Emotional Eating Explained

Was reading this article today and just had to share because I know several of you struggle with emotional eating.  NAFC published this article describing the struggle and providing solutions to manage it.  Check it out…

“Understanding Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is a learned habit that is so prevalent in today’s high stress, fast-paced world. Many of us, whether we are willing to admit it or not, experience this to varying degrees. Food should be comforting, soothing and healing; it should fuel and nourishment to our bodies. This holiday season, drop the dieting mindset. When we embrace the dieter’s mindset, we make food the enemy, and we make ourselves prisoners of food. Understand that it’s acceptable to feel when we eat. For example, the mere thought or suggestion of delicious foods produce saliva in our mouths tricking the body to feel hunger. Rather than reaching for the easiest, processed, carbohydrate-rich, manufactured food, consider a good-quality protein shake or raw food bar. This is much better than skipping a meal.

1 Way to Face Your Craves

Do you ever wonder why we experience cravings? Do you sometimes feel like a slave to your cravings? Don’t fret. You’re not alone. NAFC Nutrition Coach explains that cravings are not only common; they happen for a reason. Usually, cravings tell us that physiologically, something is out of balance. Cravings can be a sign that you may be experiencing a hormonal imbalance. They are oftentimes an indication that a physiological or emotional void needs to be satisfied. So what should we do when we notice these signals? Pay attention! If you’re in a time crunch, reach for the power of protein. Be sure to take the time to watch for patterns of thought, feelings and sensations that might arise from eating certain types of foods, especially sugary or fatty food choices. If it’s something you must have or cannot live without, then that is probably not a good food item to keep in your house. How can we healthily satisfy these urges?

Pro Tip:

Always have ready protein and healthy-fat snacks available. Healthy, great-tasting examples include raw nuts, beef jerky, Perfect Foods, Kind, or Lara bars. Look for minimally-processed, gluten-free options. Go the extra mile and look for labels that say ‘Non-GMO’.

No matter the season, don’t battle your cravings; listen to them. Listen to understand their root causes and you won’t need to fight them; you’ll only need to appropriately address them. Start by asking your body what it needs, then fuel and nourish it with what it needs. Remember to apply moderation, variety and frequency.

6 Mindful Eating Pro Tips

Practicing mindful eating habits start in your mouth. Many people don’t realize that digestion starts in the mouth. Also, breathe applying focused awareness and attention, and eating can become a form of meditation. Here are a few more tips to help you eat more consciously this season. Apply these easily accessible tips and reduce the likelihood of digestive issues and body fat storage:

  • Chew slowly. Remember digestion starts in the mouth

  • Place your fork down in between bites. You’re less likely to eat too fast

  • Notice the texture of the food in your mouth

  • Notice the consistency and the temperature of foods. Savor the variety of flavors

  • Observe the motion in your jaw muscles. Are they tight or relaxed?

  • As you swallow, notice how the food makes you feel. Yes, emotionally too.

 

Freeing yourself from cravings and emotional eating patterns start with you. So, as you savor each bite this season, reflect upon these smart eating strategies. Share them with friends and family. As you practice chewing mindfully, breathe in healthy change. You’ll become more aware of your relationship with food, cravings, and emotional eating habits when looking for patterns, reactions and feelings. Look within. This New Year, focus on being the best YOU, rather than an unrealistic you. Free yourself and drop your focus from weight and you’ll gain a healthier focus on YOU! “

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