Are you determined to figure out how to stop emotional eating or overeating? The truth is, making a plan for what you’re going to eat from now on only goes so far. In fact, sometimes it won’t even get you past the plate of cookies your colleague left in the break room. Saying no to food is not always simple.
I’m willing to bet that you probably aren’t short on willpower either. Look at all the discipline you show in the rest of your life – the things you do that you don’t really want to, the challenges you take on, the hard stuff that you make happen.
Truth: for most smart, busy women, overeating includes a fair amount of emotional eating and focusing on food alone isn’t going to fix the problem. Neither is telling yourself you just need to be stronger and conjure up more willpower.
Truth: women are busier, more stressed, and more overwhelmed than ever and we’re heavily influenced to use food for a multitude of reasons that have nothing to do with fuel.
Stress eating, comfort eating, eating because we are exhausted or have feelings we don’t know how to cope with, limited time and energy, and overwhelm all fuel the overeating fire. No food plan in the world addresses these triggers to overeat.
So stop feeling guilty for not being stronger. Here’s a recipe for success you can actually live with.
7 steps to end overeating – How to stop emotional eating without relying on willpower or going hungry
- Stop blaming yourself for past failures with weight loss. Instead of being angry with yourself, focus on generating curiosity about what’s going on.
- Pay attention to why and when you overeat. There’s always a reason and it’s NOT because you are weak or lazy.
- Ask yourself what you are really hungry for. What are you craving that isn’t fuel for your body? We often eat for stress relief, a reward, a way to go numb or avoid something, anxiety, or even boredom.
- Examine the reasons that your past attempts have failed. What did you need (support, accountability, more motivation, more strategies and tools) that the plan didn’t provide?
- Create new ways to feed yourself that don’t involve eating. Pay attention to what triggers you to reach for the bag of chips and address stress, boredom, or your need for a treat in ways that aren’t food (and that ultimately work better).
- Start focusing on where you want to go and stop beating yourself up for where you are. Design rewards for milestones achieved and create goals that put a smile on your face. Consider why you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, or be healthier. What amazing fun things do you want to do?
- Tweak and adjust. You won’t get it perfect and that’s to be expected. Learn from what works and what doesn’t and keep moving forward. Pay attention to the places you feel stuck. If your problem is not knowing how to manage stress (for instance), focusing on finding the perfect food plan won’t fix your overeating problem.
If you’ve been less than successful with overeating lately, what’s been getting in the way of your good intentions? What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to eating the way you’ve set out to eat? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Take good care,