When you think of stopping emotional overeating, does it seem like an impossible goal? You’re not alone – many people who suffer from this problem feel imprisoned and helpless. It can seem like you are unable to break free from the overwhelming emotions and habits. But there’s good news, as we’ve just covered in the beginning of this guide
Being honest with yourself is an important first step. Emotional overeaters tend to judge themselves pretty harshly, but don’t – you’re not an isolated case or some kind of freak. It’s a sign of strength to seek help! It means you’ve identified the problem.
If you’re struggling with this problem, there are some things you can do to get things under control.
- Get advice from a therapist or specialist if you really want to find out if you are a victim of emotional overeating.
- Keep a food diary. – In this diary, in addition to noting everything you eat, also note how you feel when you eat – sad, angry, upset, elated, joyful, etc. Don’t judge yourself or make any changes to your habits when you begin keeping this diary; you’re not trying to impress anyone or prove anything. You are trying to get an honest picture of your eating habits. After several weeks, a pattern will probably emerge.
- Your Grocery List – When an emotional moment hits and you head for the refrigerator or pantry, what kind of foods do you usually go for? Often, emotional overeaters head for high-calorie comfort foods like ice cream, chips, or candy bars. But you can’t eat those things if they are not in your house! Here are some examples of foods to put on your grocery list in place of the ones you may be tempted to buy. (Another tip – buy only the foods on your list. Compulsive buying of food is tempting.)
- Brown rice (instead of white rice)
- Millet (instead of or in addition to rice)
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (rather than canned)
- Low-fat, low-calorie yogurt (rather than ice cream)
- Popcorn kernels for air popping (rather than chips and fatty snacks)
- Lean protein like fish, turkey, and chicken (instead of deli meats and processed meats like hotdogs and bologna)
- Natural, healthy cooking oils like olive and safflower oil (instead of shortening, lard, or unhealthy oils)
Carrying on from the list above, Here is a short and quick list that can help ease out the grocery shopping process.
- Meat: Beef, lamb, chicken and others. Grass-fed is best. These products are 100% real, unprocessed, and have a low-carb percentile. You can cook these in coconut oil or you can even boil them and add them to your favorite vegetable soup. They are a great way to add lean protein to your diet. Just make sure you don’t fry it or buy it with layers of fat. Ask for a lean cut piece when you go to the butcher.
- Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock, tuna and others. My personal favorites are the wild-caught fish. Again, they are unprocessed and have a very low percentage of carb. Fish is recommended over meat simply because it has less fat. It has all the right nutrients and is 100% lean meat. You can make a tuna salad with some lemon, salt and pepper, or you can add it as a breakfast protein with a side salad or egg.
- Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs would be the best to eat. If you are looking for even better eggs, find a farm near you and buy from the farmer. It may cost a little more, but the results will be amazing. Again, protein is extremely important in a low-carb diet as you want to burn the fat and replace it with muscle to have a sexy lean figure. You can boil, fry (in coconut oil) or use it as an ingredient.
|||Orange|| all types Brown Rice|
|||Green Beans||||Black eye Peas|
- Vegetables: Pretty much every vegetable known to man is low-carb and perfect for this lifestyle. You can make salads with spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, cauliflower, or even shredded carrots. Some have a higher glycemic index, therefore be careful with the portion sizes. They are full of vitamins though and can fill you up right away. Add some lean meats and proteins to your veggies for optimal results.
- Fruits: Fruits are tricky as they have natural sugar and therefore have a higher carb level. They are great for breakfast though; you can add them in your Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or just make a simple fruit salad. Again, careful with portion size.
| Udo’s Choice Oil Blend||||Coconut Oil|
|||Flaxseed Oil|| Fatty Fish such as|
|salmon, herring and|
|||Fish Oil Capsules||||Natural Peanut Butter|
|||Olive Oil|| Nuts and Seeds like|
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. They are a great source of natural proteins and have a low carb percentage. You can add them to you fruit salads or to you vegetables and lean protein meal.
Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, olive oil, and cod fish liver oil. You might’ve stepped back a little with that last one, but they are all low-carb ingredients that can be added to your lean protein, salads, or cooking! They are full of nutrients that your body needs in order to function.
4. Don’t Crash Diet –It’s good to be proactive in solving problems, and emotional eating is no exception. If you try to crash diet, you may find yourself eating more after the crash diet is over. So, rather than stopping eating everything you love, try some of these tips.
- Allow yourself to have a dish of frozen yogurt each week as a treat. This approach tends to be easier than just cutting out all frozen treats. You could use this approach with other “naughty” foods, too – it may be easier to resist if you know you are going to have that food on Saturday (or whatever day of the week you choose to have a small treat).
- Boost your nutrition with a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement.
- Increase your consumption of nutrient-dense foods.
Eat Regular Meals
Experts recommend regular mealtimes as a way to combat emotional overeating. If it’s not “time” for food, then you may be better able to hold off on eating until it is time. Also, eating regular meals helps you to be deliberate about your intake of nutritious foods. And finally, having regular meal times tends to make for a more relaxed eating experience, which is the direct opposite of anxiety-driven overeating.
In the next chapter we will take a look at the first step in overcoming emotional eating.