Many of us have complicated relationships with food; I know I do. I recovered from anorexia after my divorce, and I still have a complicated relationship with food and continue to work with a health coach. Giving up your favorite food can be difficult, as well as quite emotional. Developing healthy eating habits is an overwhelming task for most people, but it can be done. One way to help is by creating new habits to stop stress eating and boredom snacking. Check out these tips.
The first step to ending emotional eating is to become aware of it. Knowing when you reach for food based on how you feel or if you’re bored can clue you into patterns. Recognizing your triggers and typical actions is key to creating better responses. You can use a food diary to track your eating habits. This diary can be as simple as a log with pen and paper or you can opt for an electronic version through an app.
Having substitutions on hand for your favorite unhealthy go-to snacks is vital when you want to change your eating habits. These shouldn’t be just any substitutions, though. The trick to making it stick is to choose something you would actually enjoy eating. Create a list of healthy alternative snacks that you enjoy and stock up on them for when you have a craving. Take an extra step to make your new snack choices convenient so you can just grab them on the go. Prepare fruits and veggies into snack size bags or containers. You can also consider buying pre-packaged snacks to make the process easier.
Find ways to distract yourself from eating, especially during those times when you’re bored. Have a list of alternate activities such as going for a walk, calling a friend, running an errand, or even completing a project you’ve been putting off. Anything that keeps you from grabbing that unhealthy snack is good.
Mindfulness training helps you to be more aware and in the moment. It can aid in noting your triggers and understanding your unhealthy eating patterns. You can learn mindfulness meditation through apps or YouTube videos (A House With Four Rooms offers an online course: Developing a Meditation Practice) . They’re quite easy to follow along. Taking a class in-person would be great, too.
Look for Support
Finding support to be your cheerleader during times of temptation is also quite helpful toward ending emotional eating patterns. Make a habit of calling a friend or turning to an online support network when you’re struggling. You don’t have to go it alone. This is a good time to join our VIP Waitlist for A Pilgrimage to Self Lifestyle Coaching Membership at www.ahousewithfourrooms.com.
Use these suggestions to help you create new habits that break the patterns involved in stress eating and boredom snacking. Once you recognize your own triggers and patterns, you can address them.
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