Although a principle of Intuitive Eating is to “cope with emotions without using food”, emotionally eating can be completely OK!
Download this handout to find out the top 10 mistakes you’re making with Intuitive Eating and how to fix them.
Why do people experience emotional eating?
How to stop emotional eating
First things first: Identify the underlying issue(s)
If you’re feeling emotional and moody because you’re hungry, then YES, eating is 150% warranted. Hunger can sometimes get confused for emotional eating. For example, if someone is not eating enough food throughout the day, they can come home with a strong urge to eat. Once they eat, the diet culture voice in their head labels it as emotional eating which in turns creates internal judgement and feelings of guilt. If you think you are not eating enough during the day, try adding a couple of snacks to see if that helps. If that doesn’t work, then there may be a different issue.
Stress can also be an underlying issue of emotional eating. Stress has many physical and mental health impacts. It can cause hormone imbalances and is linked to many chronic health conditions. It’s important to take care of yourself and practice stress-management strategies. If food is causing you stress, that needs to be worked through first because your relationship with your food and body can cause more stress.
Three ways to cope with your emotions (without using food)
- Getting enough sleep
- Playing with pets
- Getting a massage
- Taking a bath
- Buying yourself flowers
- What am I feeling right now?
- What do I really need at this moment to deal with my current feelings?
- How can I fulfil this need and this feeling?
3.Boredom & Preoccupation
Finding an activity will help keep you preoccupied and can give you joy, comfort, and rest. Try:
- Watching a movie or TV show
- Reading a book
- Working on home projects
- Calling a friend
- Going for a walk
And sometimes, we need help. It’s okay to ask for help, my friend. I’m here for you.
If you are trying out or learning about Intuitive Eating to help you with the emotional eating struggles you’ve carried – make sure you download the handout below to identify key mistakes to be weary of when you’re new to implementing Intuitive Eating.
Are You Struggling with Intuitive Eating?
This blog was written with the help of UBC Dietetic student, Celine Koppenaal.
The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Available from: https://www.amazon.ca/Intuitive-Eating-Workbook-Principles-Relationship/dp/1626256225
Feeling Wheel (accessed on Aug. 17, 2020). Available from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Feeling_Wheel.png