Today I received my first ever topic request! The question was regarding the above picture.
Let’s talk about ways to avoid using food as a coping mechanism.
I try to avoid keeping unhealthy food in my house for this very reason. If you were a recovering alcoholic you wouldn’t keep bottles of liquor in your house and expect it to all turn out fine. If you know that your weak link is nutrition, pass on that tub of ice cream or bucket of popcorn when you are at the grocery store. Having it in your house is a set up for disappointment.
Remind Yourself of Your Goals
Many people try to use guilt to keep themselves true to their nutrition goals. The problem is that this creates a negative mindset…this negativity can cloud your judgment, lead to negative self talk, and ironically cause you to eat poorly. If you adopt a negative mindset regarding food, then all you will think about is what you can’t have rather than enjoying the results of your hard work and the foods that are good for you. Instead of worrying about guilt and focusing on the negative, remind yourself of why you should be eating healthy. Focus on the positives, like the progress you have made and your fitness goals rather than the things you “can’t have.”
A friend of mine occasionally says “moderation in everything, including and sometimes especially moderation.” If you had a crappy day at work, it’s probably not time to break out the Oreos and wine just yet. (see the first two points) But when you are at a wedding reception, or out with friends you haven’t seen in ages…RELAX! No one is good 100% of the time. Trying to be will increase your stress and ultimately make you unhappy. Being unhappy is often a trigger for unhealthy eating. Remember that a healthy body looks much better when it houses a healthy mind. It isn’t worth it to become orthorexic in your pursuit, and it certainly inhibits your ability to enjoy your hard work when you are worrying about every morsel you put in your mouth.
This one will seem exceptionally obvious to some but it is definitely a point that needs to be made. Habits and mindsets can be trained just like the body. I have found that one of the best ways to avoid emotional eating is to change your coping mechanisms. Try this, when you have the urge to reach for a candy bar or a drink, make yourself go for a jog instead. If you don’t like running, go hit the weights or a boxing class at the gym. Do something active to release your stress and negative emotions. You will boost endorphins, improve your self confidence, and relieve your stress in one go. Eventually this will become your go-to strategy for dealing with negative emotions and your new healthier habit will repay you exponentially.
So there it is. Keep out the negative influences and temptations, focus on the positives of your health and goals rather than the things you feel like you can’t have, and be good most of the time but make sure that you enjoy life as well. Change your mind and your habits…everything else will fall in line.