Are you an Emotional Eater, or are you just starving? You might be surprised at the answer!
It seems that emotional eating is becoming more common over the last decade, and is seen as one of the main reasons that we eat impulsively, or over eat altogether.
This will usually be in the form of processed cabs or sugars (in fact, if it’s broccoli, stop reading right now, you’re good!)… But is it really what it seems?
Are we really just at the mercy of our emotions here, or is there something else going on?
I have read more than my fair share of books on the psychology of weight gain and impulsive eating and all those behaviours associated with it. Most of them all have the same core message for their struggling readers. I believe this message is one of the main reasons that we don’t get to take back control of our eating habits. The message is this “You aren’t emotional because you over eat, you over eat because you’re emotional”
This Is A Fundamentally Flawed Concept For All Kinds Of Reasons.
So here’s why…First of all, lets’ take a look at this idea a little more deeply. So if you personally believe you eat when you’re emotional…what emotions are they? Think about this for a minute. Get a pen and paper and list them now. I bet there isn’t just one…I bet once you get started you realise there’s lots! Do you find that some of those emotions are completely opposite to each other? Would it be fair to say that you’re someone who over eats whenever there is an interruption in your usual routine, maybe? Or maybe when you’re around others who are eating those ‘naughty’ foods? Perhaps you eat at night and you feel it’s boredom eating?
Making a list of all the times and emotions when you over eat will help you to see a clearer picture of what’s going on for you here. That actually what you may well be is ‘Permission’ eating…in other words, you’re giving yourself permission to over eat, for whatever reason in that moment, as a way to justify it? (I know this might sound a little ‘blamey’ but it’s not really…this is to help you see that actually, you have persuaded yourself into this. So now there’s a way for you to take charge and change this for yourself…how liberating is that going to be?!)
The next reason makes it very obvious to see why we’re not really emotional eaters, but more likely emotional because we can’t lose weight. If we’re all suddenly emotional eaters now…how come we weren’t that way until around 1975, when our eating habits started to change, and the food available to us began to change?
Where Were All The Emotional Eaters In The Past?
I would say, nowhere all the emotional eaters then? where to be seen, that’s where! We didn’t emotionally eat then, because we were all satisfied and well fed on a very different kind of diet from the one we typically eat now! It didn’t mean that we weren’t emotional…of course, we were! That has never changed, but we just dealt with our feelings in a different way. We didn’t feel the need to reach for the sugar in the same way because a) we were still full from our tea and b) it wasn’t around in the same way. We didn’t feel this need to ‘cave in’ to doughnut temptation just because we’d had an argument with our spouse. We wouldn’t necessarily have binged on a 6 pack of chocolate bars out of boredom…we’d have found something else to do.
The simple fact is that sugary and processed carbs were barely around so we didn’t really even think about them.
The truth is, we aren’t emotional eaters. We are emotional because our eating feels out of control, and we simply can’t lose the weight even when we really really want to! No wonder we’re emotional! That’s a devastating experience! If you add up all the negative feelings associated with being over-weight on a long term basis and being stuck in a cycle of yo-yo dieting that we can’t seem to break. Can you just imagine how many emotions that will bring up for you? Over time, these emotions only get worse, because your problem isn’t being resolved for you.
The very real problem with us taking on the role of emotional eating is that we then put the responsibility for being in control onto ourselves when we clearly can’t control our intake… So that leads us to feel that we’re not strong willed enough. Or just haven’t got enough self-restraint. Or we’re just plain GREEDY! Not true!
Talk about beat ourselves up! You’d think you’d committed murder with the kind of self-talk you put yourself through when you went and ate something you didn’t really want to!
Unfortunately, by putting the responsibility onto our own so-called shortcomings, we also miss the real reason we can’t control our eating habits.
The Reason We Can’t Control Our Eating Habits?…
The Food We Eat, And The Calories We Don’t Eat. It’s That Simple.
Cravings are the cause of all your out of control eating behaviours. You control cravings, you control your eating. It’s very simple. If you’re not craving, and your solar plexus feels quiet, you’re in control of your food choices. It really is as simple as that. And then guess what…you start to feel positive emotions. They might start off as something as simple as relief. But they will very quickly turn into a sense of feeling proud of yourself. And pleasantly surprised with yourself at how well you’re doing. And the changes you’re making.
Your body gets more energy and becomes healthier as you adopt better eating habits. You feel satisfied and fed, instead of craving for something for no real reason that you can honestly put your finger on. all these positive side effects build on each other over time. Until you feel better than you have for years. All because you took control of that little CRAVE feeling.
How Do We Get Into That CRAVE State? In Three Very Definite Ways:
- Eating sugar,
- Eating processed carbs,
- Being on a diet.
How do we get out of it? Firing the sugar and the processed carbs right out the window first of all. Then introduce foods that contain all those calories you just got rid of in the form of good fats (think butter, cream, cheese, bacon fat, chicken skin). This is how we’ve eaten for 1000’s of years, right up to about 1975. And then wave goodbye to emotional eating forever!
Can It Really Be That Simple? Just Give It A Try And See!
If you find yourself in the middle of that cravings cycle, then use this youtube link to gently lift them out of your nervous system so you can feel calmly in control of your food choices.
The next time a friend tells you that they are an emotional eater, just have a quick chat and ask what emotions they are for them. See for yourself where they have made that same mistake. Then you can give them the good news….it’s not you, and it never was….it’s your food!
Love Bridgette x
To help you find out more about the foods you can enjoy instead, and all sorts of other really useful stuff, I wrote The Break The Crave System book last year just for you! It contains all the information you need about that little CRAVE feeling and what to do about it, as well as how to lose weight naturally and pleasurably.
Get your copy here