Updated: Mar 6
Silly question? We all are emotional eaters on some level!😆 What we choose to eat and drink has an ENORMOUS effect on our body, our brain, and our future choices... not just day-to-day, but minute-to-minute! This is one of the BIG EYE OPENERS in ACCELERATOR right: What I eat NOW directly affects what I choose to eat in 2 hours and in 48 hours!! 🤯
Nutritious foods help build us up, while junk foods destroy us. This is NOT me being overly dramatic! WE LITERALLY ARE WHAT WE CHOOSE TO EAT and DRINK OVER AND OVER! But beyond the basics of recognizing the PHYSICAL effects of the foods we choose, we MUST recognize the mental and emotional effects of our choices are EVEN LARGER.
We've all noticed the UPTICK in psychiatric disease all around us and many of us are STILL NOT CONNECTING THE DOTS that POOR NUTRITION leads directly to poor brain health including anxiety, depression, moodiness, etc and creates the set up for lack of motivation🥱, decreased productivity 😖, short fuses 😠, violence (HANGAR gone wild😲), and even suicide😔!
(Did you know that low carb diets are now being fed to inpatient psychiatric patients and producing CURES WITHOUT ANY RISK TO THE PATIENT!!🤯🤯🤯 I digress......but seriously, listen to this when you have time: https://www.chrispalmermd.com/low-carb-md-podcast-treating-schizophrenia-with-lifestyle-with-dr-chris-palmer/)
All EMERGENCY HEALTH FIX Programs include support for the WHOLE BODY TRANSFORMATION that begins with better eating. By day 5, you are already CHANGING inside and out!!! But the overall journey and transformation continues for months and years! So... if you are someone who plans on just IGNORING your emotional connection to food WHILE YOU'RE IN THE PROGRAM... you are destined to FAIL long term! Like I said, we are all EMOTIONAL EATERS and the program does not change this.
The only REAL question you need to ask yourself is
JUST HOW MUCH of an EMOTIONAL EATER ARE YOU?
In other words, how much do YOU personally rely on FOOD to get your through your every day, night, mood, or situation?
These are the types of questions we discuss with the EHFix LIVE Team daily at noon on the app and come together to discuss once weekly on ZOOM! Sign up for the EXTRA support you need and gain access to all the recorded discussions! https://www.emergencyhealthfix.com/product-page/ehfix-live-monthly-subscription
It's ok to just read along and listen😊. Here's what we learned together about EMOTIONAL EATING:
It turns out there is a very fine line between feeling good about what you're eating and simply EATING TO FEEL GOOD.
First of all, not all EMOTIONAL DRINKING and EATING is inappropriate! Celebrating a birthday with cake, a new job with a round of drinks, or sharing in comfort foods while grieving together are all examples of NORMAL emotional eating. These things are not expected to become HABITUAL, EVERYDAY fall backs. When we find our way to eating unhealthy EVERY SINGLE DAY or any predictable pattern that is often, we have developed an unhealthy form of EMOTIONAL EATING.
This UNHEALTHY FORM OF EMOTIONAL EATING is a sort of uncontrolled or conditioned eating used to find COMFORT. It is a REACTIVE, rather than PROACTIVE way of eating. Eating in uncomfortable situations in order to SELF SOOTHE is often learned from our parents, but can become a COPING MECHANISM we adopt at any age to give us the feeling of control.
Step 1 for unraveling your unhealthy emotional eating/drinking behavior is to RECOGNIZE IT! This may be the MOST DIFFICULT part. Asking yourself some simple questions about your food/drink MAY HELP YOU IDENTIFY an unhealthy pattern of coping:
Do you feel guilt or shame when eating or drinking?
Does eating or drinking make you feel happy, followed immediately by unhappiness or increased stress?
Is your eating/drinking behavior something you’re hiding?
Do you keep food/drink on hand just in case of emotional emergencies?
Is there a food/drink in your cabinet or refrigerator you are sneaking around to eat?
Do you hide this food or drink from other people?
Step 2 is UNDERSTANDING what feeling makes you react. Thinking about when and where you may turn to food and drink for comfort is helpful. We can be uncomfortable in a variety of situations, while experiencing a variety of emotions. Looking at a FEELINGS WHEEL can help us understand some of our most basic emotions and help us DELVE DEEPER into WHAT EXACTLY is making us uncomfortable in our own skin.
Food and drink have the power to make us feel different in different situations. They can calm our anxiety or fear. They can make us feel more confident when we feel awkward. They can take the focus off of us if we choose or throw us into the spotlight when we wish. They can be used to fill the void of boredom and can become the friend holding our hand when we are lonely. Journaling about your emotions can be helpful in identifying a problem. You may be able to pick out a recurring theme when you write down your day-to-day thoughts about how you felt and how you reacted.
Once you identify the feeling(s) you are uncomfortable with, it's important to recognize, it’s not the feeling itself that is the problem, but how you choose to deal with it. It's ok to have feelings. It's not ok if your only coping mechanism for dealing with your feelings is DEVOURING THEM!
Step 3: instead of using food to soothe your feelings in any situation, simply ask yourself WHAT DO I NEED? If you are not going to give yourself the choice of falling into a wine bottle or an ice-cream bucket, what then? WHAT CAN YOU DO? When you decide to stop eating/drinking/baking to manage stressful situations and uncomfortable moments, it is NECESSARY to develop OTHER coping mechanisms. Without creating new habits, that include NEW, alternative coping mechanisms, your new lifestyle is doomed to fail.
The Emergency Health Fix LIVE Team created this sample table of feelings on the left and potential coping mechanisms that don't include food/drink on the right :
STRESS Exercise, yoga
ANXIETY Talk to a friend/counselor
INSECURITY Picture the room naked
SADNESS Relive happy memories, plan an adventure
NERVOUSNESS Regular meditation
BOREDOM Find a new hobby- reading, painting, knitting, photography, etc
LONELINESS call a friend or family member, get a pet
ISOLATED volunteer, join an interest, religious, or community group
ANGRY Exercise, boxing, weight lifting
HELPLESS Ask for help! Turn to prayer or meditation.
Here are some of the EXTRA PEARLS about EMOTIONAL EATING found scattered throughout my Emergency Health Fix Programs:
(1) Snacking is always emotional. When you feel the need to snack, try putting something in your mouth that has no calories, drink a glass of water, or simply distract yourself with the opposite type of activity. If you were sitting at a desk, get up and go for a walk. If you were exercising, lay down for a nice stretch. If you were crunching numbers, lay your head down and close your eyes briefly.
(2)Don't be INFLEXIBLE with your low carb diet. An inflexible diet can make us feel stressed. As a low carb eater, you are not trapped! In the beginning, your low carb diet may feel totally uncomfortable or unfamiliar which makes you more likely to rail against it by just quitting! ANY COMPLETE RESTRICTION will lead us to have increased desire. I never wanted alcohol more than when I was pregnant! Give yourself permission to eat carbs randomly, don’t be inflexible. Pregnant ladies out there: put a spoonful on wine in your seltzer! Instant wine spritzer! Your welcome!
(3)Too much exercise creates stress. Particularly for those of us who do not have a natural love or desire for exercise and have never created this habit. Trying to change too many things about the core of who you are at the start can increase discomfort and lead to increased emotional eating. Not to mention, exercise increases hunger. In the beginning, we are working hard to understand hunger. Focus on the eating first! You'll know when you are ready to add exercise. Daily walking is EXCELLENT exercise! You don't NEED to do more!
(4)Recognize when you need additional help! If you are in a BAD situation that is unlikely to get better (a bad marriage, a terrible job, dealing with permanent disability, etc), don't count on simple dietary change or the perfect body to solve your problems. You need much bigger and better global support. Having a healthy mind and body will certainly help you manage any number of difficult situations, but some of us need a whole host of professionals and loved ones to support us in this life. Do not remain silent and alone if your situation, your feelings, or your way of coping is not improving!
The change to a low-carb lifestyle supported by Emergency Health Fix Programing can be a very emotionally taxing process overall. Participants learn the practical ways to begin (ACCELERATOR), persist with (EVOLUTION), and finally perfect (MOMENTUM) the art of low carb living. Along the way, we are called upon to rethink the foundation of what we know about the foods we eat, along with when and why we eat, and who exactly is influencing our choices. Life continues to happen as we learn and change and come to understand our actual needs versus our perceived needs. Our own identity, confidence, and self worth change many times over in the process. And THEN we have the whole family to change😂
MORE ABOUT LIVE TEAM SUPPORT:
Emergency Health Fix Programs provide the TOOLS to help you navigate your everchanging needs in your own personal emotional landscape. Each program touches upon this concept of Emotional Eating and finding things other than food that bring you joy. If you feel you need MORE SUPPORT for staying on track day-to-day, join the EHFix LIVE Team of VIP members! LIVE team members can reach out to each other for support through the app at ANY time! Whether you need some advice for a party, partner support for a fast, or just want to share a new great recipe with friends who APPRECIATE YOUR LOW CARB CHOICES, LIVE TEAM members can support you EMOTIONALLY!
Many of us have great expertise with managing all kinds of situations. LIVE team members have the opportunity to learn from and communicate with Dr. Erin everyday and meet on Zoom with her once weekly. Zoom sessions are recorded for review at any time. Some join the LIVE team just to gain access to the hundreds of hours of EHFix podcasts hidden on the EHFix YouTube channel. The LIVE team also has access to the hidden VIP suite of resources on the EHFix website including countless connections for more education and support. Membership is immediate upon sign up. Here's the link if you are interested: https://www.emergencyhealthfix.com/product-page/ehfix-live-monthly-subscription
Also, did you know EHFix PACKAGE DEALS often INCLUDE LIVE TEAM MEMBERSHIP?? Check it out: https://www.emergencyhealthfix.com/plans-pricing
Sometimes just being a part of something bigger than yourself for support is all you need!
REMEMBER: Food is fuel, not therapy!