I’ve been an emotional eater in the past and know how powerless a person can feel. But a few tips and tools can help you get a handle on emotional eating and move forward with your fitness.
What’s Eating You?
Of course, the first step to solving any problem is admitting you have one. That can be the hardest part of the journey.
- Admit it: We all struggle with something. If someone tells you they struggle with nothing, they struggle with lying.
- Own it: Once it’s yours you can do what you want with it. Owning it gives you power.
- Seek the source: Start keeping a journal. When you are driven to feed “it,” think of what “it” is. Is it boredom? Anger? Loneliness? Self-loathing? Or on the other hand, are you feeding the “I deserve it” feeling or the “I want to have fun” feeling? The source could be either side or flip-flop.
- One day at a time: Some things we can control and some we cannot. Each day brings its own set of joys and problems. Wake up with a mission and conviction.
- Be persistent: You might be able to overcome the need to feed in a short period of time, or it might be something you find you struggle with for a longer period of time. Because emotional eating isn’t a bad habit like biting your nails or twirling your hair, it may take more than 21 or 30 days to master. Keep going!
Give Food a New Identity
- Your source of fuel
- Your source of health 
Food is not:
- Your friend
- Your lover (although chocolate commercials would like you to think so)
- Your source of happiness
- Your reward
Simple Everyday Tools
- Photos: Images are powerful. Place them in strategic places like your bathroom mirror, fridge, and pantry. The key is updating them. Change them often. Searching for the photos is inspiring in itself. If you use Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr, seek out accounts that you can use as a source for finding pictures.
- Quotes: Some people like quotes, some people don’t. I personally have found them empowering. The right words can be just what you need to make a healthier decision.
- Community: Ask for help from a trusted friend or family member to be your support when you’re struggling. If that’s not an option, seek out a community of people, like those you’ll find on the Coach Calorie Facebook page, that have similar goals. You’ll find that many people share the same goals and failures and are looking to connect too.
Free Your Mind and Your Body Will Follow
Is there really a mind-body connection? According to experts, there is no doubt that your mind and emotions can have a big impact on your health . Stress affects your body’s hormone levels, digestion, and more. Beyond wanting to look great on the outside, learning to deal with emotions in a healthy way benefits your whole body, inside and out.
What If You Fail?
Accepting that failures will happen is also a source of freedom. We are human beings. We are fallible. A big obstacle to overcoming emotional eating is believing the lie that we should be perfect or that perfection even exists. There’s a freedom in knowing it doesn’t. Our only goal should be to become the best version of ourselves.
Tomorrow Is Another Day
That’s good news! Set small daily goals, and only use yesterday as a way to improve today. Living in the present eliminates the stress of worrying about tomorrow or regretting the things in the past you can’t change. Those things we can’t control are fuel for emotional eating. If you faltered yesterday, forget it. Move on, knowing that every moment you’re becoming stronger, more empowered, and healthier.