How do I stop Emotional Eating and Binging?
During a cleanse, we not only release old matter lodged in the body, but we also can release trapped emotions and trauma. This may cause us to eat poor quality food in an effort to reduce or buffer the feelings. Processed foods, because they are loaded with chemicals, sweeteners, and ingredients that trigger inflammation and overstimulation of the body, are generally the major foods people turn to "deal" with emotional issues.
We all know the phrase "comfort foods". However these foods are falsely comforting. First, they do not allow us to address the real root of the issue and secondly, processed allergy causing foods trigger a release of adrenalin to surge through the body. This does feel good which is why processed foods are difficult to give up, but this overtaxes the adrenals, endocrine, and immune system.
At CLEAN we have worked with many people who deal with this issue and believe that changing food habits comes down to at least two main factors:
1. Awareness. This means becoming aware when we want to binge on food that is not helpful to us and taking a moment before it happens to breathe and breathe and breathe and then work through the issue. This can be a difficult process which is why most people don't do it. We recommend breathing and then journaling about the issue. Usually there will be some form of emotional release. This is a crucial step to change deep-seated long-term habits. Also try taking a long walk. Try reading the books "The Sedona Method" and "Focusing".
2. Substitute or "Flip" it. Building the habits that are most beneficial food-wise can be very useful. When I've needed a buffer from my emotions in the past, I would eat avocado, fruit, and figs. This satisfies the fat, sweetness, and tartness looked for when binging but done in a form that doesn't harm the body. The key is if you do this a few times with the water-rich foods that you like, you will remember that the next time you want to binge, you can go right to the foods you have chosen without thinking about it.
In the end, awareness is the key because you always have a choice even if it feels like a limited one. Breathing provides the space for this choice to be seen and acted upon.
Finally, some situations are so stressful that we end up eating consistently in a way we just don't like. There is a limit to will power and at that point it's best to go around the trigger and do something else or not engage in it.