Today I want to share with you a little bit about diet mentality and making the right choices for yourself in terms of food as an emotional eater.
I wanted to talk about this because sometimes when we are emotional eaters, we have so many conflicting and confusing rules around food. Every day there is a new study, there’s something new that’s coming out about food, and it makes it really difficult for us to start discerning what works for us.
This makes us question ourselves. A lot of the times with clients, they’ve tried intuitive eating, they’re listening to the nutrition noise out there. They’re trying all of these things and they’re not understanding what’s really going on.
Sometimes we feel like nutrition, is pretty simple, it can be pretty simple, but again, it’s not simple. I mean if what you’re doing is “right” it should work and give results but does it?
Conventional solutions don’t work
When I started my journey, I started off with a lot of diets and restricting calories. Because conventionally, what’s out there. If we restrict calories, we can control our body.
We’re not understanding how food works in our body. Something that I found is that we need to really look at how our body feels. So when there’s so much conflicting advice out there in terms of the food choices its hard as emotional eaters, because we’re not as in tune with our body. We’re disconnected from our body, from food, from our emotions.
There’s a lot of information out there, there’s a lot of science and data that seems really compelling. I totally get it because that can help us make choices for ourselves. But what I’ve found is that the external diets, they are not helping us discern what works for our body.
Us understanding our body is a really big missing component from all of the diets out there.
It’s not really helping us tune into what works for us. When I was on my emotional eating journey I experimented with a lot of diets, but it was really about restriction. What would give the external result the quickest. Over time, when the same diet wouldn’t give the same result, I knew there was something more going on.
Tuning back into your body + food
So we really need to tune into our body, into the food choices that we’re making, to see how it works for our body.
This is why when we’re working through our emotional eating pattern, we need to connect back to food. We need to connect back to true nourishment. So true nourishment doesn’t mean that here is a step by step of you eat this, you eat this, you eat this. There are principles involved in nourishing your body, in understanding how your body works, seeing your stress patterns, especially when you’re an emotional eater.
Foods have an impact on our body and they way we think about food
Foods have an impact on our body. They affect us. And we can take in all of this knowledge and see how it works for our specific body.
The reason I wanted to chat about this is that sometimes I have clients for example come in and they’ll ask about gluten and avoiding gluten.
This is such a multilayered answer because there’s so many factors involved. We can’t just say gluten isn’t great for you.
So what I want to share with you is that when we start nourishing our body, we’re looking at how we interact with food, how we feel with food, how satisfied we feel, how long foods stay in our body.
The way that I love working with nourishment for my clients is usually in the first phase of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program. Here we start seeing our patterns with food, how we interact with food, how many rigid rules and restrictions we have around food. Here we sink in and see how a food feels in our body, how it connects to our hunger, shifting those diet rules and seeing how we feel in our body.
We need to understand some principles around food and nourishment. The way I love to do that is with clients getting in touch with their natural body cues, taking in a few specific strategies to create meals that satisfy all components of hunger that they’re having daily bowel movements, that their digestion is optimized.
This helps us see how well their body feels eating a certain way and how they feel in their body.
How are their moods? Because our gut and our digestion impacts our mood. When things are more in harmony and balance, we’re going to notice certain results with our body and a shift in our nervous system.
This is just one key area that we need to look at as emotional eaters because stress and uncomfortable emotions also puts us into this pattern.
Stress can be coming from the types of foods we’re eating as well as the restrictive mindset we have around food.
Body + Emotions
Along with nourishment, we’re looking at how are we treating our body, are we listening to the rhythms that our body needs? Are we honoring those rhythms? Are we, for example, getting enough rest, are we not getting enough rest?
That’s going to impact our hunger, it’s going to impact our food choices.
Then of course, our emotional regulation and our triggers around emotional eating, are we looking at those at a deeper level?
Something I want to add in here is that emotional eating is a coping mechanism. So beyond the food, we have to look at what we use the food to soothe ourselves from, what is the addictive quality we have to certain foods.
When we’re able to discern that more and more, we’re going to know our true hunger from our emotional hunger. This is why I don’t like intuitive eating because it just sort of says whatever food pops into your head, you go to and it doesn’t leave you with tangible steps of discerning true versus emotional hunger.
Even if we do indulge in “emotional foods” we’re not getting to the root of what’s creating that pattern. The food is a band aid.
The emotional process in the body is a physical process, it requires biochemicals and it requires nutrients and vitamins and minerals. So our body, after being depleted from moving through our emotions, will naturally want certain foods.
I remember one time doing this process with my emotional eating and having this craving and wanting to go to the processed foods. But I sat and I moved through the process with my emotional eating and the hunger that came up after the process was true hunger. Here I wanted a kale salad and I wanted chia. I wanted different foods that would nourish my body and give it the missing nutrients that were depleted from that processing.
Emotional Eating is Multilayered
Emotional eating is really multifaceted and multilayered. One step is looking at how we nourish ourselves and finding a way that works for us.
I hope this gives you more clarity on how you’re nourishing yourself. Of course, the how to and the step by step of doing that is inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program. Find out more about the program HERE. If you have been trying diet after diet and feeling like it’s not working, it’s because there are other components that are needed to connect you back to your body, connect you back to food and your emotions to really resolve this emotional eating pattern.
To true nourishment,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist Specializing in Emotional Eating