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Tips For Emotional Eating

Anything You Can Do In Place Of Eating Is Helpful

The worst (and most common!!) sort of emotional eating is when you eat as the first reaction to something negative. Any space you can put between the emotion and putting food in your mouth is helpful. Emotional eating tends to resonate with all of us. Stress and a highly charged situation can make even the most disciplined dive head first into a box of cookies. If emotion strikes, here's what you can do to avoid the a mini binge.

  • "I call my friends." This is a common one. If one is not home, I literally move down my mobile phone list to call the next one and so forth until someone is home. Might sound strange, but I need to feel heard and I'm not picky about who is on the receiving end. Of course, if you use this strategy, you have to be available to them as well, which I am.

  • I take a long shower or bath. A shower/bath is filling up the tub but still keeping the shower head on as well. (sorry to the environmentalists out there but I'm not really using more water than a long shower). I keep the lights off (currently I have a window in the bathroom that produces great light, if I don't have a window, I light candles). I stay in there as long as I want with the water beating down on me. I tend to go through many emotions, crying, to relaxing, to happy to crying again to relaxed. It works really well.

  • I play catch and release, shopping style. I'm not proud to admit this but we're talking selfish strategy here. I go out, shopping all day long. I walk and walk and walk and walk and shop.Then a few days later, I return and return and return.I usually end up keeping one thing that I bought, but I do find that when I shop when I'm stressed/upset, I don't really buy things that I like and when I'm in a better mood, I see that immediately.I'm not proud of it but this strategy works VERY well. Don't go to the high end boutiques though, they won't let you return. Stick to the department store/chain shopping.

  • Pick up a book or magazine. Nothing gets me out of my stress or funk better than a really good book or magazine. Sometimes I pick up books directly related to health and fitness (Dr. Weil's 8 weeks to optimal health is still one of my favorites). Often they are even books I've already read. I go back for a refresher or a pick me up. Other times I opt for light reading in the form of a popular magazine like Health or Allure. Whichever I choose, it gets me away from the snacks and towards new ideas.

  • I go to the gym or out for a walk for 5 minutes with my FAVORITE music. Yes, I commit to 5 minutes because I know once I get there, I'll be there for a the full workout but if I commit to "sweating it out", I just get tired and I don't go. The 5 minute rule works well. The only caveat is that I have to have my favorite music on my ipod and it MUST be charged. Music is proven to change your mood and your spirit and sometimes within one minute it change change everything."

Finally, if you do succumb to a bout of emotional eating, put it into perspective. It's just one dinner or day, and pick yourself up, acknowledge it and move on to the next day. Don't let one emotional eating episode turn into three days, 2 weeks, an entire month. It is what it is, and you need to move on from your mistake and learn from it.

Discuss This Issue In The PEERtrainer Community

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