There’s a good reason why people turn to refined carbs, fat and sugar when they’re in an emotional state, especially if it’s a negative one. They’re a super stimulus for the reward centre of the brain: they give you a high, or soothe and comfort you, depending on what it is you’re eating.
This would be all well and good. But food isn’t a successful way to deal with your emotions. Just as soon as these super stimuli lift you up, they drop you back down again. For example, as soon as you’ve finished that biscuit, the good feeling it gave you disappears. You’re left chasing that high once again, so you eat another. And another.
The reward you’re getting from these foods is fleeting. Add to that all the negative feeling you get after comfort eating if you’re struggling with weight loss. A binge brings on guilt, regret, shame, or feeling useless without willpower. And then, finally, you have the excess weight that’s placed on your body by eating when you’re not hungry.
As a weight loss coach and clinical hypnotherapist, I help people kick emotional eating to the curb. Let me help you, with five strategies you can use to get rid of this unhealthy habit for good.
1. Watch Out For Your Inner Voice: She Can Be Nasty!
Are you constantly talking down to yourself? Telling yourself you’re useless? Fat? Ugly? No one will love you? Can’t stick to anything? Change that inner voice.
It’s a vicious circle. Make yourself feel like junk, and you’ll get cravings that make you eat junk. Instead, update your mindset. Replace your negative, limiting thoughts about yourself with constructive, helpful and positive thoughts. Be your own cheerleader! You’ll be amazed at the results in both mind and body.
2. Interrupt The Pattern: Know Your Triggers.
Emotional eating is a habit, and habits are made to be broken. I use a STOP, LOOK and LISTEN technique to hammer this habit into submission. When you get a craving, or have an emotional eating trigger, STOP: realise what is happening. LOOK at what you are about to do, including at your body language, and deliberately pause. LISTEN to the consequences: excess fat on your body, damage to your health, guilt? Then walk away.
Stand tall, smile and mentally affirm you have control. Move on to something non-food related, and congratulate yourself. Each time you do this, your caving-in muscle weakens, and your resistance muscle strengthens.
With emotional eating, forewarned is forearmed. If you know you emotionally eat on evenings, you know your trigger time, so you can protect yourself from falling prey to the bag of Doritos. Change your environment, go for a walk – do something different, and you’ll get a different outcome: weight loss.
3. Be Selfish: Put Yourself First
Modern living – being a wife, mother, business owner, employee, and everything in between – is challenging: I hear you! But, as the saying goes ‘Put your own life jacket on first’. If you have nothing left in the tank, what good are you to anyone else? Look after yourself, and deal with your emotional needs, and you’ll be happier, healthier, focussed, motivated, and, undoubtedly, more fun!
4. Stretch Your Comfort Zone: Get Exercising!
It’s no secret that exercise is a great mood-booster. It releases feel-good chemicals and endorphins but, unlike the high you get from fat and sugar (which immediately dumps you back on the ground) these good feelings last for hours afterwards. Make exercise a priority, like a meeting, that’s non-negotiable.
And make it fun! If you hate the gym, go for a run. If you’re a complete novice, walk daily and build up your steps and distances. Step out of your comfort zone. Doing something every day to stretch your confidence hugely builds self-esteem. When your self-esteem is high, and you give yourself value, you no longer need to use food as a crutch.
5. Feed Your Emotions: Just Don’t Feed Them With Food.
How do you feel? Think about the emotions you have, and write a list of non-food ways to soothe them. For example, if you suffer from stress, try exercise, going for a walk, reading a book, meditating, sex, a bath (or both together): whatever works for you. Write a long list!
When you get that urge to eat, ask yourself: ‘am I actually hungry? Or am I feeling another emotion?’ Identify what emotion it is then pick something off your list that will feed that emotion. As well as weight loss, life will become more varied and fulfilled, and food less important.
I use weight loss hypnotherapy and coaching to build my clients’ self-esteem sky high. Using a technique called ‘ego stretching’, I put positive and confidence-boosting suggestions into my clients’ subconscious minds.
Clients often tell me at the end of our programme that they expected to lose weight, but hadn’t expected to gain such confidence. Hypnotherapy is a fantastic tool for building confidence and self-esteem, and removing those emotional eating triggers. Let’s have a chat, and I’ll tell you more. For a FREE TELEPHONE CONSULTATION contact firstname.lastname@example.org