Are You Feeding Your Feelings?


So you had the day from hell. Nothing went right and you just want to go home and curl up beside him. Delve into him and release all of your anxieties, sadness and fears upon him. You can’t wait to get him inside of you.  I am talking about the one and only Mr. Breyers gallon of ice cream, Caramel Praline Crunch – that’s some good stuff.

Do you find yourself eating when your emotions are in turmoil? Do you crave fattening  and/or sugary foods when you had a bad or very stressful day? If so, you could be an emotional eater.

I have been there. Before becoming a fitness expert, I was overweight most of my life and had a love-hate relationship with food.  I loved how I felt eating it but hated how I felt when I was the chubby girl. You are not alone.

Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative feelings. Life changing events and daily life occurrences can stir up negative thoughts in a person which can then lead to emotional eating. You over eat, binge, gain weight, feel bad that you ate so you eat some more….then end up feeling bad all over again.

Studies have shown that the top emotional eating triggers are:

Stress and Anxiety: Do you reach for the Doritos after you had a horrible day at work?

Loneliness: Do you keep making trips to the fridge because you feel isolated and like no one is there for you?

PMS: Those damn cravings are no joke. But as we all know PMS can bring on negative feelings. Do you find yourself overeating during your monthly cycle (Can we say chocolate attack)?

Anger: When you’re mad at a family member, your significant other or yourself, do you try to push down those aggressive emotions with pastries?

Sadness and Depression: When you feel like you are at your lowest, do you never seem to feel full? Do you continue to eat to fill a void?

Boredom: You are bored at work or at home, do you grab something to waste some time during the day?  Do you eat away at the fact of feeling like your life is uneventful?

You are definately not alone. 75% of overeating is caused by emotions. Studies have shown that 82 percent of all women eat emotionally from time to time. I know I personally have…and more often than not!

But we cannot play victim. We are in control of our emotions even when it does not seem like we are.

Here are some ways to overcome emotional eating:

Awareness: The first step to fix any problem is to be aware of the problem. Take a good look at your habits and how you soothe yourself. Make a conscious effort not to rely on food for comfort.

Replace: When that bad feeling hits, do something besides eating that will make you feel good. Call a friend, read a book and my favorite, exercise!!! Exercise not only helps you to lose weight, but it boosts your mood and makes you more confident.  Do something that will make you feel better about yourself, not worse.

Be Kind: Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and don’t abuse yourself with food. Know that when you feel down, it does not mean you’re a bad person or at fault for something. You are you and that’s enough…in fact that’s GREAT!

I know, these three things are easier said than done but I promise you that once you are cognizant of your emotions, everything else falls back into place …and you won’t feel so bad.  So know that you are not alone in this and you have the power to stop emotional eating. It is like the saying “the driver controls the car”; we control our minds and our feelings.