How to Get Your Emotional Eating Under Control
Emotional eating is a topic that’s talked about a lot – especially in our fitness groups. It’s one thing having the knowledge and being aware of emotional eating, but it‘s also important to look at why we do it.
Why people eat emotionally as well as ways you can put a stop to it and improve your relationship with food.
What Is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating comes from stress, depression and pain. Whatever causes you to feel emotionally upset can trigger you to turn to food for an answer to make you feeling better rather than turning to a friend or loved one for help.
Where Does Emotional Eating Come From?
Emotional eating can stem from many different situations but one of the most common places it grows from is your childhood. Something as simple as your parents telling you that you ‘can’t have dessert until you’ve finished your meal’ could trigger emotional eating later in life because you’re having a restriction placed upon you.
We’ve been conditioned to think of food as a reward. Food is there to make us feel better and that’s what emotional eating is all about.
Emotional eating has obviously been linked to people being overweight. The more food you eat because of feeling emotional could lead to a negative relationship with food.
The problem with using food as a cure for feeling stressed is it’s only a short term fix to a long term problem. It gives you a short sense of relief but that’s all.
Emotional Eating Is A Reward Based Habit
Emotional eating distractions you from your immediate frustrations and gives you a sense of relief. People have been conditioned from childhood that they’re entitled to a food based reward. Here are a few examples…
- Being allowed a dessert ONLY if you eat your dinner
- Getting a sweet for being well behaved from the Dentist.
- Having a chocolate for completed a piece of work on time.
It can feel as if food is taking control of your life.
Many people are known to go on bouts of emotional eating when they are alone. However, emotional eating can have profound effects when it comes to the social side of things.
Say for instance you go out for a meal with friends, and all your friends order a glass of wine with their meal. You know that you’re not supposed to allow yourself a glass of wine but you rationalise the reason for having a drink and feel obligated to do som because everybody else is having a glass.
So how do we combat emotional eating?
Eliminating emotional eating comes down to being aware of why you’re feeling hungry. Ask yourself ‘why am I craving this food?’ You’ll often find when people eat emotionally, they crave salty or sweet foods. So it comes down to being mindful when you feel you ‘need’ to eat salty or sweet foods. That could be your trigger.
You need to figure out if you’re ‘actually’ hungry or is it a sense of satisfaction you need? If you’re feeling lonely and feel the urge to emotionally eat – reach out and contact one of your close friends or loved ones.
Another great way to take your mind away from the thoughts of emotional eating is to go out in the outdoors.
If you’ve got a dog, you’ve got no excuse to going out and spending time outside.
You’ll find the act of just going outside or taking your mind away from food is going to destress both mind and body. Feeling exhausted or stressed? Why not have a long soak in the tub with some Epsom Salts? You can pick these up from most health stores for next to nothing.
As part of Next Level Performance, our team help our clients to work around emotional eating. It’s not a short term fix. We help you by building healthy lifestyle habits to put a long term stop to emotional eating. It’s much more than just giving you a nutrition plan to follow – it’s actually a lot to do with your psychology and conditioned beliefs around food.
For more great resources, please head over to my website www.rhysperrett.com or find me on Facebook!
My Top 10 Tips to Quickly Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep
I get questions all the time from clients and friends asking ‘how do I improve my sleep?’ In fact I’ve had a client tell me today she was celebrating the fact she had 7 hours sleep because it’s such a rare occasion.
People are telling me they’re for ever tired and fatigued. But the truth is, there’s lots of factors that affect the quality of your sleep. In this article, I’m going to share with you just some of the factors that have the most dramatic affect on the quality of your sleep. Even if you work on 1 or 2 of the points I’m going to share, you’ll see an amazing improvement in your own sleep (as early as tonight)…
Lets jump right in.
Caffeine is stimulant and well known for its energetic properties. It’s in products like Red bull, Monster energy drinks and coffee. Believe it or not, caffeine has been on the banned substance list for the anti doping agency. Caffeine has the potential to increase performance both mentally and physically.
However if you’re consuming caffeine; whether it’s coffee, tea or energy drinks, it’s going to affect your sleep quality.
You really want to try and limit or eliminate caffeine about six hours before you want to go to sleep. Flip your thinking and stay away from the caffeine because it will affect the quality of your sleep.
Believe it or not, Alcohol is another another substance that’s going to dramatically affect your sleep.
Try to reduce the amount you’re drinking especially on the run up to when you want to head off to bed.
We’ve all been in that situation where we hit the town on a night out (maybe it’s Christmas or New Year) and after drinking for a while, you start to feel sleepy. And once you’re in this state, you know your next night’s sleep is going to be rather shallow. It’s going to be restless and you won’t have the REM sleep to drift off into a deep sleep where the magic happens. REM deep sleep is where our body recovers and repairs.
When it comes to alcohol, try and reduce your intake or eliminate it from your diet because it’s going to affect your sleeping patterns.
The most common time for having a glass of wine or a pint of beer is when you’re winding down trying to relax. Let’s look at some other methods you could use to chill out and relax instead of reaching for another bottle of red…
Read a Book/ Listen to An Audio Book
Books are a great way to wind down, switch off from technology and chill. I’ve got a massive library of books in my office right now, just ask if you’d like some reading material and I’ll help you out.
A great way to de stress and get away from the stimulating computer screen.
Let’s talk about sleeping patterns…
When I talk about sleeping patterns, I mean establishing a certain time that you’re going to go to sleep and waking up at a certain time. After doing this for a number of days, you’ll discover how to set your body clock. You’ll no longer need an alarm clock to wake up to because your body is so used to waking up at similar times every day.
It’s funny how the mind and body work. I mean how many times have you set your alarm to wake up at 6AM for work and you wake up 5 minutes the alarm is due to go off? That’s your body clock and subconscious mind working.
De-stress and wind down
As well as having a routine, you need to factor in your wind down and chill out times. Maybe this is towards the end of the day. We touched earlier on ways to de stress including puzzles and reading a book. Make sure you’ve got a time blocked off where you can turn off all your electronics like the tv, your phone and computer and simply relax. A warm bath with Espom Salts is a great way to wind down and relax, getting you ready for a great nights sleep.
The blue stimulating light from your phone can have a detrimental affect on the quality of your sleep
If you choose to read a book, make sure it’s not on your phone. Grab a physical book or listen to an audio book. Turn off technology and have a conversation with your loved ones. Relax in the atmosphere around you.
Listen to Your Body
You’ve got to remember that if you’re fatigued or tired at all, don’t try and fight it. If you’re tired at 8 o’clock but you’d normally go to bed at 10 o’clock, head to bed right now.
And when you do finally climb into bed, make sure you don’t have your phone anywhere near you. Have it out of the room and use a mechanical alarm clock if you need one. If it’s not possible to remove your phone from your bedroom, have it at the other end of the bed on a table so it can’t distract you.
When you head into the evening, instead of using bright lights, try using calming candles to sooth your eyes and body.
This is going to be a huge factor in the quality of your sleep. Try not to drink roughly around one hour before you go to bed as that could lead to constant toilet breaks during the night. It’s all great having fluids around exercise and during the day but try and limit your intake before you sleep.
Which brings me onto my next point…
Exercise can affect your sleep.
If you’re training for instance at 8PM or 9PM, this can affect your sleep quality because you’re going to have a heightened energy response.
Think back to when you’ve exercised in the morning (which many people recommend you do)…
It sets you up for the day and fills you full of energy and vitality!
If you’re training late into the night, Id suggest you invest in some sleep supplements such as zinc or magnesium to help you relax into a deep sleep. A perfect combination is a warm bath with Espom salts addedto help send you off and unwind into a deep sleep.
So I’ve given you lots of points to work through to improve the quality of your sleep. For the best results, I suggest you use a diary, set alarms on your phone when you need to turn it off and start winding down. Otherwise, you’ll forget and never follow any of the above points.
There’s nothing stopping you from starting to work on any of the above points. Don’t put it off and procrastinate. You could be having the best nights sleep of your life tonight!
If it all sounds a little too much for you right now, then focus on simplicity and working on just two of the points. Maybe you’ll choose to read a physical book before bed every night instead of your phone. Doing only this will have a dramatic affect on your sleep.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this article. For more information how you can move to the next level in life, head on over to my website www.rhysperrett.com for more details.
Next Level Performance.