After having been absent from other addictions, I realized that I had switched one addiction for another with food...  You might look at me and think, there's no way you are/ were an emotional eater or you might see it, I don't know but I don't believe that only larger people eat emotionally. Skinny people can be emotional eaters, muscular people can be, anyone can!  It's crazy looking back on middle school and high school because I remember coming home and eating pouches after pouches of fruit snacks, entire bags of chips, ice cream containers, etc and at the time I didn't know that I was eating emotionally. To me, I was simply just eating. I also didn't see the negative effects of eating in such ways because I was in sports and generally maintained a leaner figure.  The most I have ever weighed has been 190 something with a body fat percentage of 26% (which is a lot for me because like I said, I have always generally been lean) on two separate occasions- once in college and another time a few years later, both times I was seriously struggling with my mental health.  I remember looking at myself in the mirror and wondering where I went wrong... I knew that I needed to change my eating but how? I mean, at those two points of my life I felt like food had a hold on me; I was addicted...  When I was bored, I would eat. When I was stressed out, I would eat. When I felt depressed, I would eat. When I was already full, I would keep eating...It wasn't like I was eating clean either, I was going for something quick and usually something sweet.  If you were to talk to my boyfriend, he would tell you that in the past he has contemplated placing a lock on our cupboard where we keep all the snacks because whenever he would buy himself junk food, the next day he would open it to find them all gone.  When I ate like crap- it showed on my body. Heck, I still have a body fat percentage that I would like to hit but as far as I have come, I have found a few tips to be useful when it comes to dropping the habit of emotional eating that I would like to share with you if you are anything like me...   Allow yourself to have a snack and not beat yourself up for it...   You know when you start a meal plan, and you are consistently eating healthy for a few days and all of a sudden you have a craving for let’s say, a cookie. So, you indulge in the cookie but then you beat yourself up for having that  one  cookie and then begin to eat the entire container? And then as you are realizing that you are eating the container of cookies, you justify it by saying to yourself that you will just start over tomorrow? Does that sound like you? Because, that was me...  Let me ask you this, how good about yourself did you feel after eating that entire container? Not so good I assume as you realize that you could have, should have just stopped at one...  Regret is not a good feeling, so, if you could prevent that intense feeling of regret and shame by stopping the downward spiral from the beginning by allowing yourself to indulge in something that isn't on your meal plan  once , doesn’t that sound like a better idea?   Understand that you have control over your emotions   The more you remind and affirm yourself that you have control over your emotions and decisions, the more you will find yourself feeling the confidence to say no to emotional eating.   Be aware of the harm in emotional eating   Most emotional eaters don't reach for healthy foods, typically they reach for the quick and easy foods which are usually processed. If you are on a meal plan, trying to lose weight, or whatever your goals may be, you must be aware of the downsides of emotional eating.   Consuming processed foods are only feeding your addiction to food... sugar has been found to be just as addictive as cocaine. Without looking into the study, I can say that I can completely see that. It really is. Have you found yourself eating junky foods one day and craving junk the next day?  The more you overindulge, the further you are getting from your goals. You can't progress if you aren't willing to make changes.  Without stopping the cycle, emotional eating leads to more emotional eating. You have to first admit that you are an emotional eater, then, be proactive about stopping the continuous, circular habit...     Figure out the root cause of your emotional eating habit...   Ask yourself why you might be an emotional eater to begin with as well as what triggers the habit. It's best to get down to the root cause of things that way you can work your way out of this ‘pit’.   For me, I grew up with other family members who would emotionally eat and as a result, I developed the habit as well. Food is a means of comfort for  a lot  of people as it is a quick fix/ ‘go- to’ to satisfy the brains system of reward (this can be rewired).    Distract yourself   As soon as you realize you are thinking about eating out of stress, boredom, loneliness, etc is when you need to find something to distract yourself. Go for a walk, read a book, do a mindfulness activity- just do something to take you out of that moment of a mental obsession for food.   Drink water   Water is supposed to curb your appetite/ cravings. Instead of going for the doughnut, reach for a glass of water or two and then decide if you want that doughnut or not...   Think of your body like your bank account   Be honest with yourself, if you don't feel like you can afford a sweet treat and other processed foods, then don't make the withdrawal. If you can afford it, go for it!   Give yourself 'pats on the back' often...   I have found that the more I celebrate my successes, the less time I waste dwelling on my weaknesses. If you have gone some time without emotional eating, you deserve to give yourself a pat on the back!    Thank you for reading, I hope you got something out of these tips that have helped me thus far!    XOX0, Ixchelle             

After having been absent from other addictions, I realized that I had switched one addiction for another with food...

You might look at me and think, there's no way you are/ were an emotional eater or you might see it, I don't know but I don't believe that only larger people eat emotionally. Skinny people can be emotional eaters, muscular people can be, anyone can!

It's crazy looking back on middle school and high school because I remember coming home and eating pouches after pouches of fruit snacks, entire bags of chips, ice cream containers, etc and at the time I didn't know that I was eating emotionally. To me, I was simply just eating. I also didn't see the negative effects of eating in such ways because I was in sports and generally maintained a leaner figure.

The most I have ever weighed has been 190 something with a body fat percentage of 26% (which is a lot for me because like I said, I have always generally been lean) on two separate occasions- once in college and another time a few years later, both times I was seriously struggling with my mental health.

I remember looking at myself in the mirror and wondering where I went wrong... I knew that I needed to change my eating but how? I mean, at those two points of my life I felt like food had a hold on me; I was addicted...

When I was bored, I would eat. When I was stressed out, I would eat. When I felt depressed, I would eat. When I was already full, I would keep eating...It wasn't like I was eating clean either, I was going for something quick and usually something sweet.

If you were to talk to my boyfriend, he would tell you that in the past he has contemplated placing a lock on our cupboard where we keep all the snacks because whenever he would buy himself junk food, the next day he would open it to find them all gone.

When I ate like crap- it showed on my body. Heck, I still have a body fat percentage that I would like to hit but as far as I have come, I have found a few tips to be useful when it comes to dropping the habit of emotional eating that I would like to share with you if you are anything like me...

Allow yourself to have a snack and not beat yourself up for it...

You know when you start a meal plan, and you are consistently eating healthy for a few days and all of a sudden you have a craving for let’s say, a cookie. So, you indulge in the cookie but then you beat yourself up for having that one cookie and then begin to eat the entire container? And then as you are realizing that you are eating the container of cookies, you justify it by saying to yourself that you will just start over tomorrow? Does that sound like you? Because, that was me...

Let me ask you this, how good about yourself did you feel after eating that entire container? Not so good I assume as you realize that you could have, should have just stopped at one...

Regret is not a good feeling, so, if you could prevent that intense feeling of regret and shame by stopping the downward spiral from the beginning by allowing yourself to indulge in something that isn't on your meal plan once, doesn’t that sound like a better idea?

Understand that you have control over your emotions

The more you remind and affirm yourself that you have control over your emotions and decisions, the more you will find yourself feeling the confidence to say no to emotional eating.

Be aware of the harm in emotional eating

Most emotional eaters don't reach for healthy foods, typically they reach for the quick and easy foods which are usually processed. If you are on a meal plan, trying to lose weight, or whatever your goals may be, you must be aware of the downsides of emotional eating.

  1. Consuming processed foods are only feeding your addiction to food... sugar has been found to be just as addictive as cocaine. Without looking into the study, I can say that I can completely see that. It really is. Have you found yourself eating junky foods one day and craving junk the next day?
  2. The more you overindulge, the further you are getting from your goals. You can't progress if you aren't willing to make changes.
  3. Without stopping the cycle, emotional eating leads to more emotional eating. You have to first admit that you are an emotional eater, then, be proactive about stopping the continuous, circular habit... 

Figure out the root cause of your emotional eating habit...

Ask yourself why you might be an emotional eater to begin with as well as what triggers the habit. It's best to get down to the root cause of things that way you can work your way out of this ‘pit’. 

For me, I grew up with other family members who would emotionally eat and as a result, I developed the habit as well. Food is a means of comfort for a lot of people as it is a quick fix/ ‘go- to’ to satisfy the brains system of reward (this can be rewired). 

Distract yourself

As soon as you realize you are thinking about eating out of stress, boredom, loneliness, etc is when you need to find something to distract yourself. Go for a walk, read a book, do a mindfulness activity- just do something to take you out of that moment of a mental obsession for food.

Drink water

Water is supposed to curb your appetite/ cravings. Instead of going for the doughnut, reach for a glass of water or two and then decide if you want that doughnut or not...

Think of your body like your bank account

Be honest with yourself, if you don't feel like you can afford a sweet treat and other processed foods, then don't make the withdrawal. If you can afford it, go for it!

Give yourself 'pats on the back' often...

I have found that the more I celebrate my successes, the less time I waste dwelling on my weaknesses. If you have gone some time without emotional eating, you deserve to give yourself a pat on the back! 

Thank you for reading, I hope you got something out of these tips that have helped me thus far!

XOX0, Ixchelle