If that sounds like you, the 30-Day Emotional Eating Challenge may be just the thing that you need. It provides you with day-by-day steps that will help you finally get a handle on your emotional eating. Awareness is always the first step which is why this challenge will help you become aware of why you’re emotionally eating, to begin with. Through awareness, reflection and mindfulness you’ll begin to be able to view food differently. This challenge will allow you to learn to eat without distraction, know when to stop eating, and find other ways to soothe your emotions that don’t involve food.
In this Challenge, you'll learn what is really driving you to eat emotionally, what underlies your food cravings, how to bring awareness into the experience of eating, and how to be more mindful of food & your body. With simple daily practices and reflection, you’ll realize that it’s not about food. It’s about how you have used food to numb, avoid, self-soothe, or self-medicate in coping with stress and unresolved emotions. Transform how you view food day-by-day in the 30-Day Emotional Eating Challenge.
- A note from Jenna
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Hi! I’m Jenna. A born-and-raised farm girl with nothing more than a passion and a dream to help others find freedom from food, as an Emotional Eating Coach. Using food as comfort has been my fallback my entire life and I have struggled with obesity because of an unhealthy relationship with food. When I graduated university with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 2010, my weight had climbed to 295 pounds. The day I stepped on the scale and saw that number staring back at me was a turning point in my life. I developed the tools to help me get out of my vicious cycle and finally gain my health back. I no longer turned to food for comfort and found other healthy modalities that helped me deal with my severe depression. Through my formal education and experience, I believe nutrient-dense foods are the key to optimal health. Nurturing the body starts with whole food. But I also believe it’s not about the food. How we view food and our relationships towards food is the bigger issue. The harder issue, the issue that people shy away. Keeping the weight off for 5 years isn’t because nutrition became my passion, but because I learned to have a healthy relationship with food.
This challenge was created for you if you use food to comfort, numb or avoid your emotions.
First off, what exactly is emotional eating?
Emotional Eating is defined as consuming large quantities of food in response to feelings instead of hunger or overeating in order to relieve negative emotions. Or as I like to call it, the act of eating one’s feelings.
In short, I was afraid of feeling dark emotions, so I didn’t let myself feel the good either. It was a difficult road to allow myself to feel again. And like most things, it got worse before it got better. But such is healing.
You may have heard me talk about emotional eating before and you weren’t quite sure where you stood on the subject. I think many people do use food to comfort to some degree and it's more of a spectrum than black-or-white thinking. I think emotional eating has become common and socially acceptable, in one regard, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. And many of us don’t fully realize the extent to which our emotions can impact our eating habits.
Here are 5 signs that you may be an Emotional Eater.
1. You have a deep need to eat very specific foods.
Often times the desire to comfort an emotion with food is linked to a very specific food or type of food that provides you with the comfort that you seek. I think we can all relate to that image of being halfway through a tub of ice cream after a break-up. Think about foods you crave regularly, is there an emotional pattern to them?
“Specific cravings are often linked to experiences of those foods in our past. People who were offered ice cream as a distraction when upset, or have positive associations of ice cream in the past, are more likely to crave it in the here and now.” – Jen Bateman
2. You eat when you’re not physically hungry and have no control around food.
That maybe after just eating a meal and you continue to eat long after you could have stopped. Your drive to eat may feel as if it’s taken on a life of its own and you may even go out of your way to just to get food even though you’re not physically hungry. If you feel like you never get full it may be a sign that you don’t feel fulfilled in your life and that you are using food as a placeholder. You may also be feeling disconnected from your body and unaware of what your hunger and fullness cues actually are since you’ve been overriding them for so long. In that case, check out my blog on How to Follow Your Hunger Cues.
3. You feel guilty about eating.
Even if you don’t know what triggered you to emotionally eat, your brain and body are aware of what happened. If you feel guilty or ashamed after you’ve eaten a meal, it’s a red flag that you’re eating emotionally. I suggest you check out my blog on 5 Proven Methods to End Food Guilt.
4. You eat in response to your emotions and seek solace in food.
If you were just triggered emotionally (you don’t even need to understand it) and you immediately seek out food, you’re avoiding feeling the emotion present. For many, this reaction has become so embedded in the subconscious that it becomes an automatic response whenever you experience an emotion. Food provides you comfort at that moment. Awareness is the first step to changing this pattern. I suggest starting to get curious about what is happening in your body and asking yourself what emotion you are experiencing. Click here to download a feelings wheel to help you better understand which emotion may be present.
5. You eat quickly.
Emotional eating often happens quite fast because it’s uncomfortable for us to address our emotions present so we seek food and we seek it quickly as a comforting distraction. Slowing down your meal and becoming present forces you to witness what is actually going on. I am a huge fan of practicing Mindful Eating because it allows us to create awareness and slow down how quickly we are eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you’re full, which is why slowing down is so helpful!
I know in my experience I used food to cope with every emotion that I could, or should I say avoid every emotion that I could. It didn’t matter what came up, I stuffed myself with food in an attempt to feel nothing but the pain in my stomach from overeating.
If that sounds like you, now is the time to enroll in the 30-Day Emotional Eating Challenge!