- Don’t eat when you’re bored.
- Don’t eat when you’re thirsty. Drink water.
- Don’t eat when you’re distracted. Don’t munch while mindlessly staring at your phone. While I enjoy my popcorn while I watch a movie, I try to avoid thoughtless eating. Pay attention to what goes into your mouth and savor it. Some activities trigger eating. Pay attention when you get cravings whether you are actually hungry or if you are only eating because it’s what is expected.
- Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat healthy snacks throughout the day so you don’t get over hungry. The more hungry I get the more I think I will only be satisfied by a big juicy burger or chocolate!
- Don’t look for treats as your consolation for stress. In Candace Cameron Buré’s “Reshaping It All” she says she finds strength when she looks to God for comfort rather than food. That resonated with me.
- Start each meal by filling half your plate with veggies and/or fruits, then add your whole grains and lean proteins. Add some legumes. These will keep you satisfied even between meals.
- Be deliberate about when you will eat fun food and then have self control not to overeat them. Treats aren’t the enemy when eaten in moderation.
- Recognize the natural flow of your day. In “The Power of Full Engagement” I learned how our day ebbs and flows in a 90-120 minute rhythm. If you catch yourself in a lull and it has been an hour or two since your last activity, it’s time to do something else before diving back into your work. Have a healthy snack, read something uplifting, move your body. Don’t just reach for something to stimulate you and then keep on plugging away. Honor your natural rhythms. Take a break.
- When you find yourself having consistent cravings for treats, cut them out for a week. In the book “Parenting: A House United” Nickoleen Peck talks about exercising self-government when you feel like you are drawn to a luxury that you think you cannot live without. This would apply if you found you are watching too much tv or if you look at social media too often, or whatever your vice is. Quit it for a whole week to purge yourself of the craving so you can better moderate your consumption.
- Substitute a craving for something healthy. Have some veggies, protein, herbal tea, water, exercise, read/listen to something uplifting, pray/call someone for support.
How do you overcome emotional eating?