How to Avoid Letting Your Emotions and Feelings Affect Your Eating Habits [Episode #758]
This week’s topic is: How to Avoid Letting Your Emotions and Feelings Affect Your Eating Habits
While this show officially falls into our Emotional Wellbeing Cornerstone this week, it segues into our food cornerstone, and really shows how interrelated all different aspects of our lifestyle are and our approach. If we really want to feel our best and feel amazing and energized and inspired every day, we really do want to look at all the different parts of our being.
We can’t get past the fact that our emotional health and mental health is tied to our physical health, our wellbeing, and our diet. It all just goes around and around. Food and emotional wellbeing are so closely tied together, and there’s so much research emerging now around these two topics.
The intention of our show today is to give you three solid action tips and points on how you can avoid your emotions and the turbulence that we can experience from different feelings coming in and going out all the time, and really disturbing the sacredness of your daily eating schedule.
Have you been wondering about this very topic? If you want to know the answer to this question sent in by a Beauty just like you, listen now to find out!
Hello Kimberly, I have noticed that I often let my emotions dictate how I eat during the day. If I am depressed I tend to overeat to feel better. When I am stressed at work I find myself snacking all day. What can I do to help manage this relationship I have developed with food?
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Namaste loves and welcome to our Thursday Q&A podcast where our topic this week is How to Avoid Letting Your Emotions and Feelings Affect Your Eating Habits. And so, whilst to this show officially falls into our emotional wellbeing cornerstone this week, it obviously segues into our food cornerstone, really just showing how interrelated all different aspects of our lifestyle are, how interrelated is our approach. If we really do wanna feel our best, if we really do wanna feel amazing and energized and inspired every day, we really do wanna look at all the different parts of our being. So we can’t get past the fact that our emotional health in mental health is tied to our physical health and our wellbeing and our diet. And it all just goes around and around. And on a personal note, I’ve shared this before, but one of the reasons I was drawn to working in wellness and becoming a nutritionist and wellness expert and meditation teacher is because I never really felt comfortable or good in my body.
And so that segued into a lot of different dysmorphias and eating disorders, which then led to gut health issues and lots of bloatedness and difficulty losing weight as I tried to rebalance. And then there was the stress and the mental aspect, which exacerbated everything. And you know, what comes first, these stressful, you know, the, the stress and the, the mental part or the actual food part, which then makes us not feel great about our bodies. And then we get stuck in this cycle of not being able to lose weight or maintain our ideal weight, and then we feel bad about ourselves and we get more stressed. And so around and around it goes.
So these cornerstones, in particular food and emotional wellbeing are so closely tied together, and there’s so much research emerging now around these two topics, um, including in the book Brain Energy, which was written by Dr Christopher Palmer from Harvard, who we interviewed here a couple weeks ago, and we will link to that in the show notes. But in his book, he was finding this incredible research correlating different, um, aspects, different issues around mental health, including anxiety and depression and so on with diet. And so it is starting to become more and more formally researched. And the intention of our show today is to give you three solid action tips and points on how you can avoid your emotions and the turbulence that we can experience from different feelings coming in and going out all the time, and really disturbing the sacredness of your daily eating schedule. Your Dina Chaia, your, your rhythm, your routine in Ayurveda. Um, there’s so much discussion around how important that is. It really is a foundation for your, your wellbeing to have a regularity to your diet.
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Question around the topic of: How to Avoid Letting Your Emotions and Feelings Affect Your Eating Habits: Hello Kimberly, I have noticed that I often let my emotions dictate how I eat during the day. If I am depressed I tend to overeat to feel better. When I am stressed at work I find myself snacking all day. What can I do to help manage this relationship I have developed with food?
Okay, let’s get into our show now around emotional eating. And our question today comes from Janey, who lives in Tennessee. So thank you, my love for submitting. Thank you for being part of our community. I know for sure that many of us have similar questions around this topic, and you write, hello Kimberly. I’ve noticed that I often let my emotions dictate how I eat during the day when I’m depressed, I tend to overeat to feel better when I’m stressed at work, I find myself snacking all day. What can I do to help manage this relationship I have developed with food? So once again, thank you, Janie. I can speak for myself and, and look back and reflect on times when I didn’t really have the tools
And I didn’t really have the knowledge. And it was, it is, was is easy to outlet our feelings to try to self soothe ourselves with something physical that we can hold and pick up, like food. It’s lying around. It’s usually only, only a couple steps to the fridge or to the snack room, the workroom, wherever it is. And then it’s pretty immediate, right? You put something in your mouth and there is a flavor profile. There is a shift that happens once you’re taste buds, um, experience whatever it is you’re putting in. So there definitely is that immediate payoff, but as we all know, it’s not sustainable. We end up getting bloated and heavier and we don’t feel good about ourselves. And also it doesn’t really alleviate the actual pressure or the stress, it’s just a very temporary bandaid. But what we wanna do is start to look at this in the, in the bigger picture and also have some real short-term and long-term tools.
But before we get into it, a little bit of research shows that, you know, we really are not alone here. Those of us that have experienced these really intense sorts of cravings and food addictions, there are, um, 38% of adults that have said that they’ve overeaten because of stress in the past month alone. So that’s, you know, nearly 40% here. I would argue it could be potentially higher as self-awareness increases. And we start to be aware of, hmm, maybe there was a moment or an instance where I really wasn’t hungry, but I just sort of put this in my mouth. I didn’t even realize it, it just was so part of my pattern or my flow. But in this particular, um, study, and we’ll link to this in the show notes firstname.lastname@example.org, half of those adults, 49% reported engaging in these unhealthy eating patterns at least weekly or more. So 23% of adults say that they eat unhealthy foods or they overeat because it distracts them from stress. Hmm. So it goes on and on. There’s lots of different, um, surveys and reports. It says that women are more likely than their male counterparts to report unhealthy eating, dis eating behaviors as a result of stress. And, um, let’s see, millennials are more likely than any other generation to eat. 50% of them said that they have overeaten because of stress versus say, 36% of Gen Xers. So it’s really
Interesting because now as life continues to become more fast paced, and we have this 24 7 connectivity through online texting and social media, it is interesting to see that the, um, the younger generations are maybe we could say feeling more stress in general across life, but definitely overeating. And now we all know that we’ve come, we’re coming through this period after the post pandemic period where a lot of us did abuse food and alcohol because there were substances that were these easy to reach for band-aids in this time of isolation and not having a lot of connection. So here we are to date, okay? We know there’s a lot of research behind this, and I laugh because if you are someone who is experiencing this yourself, you may say, I don’t really need the research. I know it’s true, and I know that for myself, I know the truth of this because I have experienced it.
And it can make you feel really out of control. It can make you feel disempowered, it can make you feel guilt. I know I used to beat myself up for not having a strong enough will or giving in yet again. And so it just becomes so complex. So the first thing that I wanna talk about is understanding, first of all that in taking back your power, it means that we have to acknowledge the four cornerstones and we have to acknowledge that it’s important that we really put in self-care. We prioritize self-care across all four of the cornerstones, and particularly today in the emotional wellbeing cornerstone. So the cornerstones again, are food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. And what happens in our society in modern life is that we tend to just want the quick thing. We’re busy, we’re rushing off to work, we’re trying to pack in a million things.
Oh, just tell me, and I’ve had a million clients say this to me. Just tell me what to eat, tell me what to take, tell me what to do. And it’s very, um, there’s a physicality to it. I see this list, I check things off, I’m gonna go to the gym for 30 minutes, I’m gonna do this, da da da, da, da. But then it is not so easy to check things off of box when it comes to our emotional wellbeing and our mental health. This is the whole cornerstone around which community can fit in, support, healthy boundaries, stress management, reflection, introspection. So it’s really important to understand that if we aren’t nurturing our emotional wellbeing, cornerstone, we most likely will always have an issue with food or with our bodies or orthorexia or over exercise or whatever it is, because we’re trying to feel better and we overcompensate in areas that we think we can control.
Where in reality, we can’t get past the fact that each cornerstone deserves our love and respect and attention and self care. So if there’s one takeaway from this overall podcast, it’s that we will always have food addictions and cravings unless we take some of our attention into the emotional wellbeing category specifically.
Tip #1: How to Avoid Letting Your Emotions and Feelings Affect Your Eating Habits: Introspect and feel our feelings
So some of these core practices are number one, making sure that we introspect and we feel our feelings and we see what’s going on in there. So this is why guided journaling and journaling prompts are really powerful, because we may know that something is off or we’re feeling something, but sometimes we don’t identify it or it’s really hard to pinpoint. But when we do our guided meditation or guided prompts and we have this clear unemotional, non-judgmental space of our journals, we really can start to go in deeper and introspect and start to uncover some of what is in there.
Now there’s a lot of that, the journaling prompts in the new book, and there’s also different practices for starting to go deeper into unpacking maybe why we have certain patterns or why certain things bother us or certain things really do create an emotional response and why things, um, make us really triggered. And so this is the beginning of moving past the patterns and they, you know, usually are come from a place of fear, survival, this fight or flight, things that we may have established in very limited understanding from our childhood. And so now comes an opportunity to start to nurture ourself and to learn some tools for, Hey, I’m feeling overwhelmed, what do I do with that? And so there are so many different tools like holding yourself physically, creating healthy boundaries around you, taking some deep breaths, going for a walk, just finding ways to prevent the, a accumulation of stress in the first place, which is like toxicity, barely building up in your body.
Tip #2: How to Avoid Letting Your Emotions and Feelings Affect Your Eating Habits: Relying on tools and strategies in the moment
And number two, relying on tools and these strategies in the moment so that food isn’t your only outlet. It just becomes a whole toolbox that you start to create for yourself. Hey, I’m feeling this real trigger right now. My heart is going bananas. How do I show up for myself that isn’t a way that isn’t going to overstuff myself and make me feel a million times worse in half an hour? So the first, this whole first section involves awareness that yes, your emotional wellbeing, your cornerstone is intimately tied to your food and there’s, there’s no way to really get around that. So we just wanna lean into that and really, um, just accept that. And then number two, we start to explore tools, regular tools, just like we build up our physical health and we make an effort hopefully to eat healthy foods and to be aware of what we’re putting in our body.
We develop an arsenal of emotional wellbeing tools. So the ones I listed for me, I can speak from personal, um, experience. Number one, I am a daily journaler. And not only do I reflect on that day, but I like to go back a couple pages or longer and I say, oh, now I understand this pattern and I can see I was really struggling to see this, but now I really see it. And now seeing this helps this. So it just is an amazing tool. And I do go into my journal writing and reading every day. Number two, there are times where you may need a therapist. There’s so much, um, telehealth now or some sort of guide. I like to talk to an intuitive healer. And, um, you know, just sort of working with energy. There’s also, there’s all si sorts of support out there, or you may lean towards more of the traditional therapist talk therapy, but it is really helpful to speak to someone at times if that’s something that appeals to you or something that feels like it resonates with you in any way.
Tip #3: How to Avoid Letting Your Emotions and Feelings Affect Your Eating Habits: Having the tools that allow you to regulate your nervous system in the moment
Number three, having the tools that allow you to regulate your nervous system in the moment. So for me, it’s first of all just noticing when my heart gets quicker, my heartbeat gets quicker or my voice tone changes and then it’s a signal that I’ve really been triggered. And so I take space for myself, deep breaths, let allowing myself to calm down. Maybe I go to the bathroom or I don’t answer right away, or I just take a little bit of space. And in doing that, I don’t feel the same, incredibly strong, you know, overwhelm of stress that I used to. I also don’t feel the intense pull of food cravings as I used to because it is in that, the self-soothing tools that we let the fire start to come down, right? We start to just take some breaths and we are able to regulate ourselves very powerfully from the inside without just going straight to food.
So number, so there’s recognition and awareness, then it’s using some of these tools or other ones to regulate yourself without from the inside regulate your emotional and mental stress, stress and wellbeing. Number three is to have actual tools around you that can help in these moments of stress. So physical aids, and what I mean by that is some aromatherapy. I have different ones here. I love this essential oil wizardry brand in particular. And there’s other ones as well where I just take a sniff of this, um, and this heart oil that I’m sniffing right now. And it is a physical tool as I’m breathing and as I’m working to twist and calm myself down, the smell alone really does support me and it makes me feel grounded and it feels good. Some other physical tools that I like to use. Um, I was at the bank the other day, Daniels the banker, had one of those old-fashioned stress balls and we were talking about it and he says, yeah, it really helps me just to squeeze out some of these feelings.
And so I think some of those tools are really great. I also got a little zen water board from my hubby. And I know in moments where he’s, you know, thinking and processing, he’s running a whole, um, creative strategy agency called Jack Taylor pr He uses, he can use the water and just create something physical that isn’t tied to having to look a certain way or I mean, to be something. It’s just this creative energy. It’s sort of an outlet. So some physical tools, again, the essential oils or just some like even a really beautiful soothing photo that’s framed of a relaxing place in your life. Anything like that can also really help. So we’re building, uh, an environment of support that doesn’t involve food. But then my last tip, and I think this is number four, I said three originally, but there’s four, is to also create food that is soothing and not harmful around you to stock your environment with these sorts of things.
And the three things I wrote down here, these are the three things that I have all the time are tea, dark chocolate, and veggie sticks. So with the tea, and I’m drinking some right now, I’m actually having a herbal golden milk. So I cut mine in the middle of the day, half, I make it with half hot water, I steep the herbs in there, and then I add an almonds or coconut milk to it for the other half. And so any sort of herbal tea, I don’t like to jack myself up with caffeine and I recommend that you do not do the same, which would also provoke stress. But there’s something really soothing about hot warm drinks that are, it’s comforting. It’s making a sensation of presence in your stomach and your belly region so you don’t feel like you’re, you know, hollow in there.
There’s just a deeper sense of groundedness with hot drinks. So I encourage you to mix and match to try all different sorts of teas and stock them at home as a real go-to tool. The second is dark chocolate and encourage you to try a very high percentage, 70, 80%. There’s the Lilly’s brand chocolate that I like as well, which is sugar free. It’s got stevia in it and I believe, um, maybe there’s monk fruit or maybe not, um, maybe erythritol, but I tried different ones. I also like the huge chocolate brand and I have it all the time in my fridge. And so if I need that little hit, at least it’s dairy free and it doesn’t have a bunch of crap flowers in it. And you know, things that make me really bloated. It’s my go-to. And some days, you know what, I eat a lot of chocolate, but it’s not the end of the world.
And I’m aware that I am using food as a solace and I’m working on it. But that’s all we are, that’s all we can do is is be works in progress. And so we are aware that hey, I’m, I’m on the journey, but I’m doing my best and here’s some great tools in the meantime. And so the third one, veggie sticks is, um, something that’s important for me because I like crunchy things when I’m stressed. So I always keep that kite. Hail cream cheese, I love the majestic brands sprouted hummus, but as long as I have a really nice dip, then the crunchy veggies help me from overeating chips and crackers and things that really are my go-to. So in some, this is a, a larger long-term issue that we need to unpack over time. It’s not gonna be a switch we flip. But the good news is as someone who is very tied to emotions and eating, it can very much get way better and lessen over time.
So first of all, we just wanna create this awareness between our emotional wellbeing and food and know that if we don’t wanna connect them so strongly, we need to truly nurture our emotional wellbeing cornerstone in and of itself. Which leads me to number two, which is developing a toolbar toolbox and arsenal of tools that will really help you in emotional wellbeing, um, including potentially journaling community, a therapist and, uh, breathing exercises in the moment that you can, that can really help you sooth yourself. I would like to include the practical enlightenment meditations. I forgot to mention them earlier, but they are there for you links into the spiritual cornerstone, but they are, they are overlapped as I mentioned. So please check them out on our website where they are free, a whole library of guided ones for you. And also in the new book, you are more than you think you are. There is a powerful expanding the gaps practice that is so great to use in any situation to help find your center. Number three, to keep physical tools around besides food to help with the stress or the ups and downs. W it could be an, uh, you know, little collection of essential oils that you leave on your desk like I do. I reach
For certain ones at certain times or a stress ball or a little water board. Um, and you know, a physical tool could be your shoes right outside your door, so you can just go for a quick walk or go outside or, um, another physical tool could be your yoga mat. So you can just do a couple quick stretches or poses, whatever it is. And then lastly, keeping some healthier options around for when the cravings hit that are still satisfying. The veggie sticks, the dark chocolate, the warm teas that can feel nourishing and that you are getting some sort of emotional energetic exchange, but it’s not gonna tank you for the rest of the day or the next day. Like if you ate a box of dairy filled cookies or a bunch of bagels, you know, just flour if, especially if you have a gluten sensitivity or whatever it is.
So hope these help and let me know how you do. This is, uh, you know, gonna take a bit of time, but we will get there. So let me know how I can continue to support you. You can write questions always over at mysolluna.com in the podcast tab. There is a section for questions. You can also reach out to me on social at underscore Kimberly Snyder. Otherwise, I will be back here on Monday for our next interview show. Sending you so much love and so much gratitude. I’m so grateful to be on this journey together as we continue to march forward. So much love and see you back here soon. Namaste. [inaudible].