Before everything in our lives came to a grinding halt, with our perspectives on life changing, priorities shifting, and stress taking over, the topic I was addressing for the month of march was focused around “Intuitive Eating”.  

After reviewing it, in essence, I realize that it does in fact pertain to what a lot of people are calling or messaging me about.  And so, I have changed up a few things to make it a touch more relevant, and at the same time contribute to lightening things up during this time; one of my goals as I mentioned in my earlier video posts and email.  We need a little bit of everything as move through the next days, weeks, and months…

Back to the topic of Intuitive Eating and Emotional Eating…

Can you think back to a time when you were having a really rough day at the work?  Or maybe that is you now if you are working on the front lines or in an “allowed to be open” business. 

And when it was finally time to go home, all you could think about was how awesome it was going to be to finally sit on the couch or lie in your bed …

… with a bag or bowl of your favourite snack?  

NO JUDGMENT!  

We have ALL been there!

Emotional eating is a real “thing” for a lot of us. And, it only makes sense, because since the day we were born, we’ve used food for more than just our physical nourishment.

Food is an important part of our holidays and celebrations. It can help define our family heritage. And it obviously comforts and nurtures us.

So it makes sense that we use it to soothe our emotions when we are feeling down. (Or even “up.”)

Being aware of all of that is a big part of intuitive eating.

When you observe your patterns and habits, you can be more intentional in your choices instead of falling back into bad habits and old patterns.  And during this time, when stress and uncertainly is high, people are seeking even more comfort from food, and find themselves creating new habits around food that are far from ideal

You can actually have control over what you eat,

vs. it controlling you.

Why do we eat when we feel down?

This is a complicated topic, but negative feelings can leave you feeling empty or disconnected – as if there’s a “big hole” or “void” inside of you. And that feeling is uncomfortable.

So one thing we do is eat to try to “fill it”.  We try to fill that uncomfortable feeling with food so we can feel better.  And it does help, but only for a very short while, and then we often start actually feeling worst. Can you relate to what I am talking about here? 

Here are some hallmarks of emotional hunger:

  1. The hunger comes on quickly.

  2. You are only craving certain kinds of foods.

  3. You don’t feel full, even if you’ve eaten a lot.

  4. You feel guilty or have regret later.

Over time, emotional eating can turn into a pattern or habit, so you don’t even know you’re doing it.

If you want to get a handle on your emotional eating, and I highly suggest you make an effort here during this time before creating a pattern or habit that will be more difficult to step away from the longer you do it, I have a few tips.

Tips to get a handle on emotional eating (if this is happening to you):

1. When you feel like eating, ask yourself WHY. Are you truly hungry, or are you feeling stressed, bored, sad, lonely, or angry?

2. If you’re not physically hungry, shift your mindset. Take a break and do something different: go for a walk, journal, take a bath, reach out to a friend or supportive family member (maybe even make a phone call!), or do something creative.

3. Be gentle with yourself and congratulate yourself on noticing your patterns!  This is where you can start to shift your patterns and habits.  Awareness is that first important step!

Remember – this is not about “bad” or “good.” It’s about embracing health and listening to your body’s true needs.

Live today with intention. Repeat tomorrow.

 

 

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About the Author: Christina Della Rocca, n.d.

Christina Della Rocca is a multi-disciplinary Health Coach with over 20 years of experience in the fields of health, fitness, and wellness.

One of Montreal’s leading wellness professionals, Christina has been featured on Montreal AM live, RDS television, CHOM FM, CJAD, Mountain City Rock, and Trends Magazine.  Founder and Director of EXERCISE PLUS A Wellness Company that brings health & Fitness programs to companies in and around the Montreal area., Christina is a leading Corporate Wellness Specialist.