Thank you for all the overwhelmingly positive feedback on my “Resist Emotional Eating Reminder”. I am so happy that so many of you found it useful and put it on your fridge to help you resist binge eating. If you want to skip this article and go straight to the FREE downloadable PDF just click on the button below.
In this blog article, I will try to explain to you some of the principles on emotional eating as well as give you 5 self-coaching tools (+1 bonus tool) on what you can do right before you want to have another snack. But before we start, I hope you guys and your loved ones are all safe and that you know that we will get through this! Alright, so let’s look at the reasons why we eat!
Four Ways of eating
According to Brooke Castillo (2016), there are four ways of eating:
This is when you eat nourishing food to fuel your body for energy and to function properly.
This is when you decide that you are going to eat something for the pure joy of it. Eating some chocolate once a week would be an example of joy eating.
Fog eating is when you eat without awareness. You’re eating in order to disassociate, in order to be outside your body, to fill your body up so you don’t have to experience whatever it is that’s going on for you emotionally.
Storm or binge eating is when you’re eating against your own will, and that’s where you are just eating and eating uncontrollably.
In this blog article, I will focus on the third and fourth type of eating that many of us struggle with right now while we do our part to flatten the curve by social distancing. I will give you some tips on how you can deal with emotional eating at the time of the current situation that I learned from some podcasts that I will link for you.
I created this digital sketchnote with a decision tree to help you decide whether you want to open the fridge to fuel your body or only to numb some kind of emotion that you don’t want to deal with yet.
Once you recognize whether you want to open the fridge or the cupboard because of hunger or because of something else you can try the following 5+1 tips to help you stop fog or binge eating.
Tip 1: Resist the Urge
Set a timer and come back in 10 minutes (Eyal, 2019; Rubin, 2015). After being able to distinguish between the four eating types, the next step is to resist or “surf” your urge. This is where my last video comes to place with Nir Eyal’s 10 minute rule (Eyal, 2019). Set a timer on your phone, kitchen timer or smartwatch and wait 10 minutes. If you still feel like eating something, go back to the kitchen and either grab what you wanted in the first place or go over the decision tree again.
Tip 2: Hack Your Reward System
Put a coin in a jar to have a visible reward for every time you walk away from the temptation. If you don’t have coins at home you can also use paper clips or wrapped Post-it notes. The point is to start accumulating a visible reward for your willpower to resist the temptation of eating (Castillo, 2019).
Tip 3: Listen to a Podcast
Tip 4: Scheduling
Schedule the snack for the next day. I learned this from Natalie Bacon’s podcast but unfortunately, I can’t remember from which episode. If you have the urge to have a cookie or a piece of chocolate you can try to schedule it 24 hours ahead of time. By doing this you convert the fog eating into joy eating. One day is enough time to consider if that is something that you really want to do. And if yes, then you will be proud of the fact that you were able to wait for your reward instead of giving in to instant gratification.
Tip 5: Acceptance
Once you get into the habit of questioning your reason to eat, it will become much easier to just acknowledge that you’re not hungry and walk away. If you find this approach difficult for the time being just pick one of the other tips above to help you with the urge to eat your emotions.
Bonus Tip: Drink a Glas of Water
Someone on Reddit suggested drinking a glass of water before snacking. Many times you just want to do something to pass the time or you’re confusing thirst with hunger. Either way, try drinking a glass of water before anything else and see if it helps.
Alright guys, these were my tips for resisting emotional eating at this very uncertain time. Click on the button below to download the FREE PDF version of my “Resist Emotional Eating Reminder” sketchnote. I hope it helps and please take care of yourself and your loved ones!
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Castillo, B. (2016, August 25). Ep #129: Weight Loss and Overeating Tools Part 1 | The Life Coach School. https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/129/
Castillo, B. (2019, April 11). Ep #263: The Urge Jar | The Life Coach School. https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/263/
Eyal, N. (2019). Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Bloomburry. https://geni.us/oqbGw
Rubin, G. (2015). Better Than Before: A Day-by-Day Journal (Jou edition). Potter Style. https://geni.us/UujsnEk