Written by: Lachlan “Break The Cycle” Farley (stepstogreatness.com.au)
You’ve just walked in the door from a long day… And the LAST thing you feel like doing is cooking yourself a healthy meal, right? This came up the other day when I was talking with a client, and she said her biggest struggle is the emotional eating.
“I get stressed, and the first thing I do is reach for some chocolate. Or I have a bad day, and on my way home I go on autopilot to buy some cake. Or when I am exhausted I have a craving for ice cream.” Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone by a long shot. In fact, I would say this is more the norm than you might think. There is a couple of reasons why this happens. Let’s start with the cause.
I call this Willpower Fatigue. See, every little decision and action you make throughout the day requires willpower – ESPECIALLY the ones where you make healthy decisions and create good habits. Unfortunately, we only have a small amount of willpower to use each day. Once it’s gone, it doesn’t replenish till the next day. (This is why it is always easier to do things you don’t like or aren’t used to doing first thing in the morning.) So what happens when all your willpower is drained? Your body looks for a quick fix of instant gratification. AKA something tasty, because you will get immediate pleasure from it. And I can’t blame anyone for that; you feel like crap, run down, stressed, etc. and you want to make yourself feel better. So your mind looks for the simplest and quickest means of this, which is often junk food.
The problem with that is, it usually comes with a side of regret. I don’t know about you, but I occasionally get that craving for maccers or KFC, and on the rare occasion, I give in. Pretty much as soon as I finish eating, I feel sick and regret my decision. And yet, give it a couple of months, and it rolls around again even though I know that I will regret it again. That’s because these feelings aren’t logical, they work on a much more primal level. It works on satisfying a need in whatever capacity you can. Which leads me to the final component of the emotional eating and why it happens. The habit loop.
The habit loop is a subconscious control mechanism that runs our lives without us even knowing about it. For emotional eating, an example would be; Boss yells at you > you feel stressed and upset > the stress triggers a need to feel better > your habit is to eat something that makes you happy (usually junk) > you feel worse about yourself because of eating said food > So you eat more to feel better This is one version of a habit cycle and yet is one that comes up and lot and can be tough to break. But these are a few of the main reasons why emotional eating happens. Now you want the good news?
There is hope; there are methods that we can use to boost your willpower, induce other forms of gratification, and to break the habit cycle. In other words – you can BEAT emotional eating. The process to beat emotional eating is a bit more than I can outline in one blog post, which is why I decided to put together something really special for you. This is information I usually only share with my clients. But, I know a lot of people (including myself) struggle with this. See, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of clients. I’ve heard all about their struggles with emotional eating and worked with them to beat it once and for all. So I decided to pick my top 3 tactics from everything I have tried and put them in one place for people to use for themselves.
You don’t have to hire a nutritionist or coach to beat emotional eating,
For more head over to Step To Greatness located in Katoomba, www.stepstogreatness.com.au/
Lachlan “Break The Cycle” Farley