Eating is a part of life. Your body gets its nutrients from food. Sometimes we can go overboard with our eating habits and it can result in gaining weight. One issue with food is emotional eating.
The problem of emotional eating may end with the scale but it begins in the mind. Stress takes its toll on your life. Running a business takes WORK and sometimes, we as female business owners bite off more than we can chew (literally and figuratively) which leads to stress, crazy overwhelm and frustration. When your defenses are compromised your health takes a hit and so do your emotions.
Everyone has good days and bad days. How we deal with the bad ones brings emotional eating into play. You look for comfort for your hurts. People who turn to food for comfort find a coping mechanism that won’t judge them, hurt them or tell them “no.” To complicate the issue, eating pleasurable foods can stimulate the release of endorphins just like exercise. So, after you eat, you feel better.
Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress. They hide behind the food instead of seeking solutions to the problems. This is not uncommon when the stressor is something like things not going as planned on the business front or horrible things such as physical abuse or a death.
But, how do you know you are using food in this way?
The first sign is obvious. You will gain weight if you eat too much. In light of the weight gain, examine other areas of your life:
- Has the business been stressing you out lately?
- Has anything traumatic happened in the last year?
- Are you dealing with a problem but haven’t found a solution?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater. You eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time. The foods that you choose are what we term “comfort foods”:
- High fat foods like French fries, fried foods
- High carb foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes
- Sugary foods like ice cream, donuts, cookies, cake
There is help for emotional eaters. The first step is recognizing that you have a problem. You’ll experience feelings of helplessness and guilt. The guilt is over potentially ruining your health and the helplessness lies in the fact that you don’t see a way out.
Secondly, seek support. There are many types of counselors and coaches out there that can meet your need. Emotional eating has nothing to do with dieting or changing your eating habits but gaining control over your emotions.
For example in my practice my clients do a combination of things such as visualization, affirmations, practicing problem solving skills, relaxation techniques and family support. Visualization helps you to see your problems in a realistic way and not blown out of proportion. You will also learn to see food as nutrition for the body and not an emotional crutch.
Thirdly, your family and/or business colleagues or team members can learn your triggers for stress and be on the lookout for changes in your eating habits. They can help you be aware of the foods you are eating, assist you in making healthy food choices and exercise along with you. Proper diet and exercise increases immunity, blood flow and positive thinking. When all of these things are in alignment, this translates into higher profits for your business. Healthy food enhances the mind/body connection so you don’t eat when you aren’t hungry and over time, your body will begin to send you true hunger cues not artificial, emotional ones.
Finding new ways to solve your problems and deal with stress will push food out of the equation. You’ll feel good about finding solutions that will replace the dependence on food.
About Author: April Chapman-The Business Health Coach helps female entrepreneurs release stubborn weight, gain energy and live incredible victorious lives-moving them from sick to sensational with safe and effective detox and whole food cleansing regimens. Get her FREE audio download The Female Entrepreneurs’ Secret to Permanent Weight Loss at www.bizhealthcoach.com“