3 Surefire Ways to Combat Emotional Eating

Taking measures to maintain healthy eating habits may sound easy on paper but in reality, it isn’t. For most of our clients here at the Washington Wellness Center, there’s a whole lot of issues to tackle when it comes to developing a healthy relationship with food, one of which is emotional eating. In fact, some people who are already eating (and living) healthy  may experience emotional eating at one point.

The Emotional Eater

By and large, the emotional eater eats not because of hunger but rather because he or she feels bored, lonely, or stressed. Simply put, it’s all about managing feelings with food when one is supposed to listen and confront their emotions.

Below are steps to making sure that you don’t grab for that candy bar the next time no one seems to like your photos on Facebook:

1. Be mindful.

Specifically, recognize your personal triggers and the physiological sensation that comes with it. Every so often, personal triggers are situations wherein one may be forced to abruptly deal with such as coming home to bickering kids, getting off from a phone call bearing bad news, or chasing deadlines at work.

As for the physiological sensations associated with emotional eating, they often come in the form of feeling tense, agitated, and restless. The moment you recognize these sensations, you’d be able to take a pause and reassess the situation.

2. Seek non-food alternatives.

The moment you recognize that you are actually emotionally eating, your next step should involve seeking non-food alternatives that will help you cope with the trigger in question. Excellent examples of non-food alternatives include taking a walk, calling a friend or family member and having a good talk, or reading a book.

3. Seek solutions for your personal triggers.

Emotional eating can be an endless cycle unless you address the triggers that cause the binge eating in the first place. Assess and create a plan on how you are going to address such concerns — say you’ve been not sleeping well the past few days. Why not take steps to make sure that you get enough sleep and rest?

Let us help you deal with your emotional eating issues and lead a healthy lifestyle in the process! Call 319.466.0026 or by fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation.  We look forward to your visit!


Quick Guide to Eating Healthy While You’re on the Road

Every so often, one of the main concerns of men and women who visit us here at the Washington Street Wellness Center is how they find it difficult to stick to their healthy eating habits when they’re out on the road. “It seems like I have no other choice but eat whatever is available and most of them are either swimming in oil or laden with too much sugar,” is a common statement that we hear amongst these patients.

If you find yourself on the road soon, here’s a quick guide that can help you eat healthy and avoid foods that make you feel tired, bloated, and sick the entire time you’re traveling.

1. Plan for your meals and take some packed meals with you.

It’s a given that you plan when you travel. Why not include your meals in it? For shorter flights or commute times, consider taking with you some nuts, almonds, and fruits to help you get through the entire travel time. Meanwhile, you might want to pack protein-rich foods for longer travel times (more than 6 hours) such as cheese, jerky strips, peanut butter sandwiches, and hardboiled eggs. Protein helps stave off hunger until you find a completely decent meal. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, beans and grain salads can keep well for hours without refrigeration.

2. Avoid stopping at fast food joints.

Stopping at fast food joints will only make you choose unhealthy food items. Consider stopping at a grocery store instead where healthy food items such as pickles, whole grain breads, and bacon (yes it is actually healthy in moderation!) are sold. With those 3 items alone, you can already come up with a very tasty sandwich!

3. Avoid foods that make you “feel bad”, that is make you feel tired, bloated, and basically drive you into a food coma.

Foods to avoid include the following:

  • high glycemic food items, most of which are highly processed foods made of simple sugars such a sodas, refined grain products, energy drinks, and fruit juices (why not eat a whole fruit?)
  • food items that come in a box or plastic labeled with low-fat or non-fat or sugar-free; it’s better to eat full-fat dairy that is the least processed
  • foods with ingredients that are partially hydrogenated such as margarine
  • excess alcohol

4. Hydrate yourself often.

This is particularly important for those who are about to go on long haul flights. The more dehydrated you are, the more hunger is amplified.

Customized Nutrition Programs at the Washington Street Wellness Center

We are committed to providing you with science-based, purposeful tools that enable you to become a life-long intelligent eater, such as: food diaries, portion control education, individualized meal plans, grocery store lists, grocery store tours, compliance tools, cooking tips, recipes, restaurant tips, and emotional eating triggers!

Call 319.466.0026 or by fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation.  We look forward to your visit!