Recently, an article appeared in Very Well, which outlined many of the reasons we eat emotionally.
In case you don’t feel like reading it, the article mentioned cortisol cravings, social eating, nervous energy, childhood habits, and stuffing our emotions.
It’s an interesting list of challenges many of us can relate to, but I want to talk a little more about solutions. It’s not enough to know we are up against ourselves when it comes to our health. What can we do about it?
Here is the Body Hacks’ take on the solutions…
The argument behind cortisol is that we eat when we are stressed out. Cortisol is the stress hormone. Until we find a way to control cortisol, we’re stuck dealing with it.
You can skip the cortisol blockers for now, despite what your friends or the internet tell you. There’s a better way to control your stress levels, besides eat right, sleep right, and meditate advice [insert: YAWN].
Try this instead: empty your house of the food you stress eat. Unless you eat loads of roughage when life gets tough, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
If your family wants to eat it, they can buy it away from the house, but keep it out.
This one is tough. So many of life’s events happen around dining tables.
If your plans aren’t in the evening, meeting for coffee after you’ve eaten elsewhere provides the same environment with fewer calories.
Sure, you could order a double mocha latte and two scones, but at least you could order a cup of coffee. Shoot, you could even order it with milk and a teaspoon of sugar.
If it has to be a restaurant, try to eat as close to the meeting time as possible. If you can decrease your hunger so you only want something light, then you will be less likely to binge.
As a bonus, your focus will be on your meet-up, not stuffing your face.
One solution for this is to surround yourself with volume options. Cut veggies are the best. You can basically fill up on those until you’re stuffed with no consequences to your intake.
If the idea of cutting or eating veggies makes you gag, then plain popcorn or almonds may help. Some people find that the fiber and fat in almonds gives them a full feeling, reducing the nervous munchies.
Not me. I need to shovel bits of food in my mouth like a machine.
Popcorn can cause digestive challenges to new comers, so ease into this idea.
One final idea is to take frequent breaks to walk or conscious breathing [read: meditate] if you can. This can quell your nervousness.
“We are what we run from.” -Macklemore.
This is no more true than what haunts us on the table. We come from either the clean plate club, the no dessert without trying one of everything club, or the food rewards club.
Whatever it is, our parents really fouled our relationships with food. Time to stop blaming them. Your habits are what you do every day.
If you’re home is full of temptations haunting you from childhood, see the advice from the sections on cortisol. Take. It. Out.
Foods with which you cannot control yourself, have to go. Bye-bye.
First of all, if you have serious emotional issues, see a professional. Even if you think you may, get screened.
Here’s how you might suspect you have an issue. If, when you get emotional, you eat in ways that are foreign to your normal behavior, um… there may be a problem. I mean that. There may not be.
How would you know? You’re not a professional. Go see someone who is, who assesses people all the time, every day.
Until such time, read the last part of the section on childhood emotions.
Trying to control your habits will be impossible if you always have access to the rewards system that reinforces them. The single connecting idea behind every one of these solutions is to stay ahead of these rewards.
Keep the uncontrollables out of the picture to stay in the captain’s seat. Then, sit back and watch everybody else look for excuses about why they just can’t get in shape.
Maybe share with them this super helpful article.