Can’t stop stress eating?
You’re not alone.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard patients tell me that they’re doing everything right on their diet, but then stress hits and they can’t stop themselves from eating all the carbs.
When you do this you end up feeling even worse.
Your body feels lousy and you hate yourself for sabotaging everything you’ve been working towards.
This makes you want to punish yourself by being stricter with your food, which leads to more stress, and eventually more stress eating.
It’s a vicious cycle, and can be beyond frustrating.
Sometimes it feels like you’ll never be able to lose weight or reach your health goals because you just keep sabotaging yourself by stress eating.
Why does stress eating even happen if you want the exact opposite?
From a Chinese medicine standpoint, your stomach is related to your home.
It’s where your sense of security and groundedness stem from.
And when you’re stressed, you never feel grounded or secure.
Stress, at its core, is a form of fear.
Fear that things aren’t good enough the way they are.
That YOU’RE not good enough the way you are.
And that bad things’ll happen in the future if something isn’t done about this situation right now.
This fear makes you want to take action (like going on a diet) so you can feel like you’re in control of your future security.
You’re hoping for a sense of groundedness, and ultimately, happiness.
But are you really happy when you’re on a diet?
Maybe, for a little while.
But you’re not actually in control at all.
And if stress eating keeps being an issue for you then your diet isn’t giving you what you really want.
And what is it that you really want?
It isn’t just to be skinny or healthy.
Underneath your desire to be skinny/healthy/attractive is a craving for that sense of security and groundeness, which again, is housed in your stomach.
What this all comes down to is that even though you’re trying to get yourself to feel more secure by going on a diet, you’re actually making yourself feel the exact opposite.
Because any diet that makes foods off-limits is restricting your access to satisfaction.
And satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with a sense of security.
So how can you stop stress eating?
Well, stress-management is a good idea for sure.
But if you’re stress eating, you’ve also got to take a good, hard, honest look at your relationship with food.
A healthy relationship with food is one that involves no guilt whatsoever.
Its when you’re totally aware of how different foods make you feel, on both physical and emotional levels, and you feel fully in control and empowered by the food choices you make.
A healthy relationship with food is when you feel satisfied.
So here’s a good place to start if you want to get off the stress-eating train:
Let yourself eat whatever the fudge you want.
And no, you won’t make your scale break if you do this, (but you might want to think about breaking your scale anyway, it isn’t doing you any favors sister!)
What you will do is free yourself from the unhappy (and counterproductive) cycle of dieting and stress eating.
Pay attention to how foods make you feel, on physical and emotional levels.
Let yourself experiment, and try to release judgement and fear.
ENJOY the process.
And let yourself save the rest of the donut for later if you notice that it’s not doing it for you after a few bites (even if the first 3 bites were the best thing ever.)
Really savor your food, and prioritize the things that make you feel good (on any level).
When you do this, you’ll have accomplished the first step to eating intuitively.
You’ll lose weight easily, without dieting.
And you’ll no longer carry the guilt of stress eating.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What’s your experience with dieting?
Leave a comment, I’d love to know!
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• Lose weight without dieting
• Stop stress eating and obsessing over food
• And finally feel good in your body so you can get on with your life
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