is medicine”. Swapping all processed & fast foods with nutrient-rich foods helps our body and mind. Nutrition is information to your cells so they can function properly.

A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter the way we function and promote food cravings, low mood, depression, anxiety, and stress.

It is important to address our physiological needs to give our body the best chance to function optimally.

5. Practice mindfulness + self-care

Mindfulness is a great way to turn off the stream of negative thoughts and bring our attention to the present moment. Whether we practice meditation, yoga or breathing exercises, those techniques promote a relaxation response from our nervous system. They stimulate our bodies to relax and switch from a sympathetic mode (‘fight’ or ‘flight’) to a parasympathetic mode (rest and digest) helping us relax and heal. 
Self-care helps us learn how to reward ourselves with non-food treats to break the habit of relying on foods to give us a quick pleasure fix.

Check back next week for Part 2 of “Top 10 tips for Emotional Eaters” series.

 

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