Are you an emotional eater?
Are you an emotional eater?
Do you ever have a bad day which results in some binge eating?
Do you ever feel hungrier at certain times of the day, compared to others?
If you’ve been tracking your nutrition, you’ll probably realise that all you have been doing is simply logging which food you’ve eaten and when.
You haven’t really solved any underlying problems which may be affecting your nutritional habits.
Going forward, we can dive a little deeper and start to analyse your food choices, so that you can make some warranted changes.
Click here to learn about tracking your nutrition
FOOD AND EMOTIONS
Take a quick look back on your last three days of journals. Do you notice any trends at all?
Maybe you eat at a similar time each day. Maybe you eat similar foods for lunch every day. Maybe you’ve found some anomalies and/or some unanswered choices.
“Why am I always hungry between lunch and dinner?”
Look for something that is not typical for you to eat, either in food choice or quantity.
Hopefully, the last three days are still current enough in your mind but really think back to that outlier meal and try to remember what was going on at that point in your day.
Were you stressed out about something at work?
Did you just receive some bad news?
Were you feeling anxious about your finances?
Did you just have a fight with your significant other?
Did you feel good about yourself and want to continue the feeling of feeling good by eating some yummy food?
There can be a major link between emotions and your food choices. This is something to try to be very aware of and an act that you can train yourself to control.
Whilst there is a link between our environmental context and upbringing, we do not suffer from the shock of our experiences – the so-called trauma- but instead we make out of them whatever suits our purposes.
I.e. We use tools to make us feel a certain way.
In a lot of instances, food is a very easy tool to manipulate in order to change our psychology.
People often tend to turn to food for comfort, stress relief, self-sabotage or even a reward, however, emotional eating never actually fixes our emotional problems. They are a temporary band-aid and procrastination tool at best.
(Most of the time you feel worse afterwards).
Here are seven quick questions to determine if your eating habits are influenced by your emotions:
Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
Do you reward yourself with food?
Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?
If you answered ‘YES’ to at least three of these questions, you might be in an unhealthy emotional eating cycle. The best thing to do is to recognise it and use your food journal as a way to break this habit.
By requiring yourself to write down your choices, you can help recognise whether you are actually experiencing emotional hunger or physical hunger.
The human body can safely go days without eating food, which leans to the fact that most hunger is usually “emotional’.
Try to recognise your emotional triggers and keep track of them in your food journal. This will make it even easier when looking back to see if there are common patterns going on.
Tracking your food can and should be used as a connection tool for yourself. Taking the time to assess how you’ve spent your daily eating habits and connecting your thoughts and emotions around the types and amounts of food you’ve consumed.
“What we track is what we can measure”
THE ACT OF FEELING
The ability to connect our physical with our psychological being is a powerful tool.
This might mean better body awareness in the gym to be able to feel specific muscles working.
Maybe it is being able to recognise what real physical hunger is instead of emotional hunger we think we have.
No matter what the end result is, being able to be more connected with your body will give you an insight that no ‘expert’ can ever give you.
We all know our bodies better than anyone else. By keeping this food journal, we can turn what could normally be a negative experience into one of exploration.
We can see, learn and manipulate patterns, surprises and emotional strife we’d rather numb out.
And you can now start to question why you do this and how you can make changes.
Instead of judgment, we experience curiosity. Once we experience curiosity, we become students of ourselves.
Instead of judgment, we experience curiosity. Once we experience curiosity, we become students of ourselves."
Director and Head Coach