Emotional eating – it’s an eating disorder which people can suffer from but have no idea what it is or why they do it.
But what makes you ‘an emotional eater?’ Doesn’t everyone want to hit the biscuit tin when they’re a bit blue, or reach for a glass of vino?
Well in fact no – emotional eating is defined as an eating disorder, and it demonstrates you have a poor relationship with food.
You associate what you eat with how it makes you feel, and it can lead to social isolation and even effect your behavior if you don’t pull it into check.
In Oz where I lived for seven years (and loved every moment) around 9% of the population suffer from an eating disorder.
In my late teens and early twenties, a combination of bullying and depression resulted in me having bulimia.
Thankfully I am in a much better place now when it comes to my relationship with food.
So here is what to look out for if you think you might be an emotional eater…
The top eight signs which could indicate you have an ’emotional eating disorder’
You’re stressed – so you grab whatever you can get your hands on to get through the day or until you feel calm again.
Another sign is you reward yourself with food – for example, you’ve just closed a deal, got a promotion, had good news, something amazing has happened. Your first thought? Let’s eat.
Food plan? What’s that? You struggle to stick to a regimented eating regime and barely manage to make it through a week before going off track.
Another indication is when you have a meal – it’s a case of eat until you reach maximum capacity – stuffed to the point of being uncomfortable.
If you are alone or bored, you hit the cupboard and chow down on what’s there.
Another sign is you ‘crave’ certain foods and then nothing will do until you have it (this doesn’t count if you are pregnant of course)
When you eat you feel happy, rather than appreciating food for the taste and the company you have be eating with.
Finally, if you are feeling down then you reach for the biscuit barrel, the popcorn, anything, and then feel really bad afterwards.
How to treat your emotional eating disorder and become a Mindful Eater
The good news is it’s possible to treat emotional eating and you can become a ‘mindful eater’ with a bit of willpower and following the techniques below.
Meditation – this can help stress and aid in preventing stress-induced emotional eating from occurring. Try yoga as well to get some om in your life which will help stop those cravings.
Write down what you eat. If you journal your food intake, you become more aware of what you are eating and how much.
Eat your food slowly. If you are an emotional eater, you may find you will eat fast, which means you can eat more.
Also try chewing your food 15 times before you swallow it.
Be aware of your body telling you that you are hungry. Don’t listen to your emotions calling you to eat.
The goal is three meals a day and two snacks.
This gives you fuel and helps your body absorb nutrients and function at its best. And it will stop you wanting to binge eat.
Seek advice for the problem
Get help. There was an emotional reason which triggered my bulimia. It is usually the same with any eating disorder. There is ABSOLUTELY NO SHAME in getting help for something like this.
If you are in the US, check out https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
For readers in Australia, go to http://www.nedc.com.au/
If you are in the UK, seek advice from https://eating-disorders.org.uk/
All these sites will be able to advise and point you in the right direction.
I want all the people who read my site to be ‘the best you that you can be.’
And that includes being healthy and happy with themselves, mentally and physically.
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