Your emotions play a bigger role in your diet than you might think!
Have you ever wondered how your subconscious affects what and how you eat? Psychology can often explain why we are constantly battling cravings, feeling guilty about certain foods, eating emotionally, or even struggling with food control. This is known as behavioral nutrition. Here’s some pointers from a registered dietitian on how to unpack your behavior for healthier living.
Why Your Behavior Affects Your Desires
You will be surprised how much your thoughts affect your cravings. To give you an idea of how this works, imagine what happens when you tell a child that they can’t get something. What happens? Most of the time they want it even more! Well, our brains still work that way as adults. So when we say to ourselves, “I will never eat candy again,” that statement can make us crave candy even more than we normally would.
How do we compensate for that? Instead of fending off a particular food or food group FOREVER, indulge yourself in moderation and really enjoy that moment. You may find that instead of “sliding down” and eating a whole box of cookies, you can enjoy a smaller serving and move on without a second thought.
Eliminate the guilt of eating
Have you ever eaten something or so much that you feel guilty afterwards? You’re not alone. Indeed, most of us have!
Remove the guilt of eating by allowing yourself to enjoy some of your favorites from time to time by sharing them with loved ones. Instead of just focusing on eating, focus on enjoying the moment and spending time with others in positive surroundings.
Immersion in emotional eating
Emotional eating is when you use food to manage your emotions. It can also mean that you may be out of tune with your body’s feelings of hunger and fullness, and at times you may eat more than you would like. Unfortunately, when we need to resolve deep-seated feelings such as stress, sadness, or fear, emotional eating only gives us a temporary feeling of satisfaction.
The first step in stopping emotional eating is to be aware that it is happening. If you experience sudden, urgent hunger pangs, specific food cravings, or feel guilty after eating, there is a good chance that you are feeling emotionally hungry, not physical hunger. To deal with this, try to take a moment of mindfulness and really wonder what you really need. Most of the time it won’t be a snack.
Stop letting food control you
If you feel like the food is calling your name every time you go to the kitchen or to a gathering, you may lose control of the food. Take control of the food by reminding yourself that it is just that: food. It’s not “good” or “bad,” it’s just something your body needs to refuel.
If you’ve experienced cravings, feelings of guilt, emotional eating, or loss of control over eating, your behavior could have a greater impact on your health than you think. Try some of these nutritionist-approved behavioral nutrition tips to hack your brain and improve your wellbeing.
Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest or subscribe to our eNewsletter for more fitness tips, recipes and routines!