Mindful Eating for Emotional Eating

By Darla Breckenridge
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Emotional eating is a hot topic at Green Mountain.  We speak about it frequently.  It can be triggered unexpectedly for no obvious reason or it can be in reaction to wanting to manage a difficult situation.

In the class “Understanding Emotions That Can Lead You To Eat” we discuss the thorny problem of identifying emotions.  And in fact, mindless eating can cut your head off from your body, so you don’t know how to think about what you are feeling.

One strategy that can help you connect to your feelings and your food is mindful eating. Michelle May, MD and  author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, writes:

Mindful eating is not just about the appearance, taste, and aromas of food. To me, it encompasses the entire Mindful Eating Cycle: Why? When? What? How? How Much? and Where?

With awareness of each of these decisions in my eating cycle, I can respond instead of react. I have response-ability, rather than re-acting and continually playing out old patterns.

This process of responding rather than reacting gives us the space to explore  emotions or habits. By getting to know our feelings we can use emotional eating as an opportunity to learn more; more about our habits, our feelings and our patterns of mindless eating.

What  might your emotional eating be trying to get our attention about?

2 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Often times I overeat when I am tired. Emotionally speaking I sometimes eat when I don’t feel listened to, understood, heard, nor valued. I look forward to the day when I can sit with my feelings and not eat. A good question to pose to yourself is, “What would I be feeling right now if I chose not to eat?”

  • Chase says:

    I know a lot of people, myself included, that eat to help themselves feel better during stressful or bad situations. Sometimes I’m aware of it. Other times, I am not. In addition, to being mindful of what we eat, everyone needs to find their own way to find comfort elsewhere. For me its going to the gym and hitting the treadmill.

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