To discover and heal emotional eating patterns is a vital component to the raw food weight loss diet for many people. Statistics show that a high percentage of the population gain weight in the first place because they have used food in some capacity as a coping mechanism for dealing with emotional pain or trauma.
So although you may be able to start a raw food diet, follow it to a T, and even lose weight quite successfully, if you haven't dealt with and healed the emotional reasons behind your previous way of eating, you might find yourself slipping back into those old habits and regaining the weight all over again (up to 97% of people do!).
Therefore, it's a good idea to spend some time doing a little soul searching when you're looking into changing the way you eat.
If you are really honest with yourself, you might realize that many of the food choices you have made are not so much based on what is necessarily healthy for you, but what will fulfill that inner need that you feel. And that need might have nothing at all to do with hunger or with nourishment. You might think you ate pizza and hamburgers just because you liked them or because that's what "everybody" eats. But could there be more to it than that?
What are the clues that you need to heal emotional eating patterns? Well, do you tend to make food choices based on an inner voice that says any of the following?:
If you recognize yourself in any of these statements, you may have been consciously or even unconsciously using food as a way of dealing with some kind of emotion.
To heal emotional eating patterns, you need to focus on three areas:
Many approaches are available for discovering the reasons behind your previous eating patterns to heal emotional eating.
You can think back over your life and journal about things that bring up emotions for you and process them through writing. You can enlist the help of a friend, coach, counselor or therapist to work through past events or traumas that are tied to your emotional distress. Or you could have a hypnosis session to get your subconscious mind to pinpoint the root cause behind your emotions and heal emotional eating patterns that have subsequently arisen.
One of my very favorite non-food coping mechanisms for dealing with emotions is EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique. I have found it to be a profoundly effective tool to heal emotional eating as well as dealing with in-the-moment emotional stresses that come up. EFT involves speaking about and/or feeling the emotion while tapping on specific points on the body connected to our energy meridian system. Not only fascinating, but a powerful healing tool for just about anything you want to focus on!
I'm also a huge fan of breathing exercises for healing emotions as well as reducing stress and anxiety. Not only are these exercises both calming to the emotions, but energizing to the body because of the increased oxygen flowing through the bloodstream.
Regular physical exercise is another great way to relieve stress or sadness and feel better all over. Exercise provides the benefit of increased oxygenation as well as "feel-good" brain chemicals called endorphins.
Different forms of prayer can also be helpful for overcoming emotional eating. Ask for divine assistance in supporting your healthier food choices. Fill yourself with divine love, peace, joy, and self-empowerment to heal your emotions.
One surprising way to release your emotional baggage is through aromatherapy. I have used the "Feelings Kit" from Young Living Essential Oils and found it to be amazingly effective for healing really deep-seated emotions. The benefit of this method is that you don't need to know the root cause. The oils work at the level of the DNA and heal the cellular damage created from the emotional trauma, whatever it was. Plus, the oils in this particular kit happen to smell heavenly!
While you are working to heal emotional eating patterns, begin to shift the way you perceive food.
Food is not your emotional "pacifier," your "baby blanket," your "teddy bear."
Food is fuel for your body. Nourishment. Vitamins and Minerals. A way to give the body what it needs to live, to grow, to maintain itself and to function at peak levels of performance.
So search for and choose highly nourishing foods that will support your body's ideal health. They can still be absolutely delicious - but they will also be foods that will help you heal on every level - body, mind and soul!