In college – I felt like I had no control over food – and that FOOD controlled ME.
I was either eating chicken & broccoli – or pizza & cookies. There was no balance – no consistency. I was either being “good” or being “bad”.
I swear – there were times where there were cookies in the kitchen and I could *hear* them calling my name 😂
I would have eating episodes where I would consume thousands of calories and wake up the next day feeling bloated, puffy and angry with myself.
Feeling like I had no control over food was awful – but beating myself up emotionally about it was even WORSE.
Then one day – I realized that no one else was doing this to myself – except me. And that I had the power to STOP.
I wanted to stop feeling like I had to go out to eat and order a dry salad with chicken – and I wanted to stop raiding my friend’s kitchens when we got home from the club at 1:00 am because I hadn’t eaten enough that day. (I admit – in college I was a little bit of a partier 😉)
Changing my patterns was scary – it was HARD – and it took TIME – but my gosh was it worth it.
The truth is – most people emotionally eat to some extent, and when it gets in the way of our goals and also keeping us from FEELING certain emotions – it’s likely time to address it.
I’ve coached many clients through their journey to reach their weight loss goals AND overcome emotional eating – and now I want to share with you the exact steps I have personally used & also use with my clients to help them reclaim their power.
1.) Remind yourself of how powerful you are. Think back to a time where you did something courageous. Maybe you quit your job, moved across the country or reached out to a friend whom you had a falling out with. Remind yourself that you are always in control of your life and your choices – including what food you choose to put in to your body. YOU have the control over food!
2.)Make sure you are eating lots of high quality nutrient dense foods. People often think emotional eating means you are PURELY eating out of emotion – but sometimes it can be TRUE physical hunger because you aren’t getting ENOUGH nutrients that your body needs! Make sure you are getting lots of PRIME food choices (quality protein, veggies, healthy fats and healthy carb sources as I outline in my Eating For Optimal Fat Loss Guide)
3.) Make room for treats & enjoy them sans guilt. By fitting treats into your eating plan – you remove the need to over consume them when given the opportunity. #cookiesfeedthesoul
4.) Don’t skimp on healthy fat. Fats help satiate you and are SO important for healthy hormones & energy!! If you are not eating healthy sources of fat (olive oil, avocado, grassfed butter, ghee, nuts/seeds etc) you will have a hard time feeling satiated and are more likely to overeat/eat out of emotion
5.) Don’t overdo it at the gym. Overtraining can stimulate hunger which can lead to overeating. Make sure to take at least 2 rest days per week!
6.) Be committed to Dig DEEP & CREATE AWARENESS. Here’s the thing – emotional eating ALWAYS has a root cause. Maybe you don’t feel worthy enough to reach your weight loss goals, maybe you are actually afraid to lose weight in fear of losing your identity, maybe you eat out of stress from your job or relationships. Whatever it is – it’s important that you commit to uncovering what is potentially holding you back and what you are trying to numb with food. Journal, soul search, ask questions, become aware – be persistent about getting to the root of WHY you are emotionally eating and sabotaging your goals. Become aware of your patterns so that you can change them.
7.) Go easy on yourself. Is this going to be an easy process? No. If you have been emotionally eating for a while – it’s going to take time to establish a more balanced relationship with food. Document your journey with a journal. Go easy on yourself when you slip up. Remember that you even WANTING to change is enough of a catalyst to get you on track. Be gentle with yourself – you will get there with time, compassion and consistency.
Remember – you are the most POWERFUL person in your world. Every day you have a choice. The secret to freedom from emotional eating comes from the decisions you make everyday – moment by moment.
You truly have the POWER to overcome WHATEVER it is that is holding you back – and if you need a little extra help – feel free to reach out to me for support!