Do you love your food? Or are you in love?
Food is meant to be fuel for your body, but what if has become much more than that…
Remember the time when you were nursing a broken heart from a bad break up?
Who came to your rescue? Yes, it was your girlfriends, undoubtedly. But in those hours that you spent slumping in front of the television, weeping on romantic comedies, there it was, inconspicuously perched on your lap, giving you just the comfort you needed.
Or think back on the times that you had just passed with merit from college, who was it that brought a dash of flavour to your celebrations?
As you might have guessed already, I am talking about food. Now when did this energy-giving source, fuel for our body, transform into a soul satisfying tool? The build up has been going on for a while. You just have to rewind on your memories and you will see the role food has played.
While it may be true that not everyone treats food as an emotional crutch. But if you are on a weight loss journey, then there is certainly merit in asking yourself, what is your relationship with food?
So, what does Food mean to You?
Is food a bad boyfriend that you need to go back to despite knowing it may not necessarily do you any good?
Is it the agony aunt you turn to every time you feel stressed?
Or is it your best friend in disguise, offering you a party for the soul when you feel like a celebration?
So long as food continues to have this emotional hold on you, there is little chance your love handles will be budging from your waistline. Ask me, I am in a relationship with food too? Is it good for me? Well not entirely. So in a quest to overcome this emotional dependence I decided to find out all there is to know about emotional eating and why it happens. And here’s what I found out.
What is Emotional Eating?
Medicinenet defines emotional eating as the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.
Is it any surprise then that your hips don’t lie to you?
But just because you have a relationship with food, does it mean that it has to be a bad one. Hardly! In a recent book that I read, EAT. Delete, by famous celebrity nutritionist, Pooja Makhija, food can be something else too. It can be your friend.
You just need to know which food to make a close friend and which type of foods needs to remain an acquaintance.
How to Avoid Comfort Eating?
We already know what kind of food to avoid. The trick is in usually recognising, when we are most likely to reach out for those high calories, rich foods. And once you know that, you need to equip yourself with a tool other than food to help you tide over those very emotions.
So for instance, feel like a celebration, go shopping for a pair of shoes. Or if you’re feeling down, call a friend and talk to her about how you feel.
Once you start replacing food with other tools to cope with your emotions, you will see, weight loss will follow you sooner than you thought. Yes, you do need to eat right, exercise, and follow a plan, which is healthy and wholesome. But before you dive in headlong into any kind of regime, what you need to assess is your relationship food, and how you want to change it. I am already in the process of dumping the bad boyfriend, and hopefully we will remain good friends who can help each other be the best we can be.
What is your relationship with food, I would love to know!