What would you like to know?
Share this Story

Creative ways to not turn to food for comfort

Dr Ben Michaelis is a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping patients achieve mental health and well-being through creative expression. His clients include authors, musicians, and a wide range of artists and professionals. He i...

Emotional nourishment

Did the start of a new year mean the start of a new diet for you? Did you lose weight or are you back to your pre-diet eating habits? Most diet programs don’t lead to long-term weight-loss because they don’t address the emotional issues that underlie our relationship with food. We commonly turn to food for some type of comfort – and in turn, gain weight and fail to keep weight off after a diet. Here’s how to tap into your innate creativity to nourish your food-craving emotions in ways that will keep you from turning to food for comfort.

Woman energized by walk

Our relationship with food affects our waist size

Every one of us has an intimate and emotional bond with the foods we eat. It may be healthy or unhealthy, but make no mistake, this significant, long-term relationship affects the choices you make when it comes to food. Understanding how you relate to food is often the linchpin to losing unwanted pounds and keeping them off.

Learn more about your unhealthy food associations >>

Healthy alternatives to emotional eating

There are so many ways you can be creative to give yourself a healthy emotional outlet instead of turning to food during times of stress.

1


Express yourself

If you are feeling emotional unease because of a change of circumstances or location, consider writing, drawing or taking photographs to express yourself.

2Ease your pain

If you are experiencing the pain of loss, consider developing something new to soothe your pain. Consider making a collage of photos and memorabilia.

3Nurture growth

If you feel lonely or sad, go out into the garden and plant something -- or just pull weeds for a time.

4Play on paper

Keep a large box of crayons in your house with a large pad of paper and just "play" on paper.

5Journal

Get a journal and write down your feelings instead of turning to the refrigerator.

6Get to know the new you

If the association that you are struggling with is about identity, consider painting a picture or writing a story about the new you. Getting to know this person in your mind's eye before your take her out on the streets can keep you from running back to your old emotional eating habits

7Go outside

Go for a walk. It is well known that exercise can help to combat feelings of anxiety and depression. You also get much-needed vitamin D by being outside and that will also improve your mood.

8Gift others

If what you create is edible, give it to a friend or to others in need. That way, you form a new connection and transform the negative feelings into a positive experience.

Create your new relationship with food

It's time to walk down a different street and start a new relationship with food. By understanding how you relate to food and how you feel about what you eat, you can make better choices and feel good about yourself. This will put you well on your way down a new path to a healthy relationship with food and a healthy you.

More ways to develop healthy eating habits

Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Health & Wellness
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!