Are you an emotional eater and how this is affecting your health and weight?

So let’s get straight into this, the majority of us have an emotional attachment to eating. We all like food and drink and we use this to make ourselves feel better in times of sadness or stress.

This is likely the reason why you are not in better health rather then it being the food you eat at your meal times. The rest of the time it could be habit.

But why do we do it and how can we change this?

The majority of us will eat chocolate when we feel sad to cheer ourselves up because it has an oxytocin effect on our brain, it makes us feel happy but the effect is short term once the oxytocin has worn off you are still sad and probably sadder cos you ate a whole big bar of chocolate. The same can be said with alcohol, most people drink because of the stress they have built up from work or family. Alcohol is a depressant so it relaxes you and clears that stress briefly.

I’ll use a case study of mine from an old client to help explain the situation.

My client had a very unhealthy attachment to food that they would get anxious and frustrated at what they wanted to eat so they would grab whatever in the fridge just so they ate something. But this had a knock on effect it would make them fill bad or sad that they didn’t eat the right things and then binge on what they could eat quickly (chocolate or crisps etc) just to make them feel better but it didn’t it only made them feel worse so the cycle continued.

To be fair this is an extreme issue but it happens I’m sure plenty of other people do it or have done it.

These are only three examples but they are cycles that have to be broken for you to achieve your weight loss goals or for you to feel healthier and happier.

There are ways to break this and use this to your advantage, get this right and your mental health improves so then your physical health improves. Healthy mind, healthy body and vice versa.

How do we break the cycle? It all begins with a plan, in the case of my client we needed to right a meal plan and stick it on the fridge so they knew exactly what they were going to eat each day. This stopped the frustration at what to eat which in time not straight away stopped the binging. We allowed a cheat meal a week so they could enjoy something they really wanted without it resulting in over indulgence. We also set a 21 day challenge to go without chocolate, it takes 21 days to break a habit which it was to eat chocolate every day. By going the full 21 days you will get rid of the habit and improve your control over that habit, if you don’t make it to the full 21 days you have to start again.

We set a target of exercising 3 times a week once with me personal training and twice training on their own doing hiit circuits at home.

My client had set backs that’s expected as we are only human but they had massive wins on this journey achieving the goals they set. This left them with a whole new perspective on food.

This all takes time as you are trying to in a sense of the word re wire your brains association with that food or habit.

Set a plan and stick to it, if it doesn’t work then re set and go again with a new plan. The above example may not work for you but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something else. We are all different and have different paths to take to reach our goals.

The main thing to do is reach out and get help or advice from people in the know. Remember YOU CAN DO THIS.