This is so simple it's ridiculous. Years of fighting emotional eating and it's come to this. Let me save you from hours and hours of research, starting over, giving up, and guilt. Let me let you in on what's helped me, and we'll see if it works for you. I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I am not an expert! I am just someone who's been where you're at!
See, I completed the 3-Day Refresh recently. You can read my honest thoughts & review on it here.
A lot of my friends who did the Refresh barely struggled. But I did. The reason? I STILL was struggling with emotional eating before I started it!
So I got through the 3 days to really prove to myself that food did NOT have control over me anymore. This was truly a new start, a fresh slate!
But today I'm going to share just ONE simple, yet incredibly important step that you can take towards fighting emotional eating. Something that I learned through those 3 days:
Instead of thinking about what you can't EAT - start thinking first about the timing of your meals and about TIMING control, not just food control!
See, during this thing, I wasn't thinking about what I COULDN'T eat. I was thinking WHEN can I eat what I CAN have? Talk about a shift in mindset!
I've always been a grazer - well, since my little guy was born anyways. I stress eat, I eat when I'm bored, sad, frustrated, hurt, angry, you name it, I eat that emotion!
I was so focused on "I CAN'T eat bread" and "I CAN'T eat sweets" and "I CAN'T eat salty stuff" before the Refresh that it was just causing me to eat more. Then I experienced massive guilt.
You with me?
Why do we get into this ugly cycle of eating and eating and not being able to stop, and hating ourselves but continuing to do the same thing?
You know what the definition of insanity is, right?
"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"
So here's what the Refresh taught me: I ate food (yes, real food!) on the Refresh. But it had to be at certain times. You couldn't have tea with your breakfast, you had it an hour or more AFTER. You couldn't graze on your lunch, you had to actually prepare it, and eat it!
So the first step: PUT DOWN THE SPOON when you're making breakfast/lunch/dinner. Do NOT eat a bite of food until it is time to actually EAT.
This may sound easy, but man it is NOT! Especially if you're like me, and always want something to munch on!
Every night before hubby gets home when I'm making dinner, this is what I have done. I have snacked on the food while it's cooking, after it's done but before it makes it to the plates, and then when it's time to actually eat, I put only a little on my plate but it's too late! I've already eaten too much to begin with!
Put the fork down!
WAIT until everything is completely done, even if you think you're starving.
Then once it's on your PLATE (commit to this! No forks over pans!), sit down, enjoy it, and eat ONLY what's on your plate (this does not mean heaping it up because I said this, that won't work).
This may seem like complete common sense to some of you, and that's ok - to be honest, you're not the person this is directed towards. This is for the person, like myself, who struggles with nonstop eating throughout the day.
Space your meals 2 - 3 hours apart, yes we've all heard that - but also commit to not taking that first bite at EVERY meal until your meal is 100% READY for you!
Give it a shot and leave me feedback if this works for you and subscribe to this blog for more tips on beating emotional eating!
If you struggle with willpower, let me also give you a new thought as well: think about your big WHY-POWER. Willpower won't cut it. Why do you need to break this painful cycle? For your kids? For your physical and mental health? Make it BIG, make it IMPORTANT, PRAY for strength, and keep a visual of your why-power so it's a constant reminder to you!