About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Emotional Eating

For most people eating is a pleasurable experience. When we are stressed, eating can be a quick and easy way to feel better, at least temporarily. Eating when you are not hungry can lead to overeating or eating "treat" foods too often. This comes to mind for me because I have had a rather stressful week. I can usually avoid picking on tempting foods. This week with an abundance of cake at my internship combined with a super stressful week, it found myself eating chocolate cake much more often than usual! This weekend it back on the wagon for me, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about ways to help cope with emotions other ways:
  • Take a walk or go for a bike ride
  • Call a friend
  • Take a hot bath
  • Paint your nails (hard to eat with wet nails!)
  • Engage in relaxing techniques such as mediation or yoga
  • Journal your feelings
  • Have a cup of hot herbal tea
  • Chew a piece of gum
  • Listen to music, dance around the room if you feel like it!
  • Work on a house project, clean out a closet or organize old pictures
Other strategies:
  • It is also helps if you don't keep a stock pile of tempting foods at your house. Pick one favorite treat to keep at home and eat it in moderation. 
  • If you are having a very strong craving, have a little bit of whatever food you want. Eat it slowly and enjoy each bite. 
  • If emotional eating is something that you do often, it might help for you to keep a journal of what you eat, noting how hungry you were when you ate it and what feelings you were experiencing at that time. This can help you recognize patterns. Then come up with a different way to cope when you notice those feelings. 
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to cope with your feelings other than with food. If emotional eating is a problem that is interfering with daily life or is affecting your health, find a local support group or counselor to help you.

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