Emotional Eating: 3 Ways to Stay on Track
Let’s look at emotional eating. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes for much of society. Many of us are now working from home or uncertain about jobs and school. You may also be homeschooling and under additional pressures. This anxiety and change in routine can lead many of us to feel out of control and prone to emotional eating. We may be eating more or differently than normal, and not listening to body cues as well.
Here are 3 tips to keep emotional eating in check
- Establish a Routine. Just like you would at work, try to establish a routine at home. Getting up at your usual time and preparing a good breakfast sets you up for success. Try to have a breakfast with fiber and protein, such as oatmeal with fruit or an egg white omelet with veggies and whole wheat toast. Have lunch and dinner around your usual time as well. Establishing a regular meal routine for you and your family will reduce the desire to snack and also help you to become aware of when you are actually hungry.
- Have Fun in the Kitchen. With so many of us staying at home, you may find yourself with more time on your hands. Why not spend that time in the kitchen? Perhaps you have recipes saved that you have wanted to try for a long time- now is the perfect time to try something new. If you normally eat out, try cooking restaurant favorites at home. Turn dinner into family time by involving kids in the cooking process with age-appropriate tasks. Enjoying wholesome meals that you have cooked yourself is a wonderful way to celebrate food and family while knowing exactly what went into your food.
- Be Gentle. If you find yourself anxious and unable to maintain your normal good habits, practice self-compassion. This is a very difficult time for many of us and know that having a healthy lifestyle is a life-long process, not a 30-day goal. There will be ups and downs, and an occasional treat or indulgence does not mean you have failed. If you find yourself craving childhood favorites or comfort food, try having a well-rounded meal first and then something nice for dessert. You could also try the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your diet is healthy foods, and 20% is for any other foods you enjoy. Be flexible and forgiving to yourself.
At KareBoost Health, we are here to support you during this time. Try a virtual yoga class to reduce stress and add in movement to your day. Your first class with us is free!
Karen L Leibowitz, MD
Health and Lifestyle Coach