If you think I’m writing this because I’m the expert on comfort eating then you’re half right. I won’t go into full details but if you want to know about my struggles with comfort eating and binging then you should read this post. But I also want you to know that if you self medicate your stress, anxiety or sadness with food, alcohol or something else then you’re not alone.
I generally treat this with clients over a number of sessions but I want to give you a brief overview of a few techniques you can employ if this is a problem for you.
The first step is to acknowledge when it is happening. Initially, you don’t need to do anything about it. Just recognise it when it happens.
Once you’ve done this, you need to look for your triggers. What is it that causes you to begin to binge eat or drink? Is it a slow build up like a tough day at work or are there really specific triggers such as a row with a certain person?
Are there any thought process you go through before you begin to comfort eat, or as you eat?
Whilst you’re identifying these it’s really useful to use a journal, so that you can record your thoughts and refer back to it to identify a pattern.
Whilst you’re doing this, you really also need to forgive yourself. Recognise that this is a coping mechanism that you’ve developed over a period of time and so it will take a while to break it.
Now a tricky one. What is it that you are hoping to feel when you eat? What are the feelings that you are missing or craving?
And how could you achieve that feeling in a different, less self destructive way?
Notice that I’m not suggesting you substitute a different food, in fact, I don’t suggest you really actively do anything about eating the food, more that you look at addressing the feelings underneath and find a different coping mechanism.
You can find out more in the Understanding Emotional Eating free course which you can access by clicking below