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I’m an emotional eater and probably have been for longer than I realize.  But I’m learned ways to help me to stop and prevent that emotional downward cycle when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.  Check out these tips to help you get out of the binge eating when you have a bad day and change your mindset on how you handle stressful situations before you start emotional eating. #emotionaleating #exercise #stressreduction #bingeeating #eattolive #fooddiary #food journal

Are you an emotional eater like I am? It’s something I’ve struggled with for a while and it’s practically ingrained in to our society. We eat when we are happy, we eat when we are sad, we eat when we are angry, we eat when we are bored, we eat when we celebrate, we eat when someone dies. We pretty much find any excuse, reason, or justification so we can to eat junk food. It’s not called comfort food on accident. We are basically taught from an early age to emotionally eat.

My drug of choice when emotional eating….savory snacks

My Day 2 this week was a rough day and my drug of choice were pea crisps.

Now while this may not seem that bad; I did choose the vegan Harvest Snaps, but they do have oil in them. And as I mentioned last week, oil is very addictive for me. Some people like sugary sweets to numb their pain. I like savory & salty things. Hence my need to stay away from french fries….

Day 2 I found out my brother’s best friend had a massive heart attack and was on life support. There were some other annoying things that had happened that morning to put me in a funk, but hearing this news really sent me in a downward emotional spiral.

Life is sometimes just unfair

He was such a kind, caring, fun loving guy and…..he’s about our age – he had just turned 40. He was ALWAYS at my brother’s & wife’s house, so I knew him, too. When our father passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2018, he was with us and stood by our side. That’s a great friend.

So, I already had to run up to Kroger to get a few things and when I walked in I saw their mountain display of the Harvest Pea Crisps. Even as I told myself I should just keep on walking, there I was feeling depressed and wanting to “medicate” my pain.

Binged on the entire bag while emotional eating

Emotions trumped my better judgement and I grabbed the bag of greasy pea crisps, the few other things I needed, checked out, got in my car, and proceeded to binge eat the entire bag before I ever left the parking lot.

The GOOD thing is it was a small bag and only 3 servings. But considering I’m trying to lose weight & oil is my nemesis, any little bit really adds up.

It was while I was binging on this bag of junk food, that I realized why I hadn’t been able to handle hearing the bad news and had been in a funk even before this.

I didn’t do my morning workout like normal

I had a long list of things I needed to get accomplished and thought I would just skip the workout that day to try to get more knocked off my list. This is where I went wrong.

While logically thinking that saving 45 minutes would help me get more done that day, it is here I am reminded that exercise ACTUALLY helps me get more accomplished.

Exercise helps me to handle stresses that come up during the day and it energizes me so I’m more productive in a shorter amount of time. We get endorphins from working out (like the “runner’s high”) and that helps to reduce our perception of pain & creates positive feelings, similar to morphine.

Obviously, hearing that a friend is probably going to pass away (which unfortunately he did the next day) is a MUCH bigger stressor than normal, however I am confident I wouldn’t have had such an emotional spiral downward had I taken the short time to do my normal workout.

Not only did I emotionally eat that day, but I was unable to get anything done on my list and ended up curling up on the couch, watching Netflix, crying uncontrollably, and wallowing in my sadness.

“Life if 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it” – Charles Swindoll

So, I have commit to my workout in the mornings. It’s just such an important part of my morning routine that sets up the rest of my day and mental health so I’m not triggered to emotionally eat. I can’t control what happens to me, but exercise helps me to control how I react TO it.

And I don’t do anything crazy when it comes to working out – walking, jogging, elliptical, light strength training – but the endorphins I get from that 30-45 minutes really lasts throughout my day. It helps me to be a more positive person and treat myself & others better no matter what comes my way.

Tips on how to stop emotionally eating

So if you are an emotional eater like me, don’t wait for something bad to happen for you to try to make the right choice in the moment. It’s REALLY hard to do. Instead, find ways to lower your stress levels BEFORE and be preemptive. I highly recommend some sort of exercise to start your day, even if it’s just taking walk, but there are many other things you can do to help relieve stress:

  • take a walk
  • yoga
  • get out in nature
  • journal
  • read
  • mediate
  • daily devotional
  • pray
  • get more sleep
  • talk to a friend
  • dance it out
  • online workout videos

I hope some of these ideas help you get ahead of emotional eating before it strikes.

Keep your home environment free of junk food triggers

I also want to point out that NOT having junk food in the house is paramount. Had I had unhealthy foods at home, I know I would have eaten every single bit of it. Since I had to choose to buy the peas crips from the store, that definitely helped me not emotionally eat anymore than I did. I didn’t have anything unhealthy in my house thank goodness!

Related Reading: Start from Week 1 of my Eat to Live Food Diary

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Eat to Live Food Diary – Week 24

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6:

  • Breakfast – coffee w/unsweetened almond milk
  • Lunch – Kroger Salad Bar – spinach, arugula, spring mix, red cabbage, green onions, black beans, corn, carrots, red bell pepper, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, red wine vinegar, pomegranate seeds
  • Dinner – Taco Bean Soup, Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas, parsnip, carrot & beet baked fries

Day 7:

My weight loss on the nutritarian diet this week:

  • Starting weight this week – 151.7 lbs
  • Ending weight this week – 152.9 lbs
  • Weight loss this week – +1.2 lbs
  • Total weight loss – 3.5 lbs

While I gained “weight” this week, I’m actually not disappointed in that. I ate much better overall and I have been doing a lot of strength training and I know I’m gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat.

What really got me excited was I did my measurements and have already lost over 4 inches between my chest, waist, & hips! In only 3 weeks, that’s awesome and 2.5 inches of that was on my waist! I can definitely tell a difference in my clothes and I know that gaining muscle will really help me to burn more fat in the long term, even though it seems slower in the short term. And I’m ok with that.

Keep following my Eat to Live Journey with Week 25!

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