Some of your most unhealthy eating choices may be made after a heartbreak. This habit, called emotional eating, can occur at anytime when we feel strong emotions, including celebrations, stress at work, loss of a job, and break-ups. You can turn to comfort foods, whether you are aware of it or not, to help satisfy an emotional need or keep your mind occupied. However, these unhealthy eating habits can lead to weight gain and low self-esteem. Follow these simple guidelines to help you stave off emotional eating after suffering a heartbreak.
De-stress Your Day
Heartbreak can be stressful. Stress leads to poor eating choices as a way to keep distracted. If you wake in the morning feeling stressed, try a quick 10-minute meditation. Go to a quiet place away from all distractions and sit peacefully by yourself. Imagine yourself in a place that you find relaxing. It could be a solitary beach in the Caribbean, a mountainside cabin in the Rockies, or a stretch of desert in Arizona. Take yourself to that place and just be there for 10 minutes before you start your day.
Yoga is another great way to de-stress. You can either join classes at a local gym, buy a book about yoga, or practice yoga with DVDs or television programs. A good 20-minute yoga session each evening after work will help ease your mind and avoid late night binges.
You always have those friends who are there whenever you need them. After a heartbreak, you need them, so reach out to those who care. Plan outings together, spend the evening watching your favorite movies, or schedule morning walks. Being surrounded by those you trust will help you get over your emotional trials. Next time you feel like reaching for comfort foods, pick up the phone and call a friend. Even a quick phone conversation will distract you and keep your hands out of the cookie jar.
Keep a Food Journal
A journal is a great way to let out emotions and learn new things about yourself. Using a journal also helps when trying to control what you eat. Get out a notebook and write down everything you eat and what time you eat it. Also write down your feelings before and after you eat. Do you feel satisfied with what you ate? Do you feel tired and bloated?
Don’t forget to journal about every little bit of food you consume–everything. If you grab a few chips or sneak a bite of cake, write it down. This will help you truly see what you are eating and how much. Try this for a few days, then work on planning your daily meals in your food journal. Once you see what you are eating, you can easily see what you should be eating instead.
Getting over a heartbreak takes time and healing. Never hide within your emotions. Reach out to those who love and care for you, and get help. The more you stay connected with the world, the less likely you will be to turn to unhealthy emotional eating.