The cluster of eating habits most negatively affecting you is:
You’re dealing with some stressful situations and probably feeling like you don’t have enough support to get through the big emotions you have weighing on you. Maybe you don’t have enough good friends you can talk to lately or other reliable ways to blow off steam, or maybe you just don’t have time to deal with it right now so you tuck it away for later. This is causing you to eat in ways that don't support your healthy goals.
Eating is comforting. Our brains are wired to feel better while eating and when feeling full and will happily try to numb or avoid emotions with whatever quick fix is around. Without good outlets, stress, anger, sadness and loneliness can all unconsciously make you want to eat more, eat more often and eat not-so-healthy foods. There’s not enough willpower in the world to resist these strong urges to soothe yourself with food during highly stressful times while surrounded by temptations (that’s not just you, it’s true for everyone).
Read more to find out what bad habits this causes + simple steps to break them
Watch out! These unconscious habits result in:
When your emotions are running high and you’re in the throes of strong urges to soothe yourself with food, your brain will create irrational justifications for your actions that seem logical but actually aren't. Don’t believe it!
2.Bad Habit Reinforcement
One of the best ways to wire up a new habit is to make sure it helps you avoid negative emotions, which is a fantastic reward. When you eat with your emotions, guess what you’re also doing? Reinforcing these bad emotional eating habits.
Eating might make you feel better in the moment but it does nothing to help you process your emotions or solve the underlying problems or your ongoing stress and it prolongs your suffering. You don’t deserve to suffer.
Your Personalized Action Steps
Here’s where you should start to get some quick wins and begin disrupting this cluster of habits. If you do the following three simple things a handful of times, you'll start to see distinct results. If you do them over and over in the same context, they'll start to rewire your brain and become automatic. Turn them into automatic habits to transform your health!
Crunchy foods are inherently more comforting than other foods (it’s a soothing repetitive motion and crunchy meant fresh, evolutionarily speaking). Sweet treats are more tempting but it’s the fat that causes the feelings of satisfaction (have you ever tried fat-free ice cream to soothe yourself? Just once you say, and never again? Yes, we agree). When you’re eating for comfort, choose something crunchy with healthy fat, like chips and guacamole or popcorn with coconut oil. Both are much better for you than finishing off a pint of ice cream and might soothe you just as much.
2.Map Out Alternatives
When the urge for some comfort eating strikes, have a list of vetted alternatives ready to go. Your list of alternatives should include healthier snacks & treats that still satisfy you and also things you can do instead of eating that make you feel better (or thoroughly distract you, which also works). Make that list now, well in advance. What can you eat that still feels like a treat even though it’s not really very bad for you (or at least not as bad as other go-to indulgences)? What else do you know helps you relieve your stress, stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system and makes you feel soooo much better?
3.Get Listening Time
When your emotions are interfering with your eating habits, you need a good way to get feelings off your chest before you eat them instead. Having someone you can call who will listen to you complain or rage or cry can be incredibly effective at clearing feelings out. A 20 minute weekly listening time can often work wonders and can strengthen a connection to a friend too. You can also pour your feelings out into a journal, if you don't have a friend available. Journaling has the added benefit of revealing clarity about the root causes of your angst and what to do to about them.
One Key Skill to Master
Want to 10x your results? Recommended just for you based on your quiz answers:
Self-Soothing Without Food
Exploring all the delightful ways to soothe yourself without eating will help you build this skill and will boost your strength to make different eating choices in the moment. It’s impossible to not have any stress, anxiety, conflict, anger, loneliness or other angstful emotions that are at the root of this cluster of eating habits. But you can learn how to manage them in ways that support you and make you feel stronger, instead of tear you down and make you feel bad about yourself.
When you’re upset and feeling the urge to eat or indulge in a treat, say to yourself “Wow, I’m really feeling [anxious/angry/lonely] and I'm really suffering. It's totally natural to want something that will take that pain away. And food is not the only option for making myself feel a little better. I could also [talk it out] or [hit something] or [have a cold drink in the hammock] or __________”.
Kendra Markle, MEng
Habits Behavioral Scientist
Before you go crush your new habits, let me introduce myself..
Hey there, I'm Kendra!
I'm a behavioral scientist who's obsessed with how to make good habits and break bad ones. Can you tell?
I've coached hundreds of clients, patients and research subjects through changing their behavior with all the most fascinating tricks and methods that research has shown to actually work. I spent years in the habits research world learning all about what makes people do the fascinating things they do, how to change behavior by design and of course, all the best and worst health habits you need to master to level up your health.
I've seen it all.
I really enjoy teaching habit design techniques to sharp-minded people like yourself who are struggling to change their own behavior and just want to know what works so they can level up, improve their health and live with vitality and longevity.
I love habits because they're fun and easy, if you do them right, and they're straight up super impactful. They have the power to transform your life and your health. If you want to laser focus on easy changes that generate enormous results, you're in the right place.
I'm so excited you're here and I can't wait to help you experience the power of habits and the thrill of success with a new toolbox full of all the best ways to make good habits and break bad ones.
PS This is just the beginning..
I don't just want to tell you about how awesome habits are, give you a few tips and then get back to work. I'm here to help you through the whole process of taking your habits up to the next level.
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