Food is essential to live, but it’s more than that, it’s what brings us together over dinner parties, shared love of restaurants, shared love of comfort.
But sometimes stress, bad moods or low self-esteem can ruin your chance to have a healthy relationship with food.
Sometimes we can feel so low that we feel only the most unhealthy dish can uplift us. And while indulging in cheat meals every now and then isn’t wrong but it’s when we rely on that indulgence to feel better it turns into destructive cycle of emotional eating.
But don’t worry if you are stuck in a rut of emotional eating there are ways to get out of it to have a positive relationship with food.
things to remember when you feel like emotional eating:
- Your bad mood is temporary, You are more than your negative thoughts.
- You are more than what people say or think of you.
- You have so much beauty hiding in your mind, like ideas, words, art. Bring those out.
- Food is a friend not an enemy.
- Food is necessary it isn’t meant to be a drug.
- Mindful eating is easier than you think. And you can do it.
How to recognize if you are in the cycle of emotional eating:
Recall that moment in the past when you felt overwhelmed, upset or stressed and eating something greasy and unhealthy made you feel better and then notice that the quick high you got from unhealthy food fades away just as quickly.
When you give into emotional eating, you feel good at first but then your energy shifts and your mood declines rapidly, then you may feel you need to eat more to feel full and happy. This goes on and on and it will only make you feel worse and empty.It’s ironic I know but that’s the biggest downside.
Remember if you’re feeling empty and you’re trying to fill a void with unhealthy habits, there is an underlying stress/ anxiety issue or some other issue that perhaps you’re ignoring.
But don’t worry anxiety is the most common thing and just talking to your family or a professional about it can make you feel so light.
How to deal with the emptiness?
Write down how you feel. Recall the moments that let to this feeling and when you get there, find a way that’s best for you to fix this.
- Talk about it with your friends and family, you will be surprised just how many people you will find that understand just how you feel.
- Consult a mental health professional if you don’t know how to handle the stress in your life.
- Start to go for a walk. It’s the easiest change you can make today.
- Watch comedies immediately when you feel down. It can take away the immediate blues, so you can think on what to do next.
- Find physical activities that you truly enjoy. Exercise shouldn’t feel like a punishment. It is also your friend.
Ways to improve your relationship with food:
- See food as an ally that nourishes you and takes care of you.
- Notice how you feel when you eat mindfully, you feel more active and stable and confident.
- Mindful eating helps you be happier and more present.
- Mindful eating is just being aware of what you’re eating and how it makes you feel. It isn’t about appearance/ weight etc. It is to feel better in every way.
- It doesn’t mean that you must set up restrictions for yourself. Because strict restrictions do more harm than good. You should be flexible with yourself.
- Often times when people try to lose weight they are so strict and restricted with themselves that they reach a point when they give up. Don’t be strict just be mindful. This way you feel more motivated to stick to your exercise and life changes.
- You shouldn’t feel guilty when you indulge in your favourite treats and you won’t if you indulge in it once in a while. It is something to indulge in to give yourself that delight not to escape some bigger issue.
- Try to not eat unhealthy when you feel awful. Indulge when you feel fine. This way you’re not entering that dangerous area of emotional eating. Having the right mindset solves most of your problems.
- Consult a nutritionist if you are doubtful about what you need to keep and what you need to change.
Everything starts with taking care of yourself. You deserve to take care of yourself and to feel the pleasure of being happy and calm.
Note: Please remember to consult a health/ mental health professional to deal with any issues you may have. These thoughts are just mine and those that have helped me. However, your lifestyle needs to be designed and altered according to your benefit and your betterment. Keep yourself and your well-being in mind before starting anything new and always consult a professional when needed.