Healthy emotional eating – a form of self care
So many of our clients feel bad for eating something sweet after dinner. They feel they just shouldn’t be eating at that time, and certainly not anything with sugar.
When this comes up, we have a conversation around food not just being for nourishment and fuel, but also for pleasure. Pleasure is vital to our well-being and food can be a simple way to give ourselves some pleasure – especially if we’ve had a tough day and now we finally have a moment to relax and practice some self care. This is not a problematic form of emotional eating, this is choosing to enjoy some food as a part of taking care of our mental health. This is healthy emotional eating.
But if you are thinking you shouldn’t be eating the food, chances are you won’t the get the same level of pleasure, it may taste good while you’re eating, but then you feel bad (shame) afterwards which takes away from the pleasure and self care aspect. Many people also find themselves not eating the food mindfully, as a sense of guilt causes the eating to be quick or in secret.
Rather than always fighting the urge to eat something, what if you planned to enjoy something after dinner? Make it a ritual, a bit of “me time”. Whatever it is you feel like eating, do it with intention – the intention to give yourself a little pleasure from food and some self care.
Recently when a client did this, she mentioned how it allowed her to stop obsessing over the food.