[This is Part 4 of a series. If you missed any of the previous posts, please scroll to the bottom for links.]
Can you eat two cookies and stop?
Do you finish a bag of potato chips before realizing you’ve eaten every. single. chip.?
Has grazing throughout the day become a habit?
Ask yourself if you feel out of control around food.
You may have lost control of your eating habits if you want to make healthier choices but keep backsliding. Be honest with yourself if you resolve to make a healthy smoothie for breakfast but wind up picking up a muffin while grabbing a cup of coffee.
Remember, you’re not bad for eating that muffin. I don’t want you feeling guilty about it. That’s why you want to be honest with yourself about whether or not you are in control around food.
If your emotions are dictating when, what, and how much you eat, and your thoughts revolve around food when you really want to be concentrating on work, emotional eating has a hold on you.
Here’s some good news
Now that you’ve identified what’s happening, you can take steps to feel in control and make peace with food and your body.
Can a food-mood diary help?
I encourage to you to keep a food-mood diary for a week to get some answers and help you be more aware of your eating habits. Please, stay with me. Don’t roll your eyes. I’m not suggesting you count calories and grams of protein, fat, and carbohydrates and record all of that. Simply keep a diary of what you eat and how you feel before and after. Don’t forget to include the two cookies you eat just because you see them, or the second piece of cake you enjoy because it’s the last piece and it’s easier to eat it than put it away for another day. Or the bag of potato chips that “call your name” after a stressful phone call.
Having this information and being able to identify when you are physically hungry, or when you are eating out of habit or when something has upset you, is an important step to elevating your awareness. Knowing what is manipulating your mind will help you feel comfortable around food.
See, it’s not about willpower. It’s about how you feel. And if your thoughts around food are feeling out of control, you can change that.