Some Tips on Handling Emotional Eating Attacks
-Take a pause. You're in front of the pantry, refrigerator, snack drawer. Stop. Don’t move. Take a deep breath.
-Ask yourself if you are ACTUALLY hungry?
This question is a deal changer. It means you actually have to tune in to what you normally ignore. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry right now?” Pay attention and remember that real hunger gives notice for awhile – first an empty feeling in your belly, then some rumbling, then some gnawing. That’s real hunger. Are you reallllly hungry? Or are you something else?
-If you’re not hungry, ask yourself WHY you are standing in front of the pantry?
If the answer is that you’re not really hungry and that you’re standing in front of the pantry, refrigerator, snack drawer for other reasons, let it come in that you’re having an Emotional Eating Attack. Simply notice that you are in the middle of an attack of emotional eating. Notice, but don’t chastise. Notice but don’t do anything. Just notice it. Then step outside yourself and say, “I’m not really hungry. So WHY am I standing in front of the pantry?” Answers will come up – bored, stressed, angry, frustrated, etc.
-Journal what happened leading up to it and what you are feeling. Are there any patterns?
What feelings are you feeling? Grab your journal and write about it. You’ll notice some patterns appear – feelings that ‘trigger’ you to stand in front of the pantry. Then, once you see what feelings trigger you, you can seek out what you REALLY NEED on a soul level. Because take it from me, potato chips are a quick fix, but they do not address what I really need on a soul level. What is it? Comfort? A hug? A conversation? Intimacy? Quiet? Calm? To be alone? Something to do?
-Give yourself what you really need.
This step can be tough. It’s hard enough trying to figure out what you’re feeling, but then actually figuring out what you really need? This takes some serious self-care. And friend? You are so worth it. Treat yourself to what it is you really, really need. Really nice bath salts? Check. Organic herbal tea? Check. A firepit in your backyard? Check. Whatever.it.is…give it to yourself. Create some space and give yourself permission to gift yourself with what you need. Things to try:
Sip on some herbal tea.
Drink a glass of water.
Change your scenery.
Take a bath.
Go for a walk.
Go to bed.
Call a friend.
Pick up a book.
Peace to you on your journey, Sarah