How To Stop Emotional Eating Ruining Your Fitness Goals

Is Emotional Eating Getting In The Way Of Your Health And Fitness?

Over the years I’ve spoke to more and more ladies who call themselves ‘Emotional Eaters’ and at first I was naive to it; “surely if you have a plan to follow you should be progressing right?”

 

Some of my first clients helped me have a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH

They were  really committed to the exercise routine and did their best to follow the nutrition advice but come measurement day, the numbers were invariably the same: very little change.

I was as baffled as my client, since they were training hard at the gym, eating healthily and only indulged in the odd chocolate bar or drink, or so I (and they) thought.
So what was the problem?

Your metabolism, genes or bone structure are not the reason for weight gain and the struggle to lose it. The reason they constantly struggled with weight was because they had developed an emotional eating habit.

It didn’t happen overnight but like so many people today, food was something I turned to whenever faced with negative emotions. Food was a very effective distraction.

Here is what I’ve learnt during my time working with so many ladies (and men too…)

The more often you eat emotionally instead of eating when you’re hungry, the more automated it becomes….it becomes a habit. Eating emotionally becomes a habit.

Interestingly, scientists have found that very strong habits have the same effects as addictions in that the desire for something, like food, can turn into obsessive thoughts leading us to act on the craving on autopilot.

This impulse behaviour will occur no matter the consequences, such as weight gain. We learn that eating chocolate, a glass of wine, or another type of food, soothes us.

Like most people these days, they try to justify their eating behaviour with thoughts like “But I’ve been so good this week, I deserve to treat myself. I’ll be good on Monday, for good!”. But something would go wrong that week and they would make their way home feeling low and their thoughts would turn to food, the way we turn to a good friend for comfort. Bye bye Monday resolutions!

What Are The answers?

1. Identify your triggers

Many of us eat emotionally as a reaction to stress, boredom or even frustration from putting other people’s needs before our own. Take some time to recognise the different scenarios and emotions that make you reach for food.

2. Cater to your emotions

Emotions are part of our intelligence. They let us know when things are ‘off’, when an issue needs to be addressed, or when we are not in alignment with our values. Listen and find alternative ways to make yourself feel good that don’t involve eating.

3. Anticipate challenges

For instance, if you know in that Mondays tend to be hectic at work with virtually no lunch break, eat a substantial breakfast and take healthy snacks with you. This is a great way to get around the uncontrollable cravings we can feel after a long taxing day.

 

Remember, emotional eating is just like any other habit that needs breaking. It will take time and consistency, but the result is so worth it!

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