Today I want to talk about emotional eating. Most emotional eating is a way for us to distract ourselves from our feelings.
First let’s define what that is. It’s a pretty simple concept. What we are talking about is when you’re triggered to eat due to any emotion. A lot of times with clients we see here at Lifexcel we find they are triggered to eat out of boredom (that’s a popular one), stress and anxiety, sadness or loneliness and anger are all triggers that make people eat.
Let me tell you about about my client Angela. She is enrolled in our Willpower and Weight Loss program and we were talking the other day. She told me about how she was on the phone with her daughter and they had a fight and Angela said that immediately after she hung up the phone she wanted to go to the refrigerator. Fortunately, due to the training she received from our program, she immediately recognized the “emotional eating” trigger.
Recognizing Emotional Triggers
That’s the first step; recognizing the emotional trigger for me to go and get food.
By why is that so common? Because it works, right?!
Most of the time we use food as a distraction. So let’s look at Angela’s situation. She had a fight with her daughter and the feelings that were brought up with that included upset, anger, rage and the feelings of conflict which are all very uncomfortable. So instead of sitting with these feelings, we head off to the refrigerator and grab the ice cream and dive in and it distracts us.
So emotional eating is common because it’s pretty effective, it works.
But as one of my other clients mentioned, it only works when you’re eating.
So as soon as we finish the bowl of ice cream, unless we distract ourselves with something else, our thoughts go back to the fight with whoever and now the unpleasant feelings come back. And now the unpleasant feelings we had over the fight are still there and now we have more unpleasant feelings about eating the ice cream. So now we have 2 issues instead of the one.
Emotional eating does work, but only in the moment. Keep this in mind the next time you head for the refrigerator after experiencing some elevated emotions.
If you want tips on how to handle emotional eating please join us on our Facebook group Willpower and Weight Loss Questions by clicking the link below.