Wellness Wednesday: Combatting Emotional Eating
Have you ever heard someone say that they were “eating their feelings”? Newsflash: emotional eating is common, and there’s a solid biochemical reason behind it. Junk foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates act on the same receptors in your brain as commonly known addictive substances like cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Just like drugs, food can make your brain feel really good, and as a result it can be pretty addicting for some people. Sadly, the joy of emotional eating usually only lasts until you finish the meal, leaving you staring at the same darn emotional situation you were trying to get away from- usually with an added portion of guilt and weight gain as a side order. If you feel like you can't escape the temptation of emotional eating, you might try distracting yourself. Here's a few ideas:
1. Do something with your hands- Drawing, knitting, cleaning or any other repetitive motion has a soothing effect on the brain and occupies your hands.
2. Step away from the buffet- Getting away from the source of the food will make mindful eating much more difficult.
3. Distract, distract, distract. - Often times we look to emotional eating as a way to avoid a feeling. Taking a walk, talking to a friend or loved one or watching a movie are all excellent and calorie-free ways to accomplish the same thing.
BOTTOM LINE: KEEP OFF THE FOOD, IT WONT HELP.