What to if watching the news triggers your emotional eating

The last three weeks, the nation has spent a whooping 1 BILLION on food. With recent news causing so much anxiety and stress, it is so easy to fall into the trap of turning to food for comfort.

When you're trying to overcome binge eating and emotional eating, while we obviously want to stay up-to-date, equally important is that we look after our physical and mental wellbeing. 

So we really need a plan to stay in control. 

Suggestion 1: Limit the time you allow yourself to watch the news

​I allow myself to watch the news once a day after dinner before bedtime. This allows me to focus on work and spending quality time with my family and kittens. 

Once I get the latest updates, I turn off the TV, log out of my Facebook account or anywhere I can access news reports (and I don't use electronic devices before bed anyway), do some relaxation exercises or do something to brighten up my mood before I go to bed. 

If you repeatedly watch or hear the same news over and over again, it will really bring feelings of anxiety up, so there is no need to keep the TV on all day.

Also, it would be a good idea to watch the news when you're not around food. This is so you don't stuff your feelings with food. Hence, that's the reason I choose to watch the news after dinner, when I'm already full. 

Suggestion 2: Self-care is important, I cannot emphasize enough

Decide what you will do to replace emotional eating with. As I mentioned in previous emails, have a plan of what activities you'll do instead in response to different situations or emotions. 

If we keep turning to food for comfort, in a few weeks' time, we will not only be facing a world health crisis, but also a personal physical and mental health crisis. 

I mainly use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) techniques with my clients and there is a quote I often use to explain not acting on urges as soon as they arise with me clients. 

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

-Victor E Frankl

In this case, the stimulus is the news, but we can choose how we want to respond. If we continuously choose NOT to turn to food, our ability to use other coping strategies increases and eventually we are able to stop binge eating or emotional eating. That's why creating your plan is so important. 

Suggestion 3: Remind yourself why you want to stop binge eating

It could be for your own health, to be able to run around with your kids and watch them grow...​

Write down your reasons on post-it notes and stick the notes on your fridge or food cupboards to remind yourself. 

Download my free Stop Binge Eating Guide, or join the free Stop Binge Eating Community Facebook group to connect with other like-minded individuals so you can support each other. 

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© NutriPsych-Stop Binge Eating Clinic 2019 and beyond

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