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SportMed InTraining: Overcoming Emotional Eating

Sun Run Training Week 4: Overcoming Emotional Eating

van sun tomato picDo you enjoy food and eating in a balanced way? Or do you have strong cravings for certain foods when you are upset, stressed or depressed? We may comfort ourselves with emotional eating when we don’t want to face uncomfortable feelings like anger, anxiety or sadness. This is a common pattern that many of us learned in our youth when we didn’t know how to handle these tough emotions. 

Emotional eating does bring comfort and relief to our difficult feelings, so it actually does make us feel better temporarily. However, the relief is short lived and soon we feel guilty for overeating and often beat ourselves up for having lost our self-control. We pledge to start a new diet tomorrow and restrict “forbidden” foods. This strict diet makes us feel deprived and this inevitably results in cravings and overeating at our next vulnerable moment of stress. 

To overcome emotional eating, try these strategies to stop this vicious cycle:

  • Identify your triggers: Are you feeling tired, bored, sad, stress, anxiety or anger?
  • Soothe your emotions without food: Talk to a friend, go for a run/walk, play an instrument, do something creative like art or sewing, do a puzzle, coloring, do a chore or take a bath, read a book, meditate or listen to music. Engage your senses. Keep your hands busy. 
  • If you have a craving for a “forbidden food,” make a decision to enjoy it without guilt. You will feel satisfied and will be less likely to binge.
  • If you do binge, it is important to give yourself compassion and acknowledge that you are stressed. Life is difficult and you need more self-care. Do not beat yourself up.
  • Do not start a diet by restricting foods. Instead, try to create regular meals and snacks. Choose foods that you enjoy and nourish you. 

Latest News

  • Cristina is Moving to the North Shore

    Cristina Sutter will be moving to Vitae Health and Sport in North Vancouver as of October 17, 2019.  Her rates, hours and and services will remain the same. After 6 rewarding years at Optimal Performance Clinic in downtown Vancouver, she is looking forward to continuing to support the community in their health and fitness goals from her new location on the North Shore.vitae map2

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