Emotional eating! Do you struggle with it? I get a lot of emails from you all about this very issue and it is something that I have had to be mindful of over the years too. "Emotional eating" is defined as overeating in order to relieve negative emotions and is used as a coping method. It can be boredom eating, stress eating, sad eating, and even go to the extremes of binge eating, bulimia and anorexia nervosa---much more serious problems.
Before we proceed, I need to make 2 things clear right out of the gate:
- If you are hungry and it's time for you to eat, I WANT YOU TO EAT! This article is not proposing that you do these things in place of eating at its appropriate time.
- Emotional eating can be a much deeper rooted issue than the "shallow" answers I'm proposing here. If you find that your eating is disordered, then skip this list, and talk with a friend, counselor, or me. This is a serious issue plaguing many and is not to be taken lightly.
But if you find yourself in the category where I am--grabbing food in the kitchen when you are bored, or frustrated with your kids, or something totally different, then maybe these tactics would help!
So, let's get onto it. 15 things to do instead of emotionally eat!
1) Sweep the sidewalk
2) Clean a closet (preferably away from the kitchen)
3) Clean a drawer (preferably away from the kitchen)
4) Turn on a podcast and dust
5) Get, um, jiggy with your husband ;)
6) Write an encouragement note to 3 people in your life
7) Journal about what you are stressed about or about your day
8) Pray a Psalm
9) Drink a glass of water
10) Go for a walk around the block
11) Put a beauty mask on your face
12) Knit or crochet a small project
13) Do 10 burpees every minute on the minute for 5 minutes.
14) Brush your teeth
15) Read your kids a book
The key to all these is distraction. These suggestions are all TEMPORARY and not meant to hold you over for that long but many times all we need is just a little space between our desire RIGHT NOW and what we know we need to do. You'll also notice that these suggestions only deal with your BEHAVIORS and not your HEART. We know that the root of all our sin and struggle is our heart and mind, so if you find that these aren't cutting it for you and the issue is touching much deeper issues (as I mentioned above), then it's time to reach out for help.
What are some things you try to do when you find yourself in a habit of eating when you shouldn't be? How have you corrected some of those behaviors?