I have often caught myself in the pantry having one of those “oh well I’ve already fucked up my day” kind of moments and before I could blink I have binged on everything in sight (including those stale cookies in the back shelf that should have been binned months ago)
Unawareness, according to Pshychology Today , is one of the common contributing factors to emotional eating. ” Emotional eating can be a direct result of not being conscious of what or why you’re eating. “ Unconscious eating or eating amnesia may be used as a way to avoid uncomfortable feelings , anxiety, unhappiness or in my case loneliness (one of my triggers was being at home alone when my hubby went on business trips) .
If we want to stop emotional eating we need to bring awareness to our behavior around food and while eating, whether this is eating an almond or raging through a bag of chips. During my emotional eating recovery process I had to create awareness around my thoughts, emotions and behavior, using a very specific system. I call it the S. T.O.P method.
What is the S.T.O.P method exactly? It’s an acronym for 4 stages of creating awareness around food and emotional eating.
S. Slow down
Emotional eating is a very quick action that happens on impulse. When we slow down we are able to make better assessment of what’s going on for us I that moment!
T. Take a deep breath
Deep breathing helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. If we operate from a calm frame of mind, we can make rational decisions which is exactly what we meed in order to talk ourselves out of the fridge and pantry.
Observe your situation, find out what’s really going on! Am I hungry? What am I feeling? Where am I feeling this? What are my thoughts telling me? Are these thoughts true or false? Will eating resolve this feeling? What else do I need in this moment?
Take action from a rational, calm space. If you are hungry then eat, but eat slowly and mindfully, if you are feeling an emotion, then feel it until it passes!
All this sounds easy but can be a lot to take in, and it takes time to pit into practice in the heat of your urges! So of you don’t get it right straight away, show yourself compassion and keep practicing S.T.O.P!
If you are serious to get some help with emotional eating and finding food freedom, book a free call with me so we can map out how I can help you!