Over the last 3 years, “pausing” has come up a lot with clients who struggle with overeating, emotional eating, feeling guilty about food, & food rules. As someone who has struggled with these, I know that it can be easy to feel “out of control” or that you just don’t have enough discipline. If you relate, I want you to try this:
Get into the habit of allowing yourself a moment of reflection.
For example, the other day I reached into the pantry to get some candy cane Honolulu Cookie Company cookies to have with coffee, and as I grabbed them and sat down, I asked myself:
How are you feeling?
This helps me assess if I’m eating in response to an emotion. Oftentimes food becomes a coping mechanism without us even realizing it. Have you ever had a tough day at work and opened a pint of ice cream as soon as you got home? If you hadn’t had a bad day, would you still have chosen it? Sometimes the treats we eat aren’t a result of a craving. We reach for them to ease emotional burdens.
Are you eating these because you were craving them or out of habit?
If you’ve decided you aren’t eating out of emotion, then establish if it’s actually a craving. I can be a creature of habit and find myself doing the same thing daily. It’s valuable for me to assess if I’m eating something because I really want it or out of habit/boredom.
Are you actually hungry?
As someone who ignored her hunger cues for years, I still find it helpful to assess if hunger is the driving force behind why I’m reaching for food. Do you feel low energy, your stomach rumbling, or a little on the irritable side? These are all signs I’m getting hungry.
Is eating this going to help me?
I’m not talking about calories or weight loss. If I’ve established that I’m not hungry or craving this cookie, I ask myself: Will this snack make me feel better about my current problems? Odds are it won’t. If you decide to eat it anyway after asking yourself these questions, that’s okay too.
I did end up eating the cookies. But sometimes these questions help me realize that even though I give myself unconditional permission to eat them, I might not always be reaching for food for the best reason.
The point of these questions isn’t to elicit feelings of guilt or talk you out of eating, but to help you pause long enough to make a meaningful & intentional choice.
Give it a try, it’s absolutely free and can be super helpful!
Also, if it doesn’t always work, don’t feel bad. New habits take time and practice to develop. ❤️ Be the first to know when I open 1:1 nutrition coaching spots. Click here to sign up for my waiting list.