Discovering a path to healthier emotional eating starts with self-awareness. Know how to change eating habits by first identifying what time of eater you are – whether it’s stress-induced, comfort-driven, or mindless munching. By identifying your type, you open the door to tailored strategies that can lead to lasting change and a more balanced relationship with food.
There are many different types of eaters, and knowing which type you are, can help you make better choices to know how to change eating habits.
Jane is a prime example of someone who was not aware of her eating habits and as a result, she struggled with her weight for many years.
Jane was rushing home after work and crumbled in front of her TV. She was tired and just wanted to eat while browsing Netflix.
Jane had a jar with cookies which she regularly emptied when she felt lonely, tired, or bored. It was one of those nights when she ate mindlessly.
But then something interesting happened: Jane thought about all those times when she was a little girl who felt like an outsider. She knew what it felt like to be on the sidelines of family time, to feel left out, and to feel bored.
And then it hit her: she’d been eating since childhood and she was this little girl who thought she wasn’t loved enough, who had no friends and didn’t know what to do with herself when everyone else went off to enjoy themselves but not her.
Each time she felt lonely, tired, or bored, she ate one more cookie until there were no cookies left in the jar—and then another one… and another one…
We all have some form of eating behavior often deeply seated in our past behavior.
Have you ever had this kind of realization too?
We all have emotions. And we all have to eat. But what happens when the two mix? Do our emotions affect the way we eat? And can emotional eating lead to health problems?
Let’s understand how emotions relate and deal on how to change eating habits
EMOTIONS AND EMOTIONAL EATING
- Happiness and Social Eating – Being happy makes eating more fun for many people. Food is often the center of many celebrations.
- Stress – People eat to ignore or soothe stress. Stress depletes the body’s energy stores and increases cortisol levels, which amplifies appetite.
- Anger – Can create the desire to eat to control anger or to express anger.
- Frustration – Emotional eating is an unhealthy coping mechanism in the face of frustration.
- Grief – It is common for people to often use food as an unhealthy coping mechanism in the face of grief as food is often the way to comfort people during funerals, wakes, or vigils.
- Fear and Anxiety – Whether the threat is real or imagined, it leads to a state of hyperarousal. Without a healthy outlet for this abundant energy, it is natural to turn to eat.
- Self-doubt – People who suffer from insecurity or lack self-confidence may turn to food as a feel-good pick-me-upper.
- Boredom – Some people eat because they don’t know what else to do with themselves.
- Sadness – Some people eat because they feel down, sad, or weepy. Because these are seen as “bad” emotions, people often try to hide it, ignore it, or suppress it with food.
- Guilt – Some eat because they feel guilty about something in general. Some eat because they feel guilty about their eating habits and this can cause them to eat more, feel guilty, eat more, feel worse, and even end up binge eating.
Only if we are aware, we can do something, often our behavior is based on limiting beliefs coming from our childhood.
Do you wonder about Jane?
I worked with her until she finally got clear that she wanted to change her eating habits for good! She lost 15 lbs. and lives now a purposeful life.
There is no perfect diet…just something that suits and works for the unique you!
Breaking negative thought patterns of emotional eating can be a challenge, but it’s worth it. It’s not a quick fix, but it will change your life.
Negative thoughts about yourself or others are like weeds in your garden. You need to pull them out and plant something nice so they can’t get back in again.
Here’s how Jane conquered unhealthy habits and what you can do to do so too:
- Do the “What type of eater quiz”(Click Here)
- Become aware of what type of eater you are
- Gain awareness of triggers
- Journal about it how you feel when you eat and track what you eat and how you feel when eating.
- Reflect on the root cause. Think about where your eating style comes from (childhood) and which belief you installed
- Get clear about the consequences (of the unhealthy behavior)
- Form a new belief (I am a healthy eater etc.)
- Let go of the belief and practice forgiveness
- Replace with healthy eating habits or avoid triggers
In conclusion, the “What type of eater are you” quiz is a great way to learn about your eating habits.
It is important to be aware of what type of eater you are to make the necessary changes to improve your health.
I encourage you to take the quiz and share your results with me.
Can’t wait to hear back from you.