Today has been one of those days.  Everything seems more dramatic than it should be; I’m seeing problems rather than solutions; everyone is simply pissing me off for no reason whatsoever.  To top it all off, my daughter’s birthday is in 2 days and I’m stuck thousands of miles away with work, and I’ve just watched the last member of my team fly home.  But I’m considering today to be a success.

I have said before that I’m an emotional eater. I have a terrible relationship with food. Whenever I’m sad or angry, I’ll settle myself with high fat high carb foods like pizza, burgers, or kebabs.  Whenever I’m happy I celebrate with high fat high carb foods like pizza, burgers, or kebabs. Do you see a problem with this?

Today though, despite feeling all the negativity you could imagine, I didn’t snack or binge eat, I didn’t say f*** it, I’ll start again tomorrow.  I stayed the course and avoided temptation, and I’m proud of myself for that.  I’ve seen some progress in my body composition, and I valued those positive changes more than the temporary joy of stuffing my face.

Inspired by the UP Fitness post, I’ve decided to share what works for me when I’m considering giving in to snacking temptation, or I feel a drive to emotionally eat.

Do Something

That thing you’ve been putting off doing, do it.  That place you’ve been putting off going, go there.  That person you’ve been putting off speaking to, call them.  Distract yourself by preoccupying your brain with something else entirely.  You’ll soon forget about putting cake in mouth when you’re trying to fix part A to part B using screw C.

Drink Something

More often than not when I’m craving something, I’m just thirsty.  While I’m probably messing up my hormones (I’m no biochemist) I really kill my appetite by having a double espresso and a pint of water.  I trick myself into thinking the caffeine will help with fat burning, and the water will enable it, but whether that’s true or not I feel satisfied.  I should caveat this with: don’t drink fruit juice, or squash, or gin. Stick to things like a big green tea, or water, or something hydrating with no or few calories.

Eat Something

If you’re genuinely hungry, eat something.  Just choose wisely.  If you’re planning to eat because you’re angry or frustrated or upset, chances are you’re going to head for the double chocolate ganache topped salted caramel cheesecake.  Don’t.  Have the bad stuff behind a cupboard door and a selection of high protein, good fat, snacks on the counter or close to hand.  When you’re emotional eating, you’ll just get what’s easy and ready in seconds.  You don’t have time to grill a nice chicken.  Have some nuts to hand and some really low sugar fruit, but remember while these are tasty and satisfying, they can be really calorie dense.  Go easy on them.

Have A Word

There’s a reason you’re on the path you’re on.  It’s possibly because you saw a photo of yourself and realised it’s time to change; it may be because you had a health scare and had to change.  Whatever the reason, remind yourself why.  Take yourself somewhere out of the reach of food, and have a word with yourself.  Food is not going to solve the reason you’re angry, food isn’t going to take away the hurt or upset.  All of those drivers that have led you to want to binge, will still be there after you have had your fill, but you’ll feel much worse.  Have a word with yourself and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.

Talk To Someone

I couldn’t agree with this more.  As dramatic as it sounds, the food you choose to eat will directly affect your mood.  The longer you abuse your emotions through chemical reaction, the more dependant you’ll become on them.  Relying on food to make you happy, neglecting food because it makes you sad.  Your psychological wellbeing starts and ends with your environment, those external influences you’re exposed to, and what you put in your body.  If you feel like you are beginning to lose control of what you eat, please talk to someone who will treat you with compassion and understanding.  This is the one I think I struggle with the most.

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