Sometimes, especially when we are trying to lose weight, we might just eat out of boredom rather than true hunger. We have also made a relationship between certain emotions and eating or drinking. As a health coach, it’s part of my job to help clients come up with strategies to keep them on track so they can reach their goals. It is hard to stay on your mission when ‘life’ happens, and we have developed responses to those events. I call those X’s and Y’s. “X” happens and we eat or drink “Y”. You feel sad, so you go to the refrigerator and eat ice cream. You are anxious, so you eat chocolate. You are mad so you crack a bottle of wine. There are many examples like this. I teach people to find some “Z’s”. “Z’s” are other things you can do in that moment besides sabotage your efforts towards your weight and health goals.
Here is a list of 10 things you can do to stay on course:
- Take a walk.
- Paint your nails or get a manicure.
- Drink some hot tea or hot broth.
- Reorganize something (drawer, closet, papers etc.).
- Take a hot bath with some essential oils or Epsom salts.
- Call a friend or family member.
- Meditate or pray.
- Go get a massage.
- Get in the kitchen and cook something healthy and tasty.
- Do something creative (paint, draw, crochet, knit, build etc.)
There are many diets in the world. People lose weight, but then they gain it back. Many people do that over and over. It is my opinion that those people who yo-yo diet never got to the bottom of their deeper issues and did not find new coping mechanisms to change those behavior patterns that lead to weight gain.
Instead of eating our emotions as a coping mechanism, we have to retrain our brains with other positive responses. It definitely takes work, desire, strength, and focus. I also teach clients to start an emotion journal, along side of their food journal. When they can write down on paper what they ate and why it seems to help them identify their triggers and work through them. There are times that a professional may also be necessary to really get to the root of the issues. Do not be afraid to get the help you need so you can truly win your battle once and for all.