Emotional Eating Strategy
Now that summer is upon us, the pressure to have a "beach-ready body" is almost palpable. Everywhere you look, there are songs, ads, and captions about the phrase "hot girl summer." Well, we believe that summer is going to get whatever body that you give it! 😉
We think that a better discussion to have is about our relationships with our bodies. Have you ever found yourself eating because you're stressed, bored, or triggered by something? What about the opposite—when you forget to eat at all? Our emotions are intimately tied to our appetite, so it's common for people to eat more or less than usual when they're struggling with something else in their lives. Emotional eating may lead you to feel awful, ashamed, regretful, and physically sick. Overeating or under-eating can become unhealthy quickly and affect our mental and emotional health.
To address emotional eating, let's remember:
- God blessed us with food to fuel us, bring people together, bless others, and bring us joy. God has given us freedom to eat all kinds of foods according to our needs. This means that we should mainly eat to fuel our body, rather than stress-eating or depriving ourselves of sustenance. Scripture says that whatever we do, even when we eat, it is an act of worship and a way to glorify God.
- When we find ourselves in shame or self-criticism due to emotional eating, remember, it is completely fine to enjoy some cookies or ice cream here and there. Fun eating is great in moderation! Try not to place strict rules or place unrealistic pressures on yourself. Finally, stay away from labeling food as "good" or "bad," for it can lead us to build negative relationships with food.
Here are several helpful strategies you can utilize:
We understand that finding the balance can be very difficult, especially once our brain discovers that a particular food or drink makes us feel better. A healthier alternative to emotional eating is to eat mindfully. This means you should savor the food by chewing slowly and being more aware of your hunger level. Remember: the point is to fuel your body, so practicing mindfulness can help you build a better relationship with your body and be more sensitive to its physical needs.
Our team at Hooga understands that this can be a sensitive topic, and our advice is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. If you want to learn other ways to cope with stress-eating, a loss of appetite, or explore any underlying difficult emotions, we recommend talking to a licensed nutritionist and therapist for further support.
We want to encourage you with this final reminder: Jesus cares for your physical and spiritual wellness. You are made in His image and you have inherent worth. When you're stewarding your body, you're actually taking care of the temple of God! We pray that the Lord will guide you towards complete healing and bless you with a renewed appreciation for your body.
Please feel free to share your reflections or prayer requests in the comment section below if you were encouraged by this blog post. To gain more helpful insights on topics such as these, join our weekly newsletter (at the bottom of this page)! We look forward to connecting with you via our newsletter during the week!
I really need prayer for emotional eating… I keep going to coffee to cope with anxiety and emotional stress throughout college and family issues and it’s an idol in the way of my relationship with God at this point. 😥 Thank you so much for all that you do, I relate to your story so much and your videos have sincerely helped my walk with God! ☺️