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Emotional Eating? Put Down That Ice Cream!

By Donna Stark

Are you in the midst of having one of those days? Or one of those weeks? Maybe it's been even longer than that and those moments of sadness, anger, anxiety, or fear have plagued you for months. We all go through times when our lives are unsettled for one reason or another and many of us turn to food in order to cope. What do you think of when emotional eating is brought up? Are tears falling into that gallon of ice cream the first image to come to mind? Having a few spoonfuls of Rocky Road isn't that bad, but emotional eating can run much deeper. If our unsettled emotions decide to take residence for more than a moment, our lives and health can be significantly impacted.

Emotional Eating Strategies

Emotions are deeply tied to what we eat, aren't they? And food is deeply tied to our memories, which is why we often turn to comfort foods when our hearts are dealing with more than we want. If you are susceptible to emotional eating or find that it is taking center stage in your life, here are some tips on how to get it under control.

  • Avoid trigger foods - Whatever your weakness is, whether it is cookies, chips, or that gallon of ice cream, get in the habit of not buying it. After all, you can't eat what you don't have, right?
  • Create a circle of support - Having friends to call instead of food to eat is a lot better for your body and your heart, so nourish your support system. And even better than a call or a text is a get-together at the gym or for a walk! Taking care of your body while also your heart is key here.
  • Keep a journal - Not everyone is a writer, but if you are, take advantage of those skills and journal what you are going through. Many people find it very therapeutic to do so and it will help keep you out of the pantry.
  • Avoid the couch - It's important to be able to "sit" in our emotions, just don't sit for too long. Avoid drowning your feelings in a marathon of Netflix movies because it will eventually lead to hours of mindless nibbling. Instead, get up and spend your time doing something physically active.
  • Get out of town - Most of us have those little spots in the next town over that we have been meaning to see, but just haven't found the time to do so. Well, now is your time. Take a mental break and change your scenery for the day or even the weekend.

Putting Your Health First

When emotions get the best of us, it is definitely hard to focus on good health instead of good food. But by using these tips, it may become easier for you to stay a step ahead of those temptations. A bad moment will usually always go away, but bad health can linger for much longer.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.

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