When emotional food cravings hit, it can be like trying to stop a steam train. A trigger is activated, we go into autopilot and our actions unravel in an unconscious and mindless frenzy.
Before we know it, we are surrounded by empty biscuit packets, a half eaten tub of ice-cream or perhaps the children’s weekly crisp wrappers.
In order to overcome these powerful actions, you must;
1. KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS
2. ACT THE MOMENT THE TRIGGER STRIKES
Acknowledging your triggers requires you to be honest with yourself and identify what makes you turn to food. Are you suppressing negative emotions like stress, anger or fear? Are you bored? Are you procrastinating other tasks? Are you tired? All of these triggers can push you to food rather than addressing the primary issue.
Once you know your triggers, you can identify when they are the cause of your cravings and differentiate between physical and emotional hunger. This is a huge milestone in your emotional eating recovery.
The next step is to act in a conscious and proactive way when your trigger strikes.
Here we introduce 5 simple steps that can be implemented anywhere and anytime to overcome your emotional eating.
STOP what you are doing and remove yourself from the situation you are in. Change your environment. This may be as simple as going to another room or stepping outside.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
Take10 deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, filling the lungs as much as you can and exhaling as deeply as you can.
As you take your 10 breaths, allow yourself to feel and identify with your emotions. Don’t question them, try to ‘fix’ them, or push them away. Simply identify with the emotion and let it sit with you. Continue to breathe until you feel the emotion pass.
Stay in this position for as long as you wish. You may feel a shift in as little as a minute. It may take five to ten minutes. When you feel ready, open your eyes and slowly return to your previous environment with the knowledge of the emotion that is requiring your attention.
When you return to the previous situation, the need to ‘stuff your emotions’ will have passed and you can continue with your day in a positive, controlled and empowered way. You can choose to address the real issue at a time and place convenient with you, without having suppressed it with food.
We would love to hear your experiences and journey and how you get on with this simple strategy. Please reach out on our social media platforms.
Laura & Leonie x