This topic hits really close to home. I crave food the most when I am sad, stressed, nervous, made, or anxious. Basically it hits when I “just can’t deal”. For many years, emotional eating derailed me from succeeding on whatever diet plan I was on at the moment (we need to discuss the word diet at some point. I really hate that word. It’s a lifestyle change… once I realized the difference between diet and lifestyle change, my world changed).
Cortisol is a stress hormone that triggers cravings for foods that give immediate pleasure like high fat foods, foods that are salty and sweet. My go to foods were always pasta and breads and if I wasn’t home, man oh man, the most comforting food to me was Wendy’s #6- spicy chicken sandwich. Eating that food gave me such a temporary high. It reduced all my stress and made me feel like everything was ok in the world. But then I would get so mad at myself for eating those bad foods. What a vicious cycle from sadness and stress to anger and around and around we’d go.
Emotions are sometimes hard to control, BUT, we can control how we consume foods. I have my moments of weakness but not as bad as before and I definitely don’t beat myself up over it anymore because guilt is just another negative emotion.
Here are ways I’ve been able to help myself and I hope my experiences can help you too.
Know yourself. Know what sets you off and be prepared.
Example: Work stressors. Keep healthy, satisfying snacks around. I always make sure to have something laying around like nuts (I love Emerald’s 100 cal packs of Cocoa Roast Almonds), apples, bananas, protein bars, or my recent favorite, banana peanut butter sandwiches (see recipe below).
Find ways to cope.
-Take your lunch break and go for a walk. Get the blood flowing, get some fresh air and relax. Enjoy the world around you.
-Keep a journal; sort out your thoughts, word vomit all over those pages!
-Take a breath! Breathing is a powerful tool that can prompt relaxation. Check this link out for some useful breathing techniques: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html
Get a hobby!
– I’ve had an on again off again love affair with Cycling. It’s back on and we are strong as ever and determined to make it work.
-How about art? Coloring? Check out these adult coloring books: http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Coloring-Book-Relieving-Patterns/dp/1941325122
-Watch animal videos on you-tube. I promise, this helps.
Talk to someone
–There are a few people in life that can make me feel better- my husband, my parents, and my besties. Thanks guys, I love you!
If you have a moment, let us know what coping techniques you’ve used.
Banana and peanut butter sandwiches to the rescue:
What you will need:
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Freezer safe Tupperware
Cut banana into dime size pieces, you should be able to make 8-10 “sandwiches”
Spread thin layer of PB on a slice and top with another slice of banana
Put your sandwiches inside a freezer safe dish and freeze at least an hour before eating