Since starting my journey on this low carb plan, I have really started to evaluate why I was choosing the things I was eating. Why I felt I craved those sugars and bad carbs. Is it a chemical reaction in my body due to being used to eating those things for so long? Is it emotional or in my head? Will it ever go away or will I always have to fight it? I constantly am thinking about these things, even after being on a low carb plan for over 2 months. Though I have had more cheat days/meals than the first month, I feel once I had that first one, the first cheat day, it has been much harder to curb the cravings.
So, I’ve been doing some research as to what it is that keeps you craving these things. For me, I know it is more of an emotional eating than anything, though I don’t necessarily feel “down” or “upset” when I am choosing to go through with a cheat meal. Some of it has been certain events, such as birthdays or environmental, such as a friend cooking breakfast for me. But as I’ve been reading articles about the why’s and information on emotional eating, I am thinking, shoot, that’s me. Or damn, they nailed me.
“While it may seem that the core problem is that you’re powerless over food, emotional eating actually stems from feeling powerless over your emotions. You don’t feel capable of dealing with your feelings head on, so you avoid them with food.”
Quoted from this site (which has a lot of great information!), these 2 lines really stuck out to me. Although when I’m thinking ‘I really want a donut’ I may not be sad or mad or even stressed, there is obviously some underlying issue that makes me feel powerless over this craving. One of the suggestions from the site mentioned above is to keep an Emotional Eating Diary. Though diaries in the past for me are hit and miss, I think keeping this for the cravings I get and writing down my mood when I get them may help to find the underlying cause as to why I am craving it and what I’m trying to fulfill. Another suggestion is to take a breather and pause. When I get the craving, it suggests to tell myself to wait 5 minutes and evaluate myself and how I feel. I have noticed since I have started the low carb plan that I started to replace the cravings with other things such as energy drinks, more coffee, diet dr. pepper drinks from Sonic. They were little rewards I was allowing myself for not craving or giving into cravings of bad carbs and sugars. But I am still giving myself that reward, or emotional “eating”. Though not as bad, it is still the same thought process and it’s hard to let go of.
If you are an emotional eater, or have issues keeping a “diet” or a “healthy meal plan”, then I say it might be worth a shot looking into why. Are you trying to fulfill a void in your life, emotionally eating your cravings? I am trying to remind myself that food should be used for nutrition. It is what helped me start this plan, and what I want to continue to work on to fulfill my health plan. Figuring out what void or emotion you have when you are eating unhealthy is definitely a personal journey, but I truly believe a large part of obesity in America is due to this mindset. This emotional eating, eating to reward yourself, social eating, bad habits of childhood eating. While these things may seem obvious, it may not always be obvious as to why there are such emotions or habits behind it. And the solution won’t always be easy. In fact, the solution won’t be easy at all. The good news? There are so many others out there like me, like you, who feel the same way and who want to break the habit. And in that, we can come together to support one another, share our recipes, suggestions for coping, additional helpful articles. This blog right here is one of the primary reasons I wanted to start Idreamaboutcarbs because I know if I feel like this, and some of my friends do, then there are a lot of other people out there that probably do as well, and feel helpless about it. Let’s help each other! In whatever way we can, let’s pull together, share our stories, our ideas, and our support.