Welcome to Episode 4 of The Grapefruit & Granola podcast. THANK YOU again so much for supporting this podcast!
I really want to hear from you. What types of topics do you want to hear about? What questions do you have about nutrition? Please contact me and let me know!
Good Week, Bad Week
Bad Week: B has been sick over the past week so that’s been a bit of a bummer. I actually think it may have been related to allergies because it was really cold in Charlotte and then randomly got very warm, but whatever it was, he was completely down for the count for almost a solid 7 days. On the bright side, he’s feeling better now. ::insert praise hands here::
Good Week: obviously it was launching the podcast! I know I just said this but THANK YOU again to everyone who has given me such positive feedback about The Grapefruit & Granola podcast so far. I received so many messages, emails and texts! Not only did that make me feel good, but it also made me realize how important it is to cheer people on and congratulate them when something good happens. I feel like we have a lot of heavy things going on in the United States right now, and there’s a lot of negativity out there, so we should really celebrate the good things when we can. And seeing people do that for me made me feel really good, and it was also a good reminder that I need to do a better job of that moving forward. So yeah, that was all definitely my good week :)
What was your good week, bad week? Let us know in the G&G Nutrition Community
Show Notes: Emotional Eating and Stress Eating
One of the most requested topics here has been to discuss stress eating. So I know you will love this episode! I had a chance to talk to Dr. Paula Swindle, a professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, about emotional eating. She gives some great tips for dealing with stress!
Dr. Swindle’s definition of emotional eating:
anytime we eat other than to nourish/fuel our bodies
Types of Emotional Eating:
- Stress eating
- Comfort eating
- Boredom eating
- Connecting food with showing love- ex: our grandmothers wanting you to eat and eat some more :)
The most common type of emotional eating is stress eating
Emotional Eating: When it’s a concern
Dr. Swindle is not saying that emotional eating is ALWAYS unhealthy. She’s also not saying that food can *only* be considered as fuel. However, emotional eating is a concern when it’s a primary way you’re coping with emotion.
Food is a big part of socialization. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should not be the ONLY thing.
Stress Eating: Fight or flight
When our bodies are stressed, they go into survival mode and crave that quick energy (simple carbohydrates). When you’re stressed, you may actually be craving those things even when your body doesn’t really need it.
It is common with women that a state of being stressed just feels normal. However, this is NOT normal or healthy. We need to start recognizing that it’s actually bad for our health and we should be taking steps to reduce stress. Stress exacerbates everything related to health.
As of right now, there is no official diagnosis for food addiction. Although, it is common for people to react to certain foods, like sugar, in the same way they react to a drug, like cocaine. Some people may actually need a detox from added sugar and actually go through withdrawal.
Tips for to Decrease Stress Eating / Emotional Eating
#1- Be very intentional / mindful
You can’t take something away without replacing it with something else- if you’re not going to eat chocolate, what are you going to do? Fill that void with something. It needs to be quick and easy.
- Deep breaths
- Walk around the building
- Go up and down the building
- Watch a funny YouTube video!
Ask yourself: what am I going to do instead?
*it’s great to indulge in life, but it just doesn’t have to be with food
Tip #2- Focus on where we WANT to be
If we focus on something, it will get bigger. So focus on something positive, on things we want.
Tip #3- Keep an Emotional Eating Food Journal
Keep a food journal that tracks what you eat, when you eat and your emotions. Look for patterns. For example, maybe at 3pm you always get a candy bar from the vending machine. Is that a time at work when you really need to take a break?
Tip #4- A question to ask yourself
Ask yourself when you’re going to eat something that may not be so healthy, ask yourself “would I eat this if it was a banana or an apple”?
Mental health & exercise
- Reduces stress
- Reduces depression
- Deals with cortisol in a healthy way
There’s no quick fix if you’re struggling with emotional eating. Becoming an emotional eater didn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect to immediately reverse habits. You don’t want trying not to stress eat to become stressful. Also, don’t fall into the “all or nothing” mindset. Embrace the grey area of emotions and eating and continue to take small steps forward.
Guest Bio: Dr. Paula J. Swindle is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPCS) in North Carolina and an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. She has experience in multiple areas of clinical mental health counseling including Youth and Family Therapy, Addictions, and counseling in medical settings including Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Cancer Services, and Community Wellness and Education. Her areas of focus include Wellness, Emotional Eating/Food Addiction, and Religious Abuse.
Contact Information: email@example.com