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How do I avoid emotional eating?

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  • How do I avoid emotional eating?

    I've been noticing that when I eat, it's usually not because I'm hungry, it's because I'm stressed/pissed off about something. I was just wondering, what do you guys do to avoid emotional eating when you don't have control over the triggers for it?

    Right now I'm 20 years old, living with my parents in a 3 bedroom house with 6 people. My bedroom is an extra living room, and I'm unemployed and not in school right now. Every once in a while I'll go for a run or take my bike out for a ride, but I still run to the fridge as soon as I get back. I think once I can get a job (hopefully will be working at Subway, not much but I'll take it) I'll have more control over my eating, but right now being constantly bored with my family being my family, I am out of control.

    (If you're wondering why I'm a waste of a human being right now, I'm waiting to get residency to go to school, and will be moving in with my fiance, who is going to the Naval school right now, next year.)

  • #2
    I find the best way to avoid emotional or boredom eating (and kick your depression in the pants) is to get out of the house and/or be productive. And I know it's easier said than done (took me 10 months to find my current job). Find volunteer work to do (nursing home, school, hospital, animal shelter, etc), see if there are any free classes at the library, heck just go to the library and read in the mornings, find a book club online, go hiking, get your first aid certification and babysit (d@mn good money and a good babysitter is always in demand), and definitely make regular plans with friends (they understand you're broke, but will happily take a walk with you or just hang out with a cup of coffee/tea/etc).

    I know where you're at, but hang in there! Also, as someone who grew up next to a military base - I met a lot of military spouses and several of my friends married guys in the service. Developing some fufilling hobbies, social networks and coping mechanisms for handling their absence while they're on tour or at work was really helpful.

    Best wishes!

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    • #3
      You're noticing - you've already done the hard part. I can second Kitana's recommendation of volunteering. Apart from that... when I'm on autopilot I'll also eat when I'm thirsty; the solution for me is to make water more easily accessible than food.

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      • #4
        Stop having emotions? hahaha... hopefully that doesn't piss you off but make you laugh... which was my intention .

        If i'm feeling depressed, I start writing down all the things i'm grateful for.

        Another thing less pollyanna-y would by hypnotherapy which has also been successful for me.

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        • #5
          I second the suggestion of taking up a hobby. If you do something fiddly like embroidery, you get an extra bonus - you won't want to eat while you're doing it, because you won't want to get your work dirty!

          Seriously, it is amazing how fulfilling it is to pass the time doing something productive. Even if what you are producing is small, it can be very satisfying.

          Good luck!

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          • #6
            Fall in love. Seriously. Haha :P

            Just do something that makes you happy instead of eating that fills you with serotonin, since that's what the sugar does. Could be anything, really. Have your mom scratch your back (I'm 19 and this still happens ). Go for a few sprints. Take a bath (or five in one day if necessary). Call a friend and play a card game....

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            • #7
              Fall in love. Seriously. Haha :P

              Did that, but I only get to see that love once a week since he's in school

              Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys. Maybe I'll take up sketching again, that always get me busy for hours. Plus it's free and I can do it outside and get some Vitamin D at the same time.

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              • #8
                Ah...to be kid-free again and bored again!!!
                Sketching is a good idea. Also consider taking community classes. They usually cost a little money, but not too much. You could start up a local primal group or an intra-mural sports team (playing ultimate frisbee, for example).
                my primal journal:
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

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                • #9
                  alll good advice .. heres a different tangent ... emotionally eat something healthy .... grab a carrot etc ??

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                  • #10
                    You need to deal with the pain that you're trying to suppress with food. That most likely means confronting someone who's wounded you in the past.
                    ďThe whole concept of a macronutrient, like that of a calorie, is determining our language game in such a way that the conversation is not making sense." - Dr. Kurt Harris

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                    • #11
                      it's REALLY hard. I have struggled with this for more than a decade, and I'm only 25. I agree the first step is noticing. hydrating is good. keeping busy is good. dealing with the pain is good. but it is REALLY hard. I go through good times and bad times. I have a LOT more to say on the subject (including about being in a house with way too many people) but I really should have been in bed half an hour ago (sleeping enough but not too much is important too). I will post more tomorrow.

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                      • #12
                        Emotional eating/an unhealthy relationship to food is something its taken me *years* to deal w/. From binging and purging to just binging its been a long road. I've still had times in my primal life where I've felt that urge, and I've found focusing on primal foods to be helpful. You are not going to want to binge on *that* many bunless burgers, or *that* many pieces of avocado or *that* many big ass salads, etc. Try and keep it primal. An apple w/ nut butter feels like a 'cheat' or 'binge' to me now (as I'm watching fruit/nut intake--both are totally primal), although its not doing the damage that eating half a cake or the like would have done to me in my past...

                        Also, letting go of the guilt over what I am wanting to do/am doing/have done irt food has been HUGE. If I ate some chips (so unprimal!) when I was frustrated/upset for whatever reason, I'm not going to beat myself up about it later. Feeling shitty (physically) from eating food that doesn't really serve my body well is learning experience enough for me, and I'll tend to avoid it for quite some time in the future. I've found that accepting my 20% however it looks is so much more helpful to me than feeling guilty about it. And my 20% has just naturally become more and more primal over time.
                        My Before/After Pics
                        Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                        "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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                        • #13
                          You are not a waste of a human being!

                          I've been where you are, and I know it's miserable.

                          I agree with the others, read, pick up garbage in your neighborhood once a week, keep exercising, socialize at least once a week (free events, order club soda at happy hour), sketch, jigsaw puzzles, try to keep some kind of schedule.

                          I've been emotional eating for the past two days (stress from father's cancer). I feel better and emotionally stronger today. I know I'll be tempted in the future, so I'm going to not have junk in my house & enjoy a coconut & whey powder smoothie when I have unhealthy urges.

                          Remember, your situation is only temporary! I hope you'll find work soon.

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                          • #14
                            IDLE HANDS ARE THE DEVILS'S WORKSHOP.

                            Leave the house at 8:30 every morning and find things to do.

                            Grizz

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the input. I found out that the library is only 0.8 miles away and rode my bike over there today and picked up Good Calories, Bad Calories. I never realized how fat this book is... I think I'll be plenty busy reading instead of pointless eating now. haha

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