Using food as a way of dealing with negative emotions and feeling guilty about it afterward is common practice in emotional eating. Re-wiring ourselves and finding new ways to deal more positively with our emotions takes time. In part two of this series, I share tips 6 – 10.
6. Address your emotional eating triggers
Looking for the triggers that lead us to binge will help us break free from emotional eating and establish a healthier relationship with food. Awareness of both our physiological and psychological triggers helps us find different ways to deal with emotional eating. We can either avoid triggering situations or strategize and come up with alternatives so we feel less vulnerable next time around.
Download my emotional eating quiz to understand your triggers.
7. Consume Omega-3 fats
Omega-3 fats are essential for our brain function. They have beneficial effects in mood disorders and its deficiency has been linked to depression. The best sources Omega-3 fats are oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring. We can also get them from chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
8. Keep your gut healthy
A healthy microbiome (gut flora) means a healthy brain. The best way we can encourage a healthy growth of the friendly gut bacteria is to eat more probiotics and prebiotic foods. Probiotics are found in fermented foods (sauerkraut, miso, kefir, kim-chi, tamari sauce…) and are a natural source of healthy gut bacteria.
Prebiotics feed friendly bacteria and are found in vegetables such as in leeks, onions, garlic, dark leafy vegetables, artichokes…
Awareness of both our physiological and psychological triggers helps us find different ways to deal with emotional eating.
9. Reduce stimulants (coffee, alcohol, refined sugars, energy drinks..)
Because they play havoc with our blood sugar, limiting their consumption will contribute to stabilizing our mood and behavior. We should try to become conscious of the effects certain foods or drinks can have on our moods. We believe we are “happy” while we may be “caffeinated”, we believe we are “confident” while we may be “drunk”, we believe we are “stressed” while we may be “low in blood sugar” etc…
10. Include tryptophan-rich foods in your diet
Low levels of serotonin have been associated with cravings and binge-eating. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter which influences mood, eating patterns and appetite. Tryptophan converts to serotonin in the body, therefore, a tryptophan-rich diet (bananas, pasture raised-poultry, organic free-range eggs, wild caught fish, grass-fed beef or lamb, organic dairy products, beans & legumes, whole grain oats, brown rice, quinoa, nuts & seeds) will help support your mood.
For more info, please read TOP 10 TIPS FOR EMOTIONAL EATERS (PART 1)
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