How to Stop Emotional Eating Right Now With These Simple Steps

how to stop emotional eatingEpisode 59–We’ve been talking about the roots and damaging effects of emotional eating. But, how can we escape this vicious cycle that drags us down into depression and obesity? What are some key steps that can help? After all, dieting usually doesn’t help. In fact, dieting can sometimes make it worse. This is because emotional eating is a psychological and spiritual issue, not strictly a food issue. Today on Crunchy Christian Podcast, we’re discussing how to stop emotional eating from a spiritual and psychological perspective.

Disclaimer: Remember, I am not a psychologist, pastor, or counselor. Trying the things I mention won’t hurt, but you may also need professional help from a counselor or pastor. The intent is not to substitute professional guidance, but rather to make you aware that there are simple and effective things you can do to overcome this issue. You don’t need to suffer in silence and shame. 

How to Stop Emotional Eating with Some Simple Steps

Now, I’m not going to lie. These steps for how to stop emotional eating are simple, but not necessarily easy. First, they will require you to gather your courage and your Bible.

Step 1: Renew Your Mind by Telling Yourself the Truth

One of the biggest issues with emotional eating is negative self talk. You need to change the tapes playing over and over in your head. Pay attention to the things you tell yourself inside your head and the lies you believe about others and yourself. You can begin to change the tapes by posting and reading Bible verses about your identity in Christ. Just because someone says something rude to you doesn’t mean they dislike you. And just because you forgot something doesn’t mean you are stupid. You may not even be aware that you are telling yourself the worst possible things every time something bad happens. And that’s where step 2 comes in.

Step 2 of How to Stop Emotional Eating:  Practice Mindfulness

Have you ever heard the adage that our thoughts determine our behaviors? Jesus said that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 15:18). So, part of how to stop emotional eating is changing your heart, which means your thoughts and beliefs. That means taking every thought captive and the only way we can do that is by practicing mindfulness. Being mindful is slowing down and examining why you feel what you feel. What happened just before? It means examining your thoughts and feelings and asking three whys. Why do I feel/think that way? and then asking yourself Why? until you drill down to the very heart of what’s driving you.

Sometimes this can be painful, but it is key to how to stop emotional eating. You need to better understand yourself and then change your thoughts and beliefs. Essentially, you need to renew your mind by replacing the thought patterns that keep you prisoner with those that will set you free to be all that God intended.

Step 3: Use Simple Tools

Sometimes it helps to use a journal or affirmation coloring book. A journal can help you with practicing mindfulness and force you to slow down and reflect. It also gives you a way to track your progress as you renew your mind. If you prefer, you can write a letter to the person who triggers you to most. This is not a letter you would mail, but rather a way to get your feelings out. I have done this before and then put it through the paper shredder. Letting go of past hurts and practicing forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget about it. It means that you will let God deal with that person. It also means that you will not allow that situation to enslave you to all those negative feelings that make you want to eat.

Step 4: Confront Toxic Situations

The Bible tells us to go quickly to our brother who offends us and work it out. We are also encouraged to not let the sun go down on our anger lest we fall into sin. Therefore, it is Biblical to confront toxic situations that trigger your eating issue and try to resolve them. The best thing to do is to confront the person at the time that the offense happens, not days or months later. But, if the offense happened when you were a child, it may be best to give that situation over to the Lord and have peace with it.

Step 5: Involve Others Who Care

Sometimes, we need someone else to encourage us, keep us accountable, or talk us through temptation. There is no shame in asking for help. And, there’s no shame in going to a pastor or counselor if you don’t know how to stop emotional eating on your own, even with these steps. For some people, it is just too hard to do it alone and that’s okay. We need to stop shaming ourselves about this issue. Lots of women struggle with food addictions and eating disorders.

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