Emotional Eating Therapy: The Better Way to Feed Your Feelings
We all know what it’s like: a heated argument with a significant other has you standing beside the fridge with a pint of ice cream in hand. A stressful day at work ends with a big bowl of popcorn on the couch. You are sure that the delicious snacks will help elevate your mood or at least provide some comfort, and that may temporarily be the case. But eating in order to cope with difficult emotions is definitely not a healthy habit to indulge. It’s not great for our bodies and it’s not great for our minds. Let’s find out why, and how to stop emotional eating. Emotional eating therapy can be the answer!
Am I an emotional eater?
There are a few signs that you use food as a way to cope with your strong emotions. For example, if you do not feel that you can control your eating around certain foods, it indicates emotional eating. Likewise, if you feel like you want to eat when you are experiencing difficult emotions, or when you aren’t physically hungry, you may be an emotional eater. Another important sign that you are psychologically triggered by food is that you use food as a reward or a calming agent.
Emotional Eating Therapy
It’s important to identify the triggers that cause emotional eating. It’s also vital to discover ways to emotionally regulate that lend themselves to a happy, healthy life. Emotional eating therapy with a trained counsellor can be transformative. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are two examples of therapies that can be used to treat disordered eating.
Emotional eating therapy helps to increase your emotional awareness and helps you practice self-compassion and understanding. This therapy can address your relationship with food, identifying eating patterns and beliefs about food and your body. Once triggers and patterns have been identified, a toolkit of strategies can be implemented for you to pull out when you might normally reach for a snack.
What are some strategies that will get me started?
Some helpful strategies include:
- Eat mindfully. At meal times, take your time and be aware of the taste and texture of the food. Put down your fork between bites. This helps you avoid over-eating and keeps you in the moment of enjoying your meal.
- Plan for difficult times. If you know a stressful period of time is coming up, plan your meals ahead of time. Schedule your meals so you don’t become famished. Stock up on healthy foods.
- Start a new hobby or class that interests you. Find a way to de-stress with something pleasurable to look forward to.
- Find someone to talk to who will listen to you with empathy and without judgment.
Call Us Today
If you are concerned about emotional eating and would like to talk to someone, give us a call. We are a fully integrated clinic in North Vancouver, BC, and we can help. Count on a safe, supportive space with professionally registered clinical counsellors. Reach out for a consultation today.