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Let's talk about emotional eating in a healthier way and how to do it in ways that won't derail you and how this helps you maintain.
And no I'm not suggesting a binge on cucumbers, I know that won't cut it.
Emotional eating is probably not going to go away just because you're in Phase 3.
It didn't for me.
I want to share an illustration to bring this point to life a little bit and help us to see how to handle it successfully.
You're surfing - When it comes to the ocean when it's a calm sea type of day, the open ocean is super calm and you could sit out on your boogie board/surf board and just float there peacefully.
But even on a calm sea day, close to the shore, where you always begin, waves are consistently breaking against the beach line, over and over. To get out to the peaceful spot and just hang out, you have to get past that main wave zone where the water is really choppy and the waves are breaking over you. And this will take some effort and time - in the meantime, you're getting hit with waves - so what do you do to make progress and protect yourself?
- You use the strokes of your arms to work your way you towards the calmer waters, and
- You close your mouth and shut your eyes when the waves are breaking over you.
So I think of emotional eating as being in that wave zone near the beach.
Using the strokes of your arms to work your way to the calmer waters of the open sea is like using BOTH HCG and Phase 3 as PART of the process that helps you work at navigating away from emotional eating.
But just like that wave zone is going to have those waves coming you at periodically, Initially getting past the strong habit of emotional eating is going to be hard and won't happen with just 1 successful time of avoiding it- or one stroke of your arm working against the waves.
You will have to keep paddling with those arms, keep making those efforts.
So what do you do in the meantime when you haven't made it pass the initial breaking waves where the sea feels calmer and easier to navigate?
If you leave your mouth open you're going to swallow a whole lot of sea water when those waves break over you right?
So how we do close our mouths and shut our eyes while that next wave breaks over us to minimize the damage we experience?
We can DEAL with emotional eating more easily without doing damage, or as MUCH damage to our bodies and the progress we've made if we utilize strategies like the dessert smoothies in the phase 3 meal plan to get by- that's like keeping your mouth closed when the waves are coming at you.
You're still in the thick of it - BUT you are not suffering as badly as you would if you didn't take precautions to protect yourself.
So if you feel sad, glad, depressed, happy, bored, tired, and you feel like eating because of that, and your willpower is down here - and you're not there yet, you're not like, "Even though I'm totally exhausted and depressed about my whole life right now, I'm going engage my will power muscle perfectly for the next 10 hours straight and not eat since I'm not really hungry" - instead, can you give yourself a little grace - and I'm saying a little - because you're not going to choose to just eat whatever - but you'll opt for SOMETHING to eat, but make that choice a dessert smoothie? Or a mug muffin. Something that you can eat perhaps a little higher volume that won't cause you problems and that won't produce further cravings for you later.
These truly have become a complete replacement for dessert for me.
HCG will clean out your tastebuds allowing the p3 smoothies to get a true foothold and feel truly satisfying to where you aren't left feeling like you wish you had something else or something better.
It's kind of like - not sure if you guys have ever been backpacking, even if you haven't, you've probably heard of the bad rap backpacking food gets right- freeze dried bits of food that looks like a bag of dirt with some small sticks and rocks mixed in, so you can imagine the taste compared to real food. I remember eating a packet at home once and the taste and texture definitely left a lot to be desired.
But a funny thing happens when you've just hiked 8 miles in perhaps steep terrain, hot weather, with very little food and maybe a 50 lb pack on your back. You sit down and add your hot water to your bag of freeze dried chili and guess what? That is the best tasting bowl of chili you've ever had in your LIFE.
So we have this great advantage by having just completed HCG.
If you went straight from real ice cream and chocolate cake or donuts to the P3 smoothies it might be like hmmmmm, not quite the same thing.
But HCG cleans out your palate- and heightens your sensation of taste - just like a long hiking trail will do - you've been away from those intense sugar tastes for 3-6 weeks so your taste buds are much more sensitive now and are heightened and these smoothies feel like wow. So good.
What about if you have more of a salty tooth instead of a sweet tooth?
Think about what salty substitutions you have in P3 that won't totally derail you.
Maybe you used to eat chips. Can you have some salted pork rinds instead, or pickles or olives - something low carb since Phase 3 is an important time to avoid high carb foods.
The main point here is to be okay with ACKNOWLEDGING to yourself that you will likely not get rid of emotional eating overnight so you need to allow yourself OUTS when you can't follow through, without feeling completely derailed and worthless.
Feelings of Worthlessness always seems to lead to bad eating choices.
Instead if you can think about how can I make a good choice for my emotional eating today? ????
And in time, as you continue to eat clean and the cravings go away, you will find it easier to not eat purely for emotional reasons anymore.
There are 2 results from this approach that can make the difference between maintaining and re-gaining 30 lbs.
This DEFINITELY made the difference for me
I DID overeat in phase 3 and 4- in the several years I've been maintaining. It was 4 years as of fall 2016 - at the beginning- and by beginning I mean the first 2 years or so. I struggled with this still fairly frequently. And even now, I go through difficult periods and I eat a fair amount at times- more than I would choose to if I were feeling like I had complete control and was eating ONLY based on hunger.
BUT because the things I chose to emotionally eat were better choices than what I USED to over-consume it led to 1 of 2 things.
- Either there was NO effect on my weight whatsoever because I was emotionally eating a 100 or 150 calorie p3 style smoothie, OR
- In some cases, my weight WOULD be effected - because hey, if I eat 3 150 calorie smoothies in a day, and maybe do that for 4 days, 450 extra calories can easily add up to some extra lbs right? In this case, I did have to make corrections, BUT the corrections were SO much more minor than if I were still bingeing on whole boxes of cookies or pints of ice cream. Because they were minor I was able to fix them myself through intermittent fasting and cleaner eating for short periods of time and I didn't have to do another round of HCG - we all know just how much focus and major self discipline an entire round of HCG takes - if it's avoidable, it's certainly the thing to do- my gains could have been 5-10 lbs but instead were 1-4 lbs - things I COULD fix on my own without having to exhibit huge amount of extra self control for long periods of time.
So remember that one way to think about emotional eating is not as something we can overcome in a one time effort, but something we will gradually move past over time, and that while we're doing this, we can lessen the effects in a major, significant way, by utilizing BETTER choices for emotional eating that won't cause large gains or more cravings later.
Then you can feel good about your current efforts even IF you eat emotionally still and maintain your losses or only need to make SMALL corrections that are much more manageable from a will power and focus standpoint.
Ideas for emotional eating healthier:
- P3 smoothies (multiple ones if need be)
- Morning mug muffins
- Miracle noodles +
- Sauteed in butter and mushrooms and tomatoes with cheese
- Steam a whole head of broccoli or cauliflower + a good amount of butter and cheese if you are needing that savoury taste.
You really are an awesome woman to share and help others succeed! So happy I found you. I have been looking at my eating habits in a whole new way. Thank you!
I’m so happy to hear this girl! I feel like being real about it all helps us figure it all out!
I’d like to suggest Lakanto Drinking Chocolate. I know it sounds like an impossibility, but a serving of it is only 10 calories and no sugar. I like to make a frappe out of it with ice and a little unsweetened coconut milk. It helps when I am craving for something sweet. My emotional eating trigger is not sweets, so this just quenches that desire for an afternoon treat.
Wonderful idea Erika! I love Lakanto products and it seems they keep coming out with new ones too. I LOVE their sugar free maple syrup, it tastes like it’s the real thing. Thanks for sharing this tip!!
Emotional eating. whew! That’s definitely a tough one to kick to the curb! I’ve learned to use prayer and exercise to help me. But there are those moments where I just want something to eat even though I’m not hungry, like when I’m PMSing! ???? My go to has been the mug breads, the bars, Indian Curry veggies and the broccoli slaw. LIFE SAVERS! I can pack on up to 8lbs during my pms and menstrual weeks. They all go away but if I don’t make wise choices some pounds tag along to my thighs, tummy and even my neck! Well! How dare they!????
For my fellow p3lifer, I am purchasing an oven that has an air fryer for sweet potato fries, chicken nuggets and wings, amongst other foods my kids n I love. Not for daily use but for those times when we just want some french fries and nuggets but I still want to keep it healthy for us. I also have a soda stream machine because I loooove sparkling water and now I use stevia drops to make myself chocolate water (try it b4 you knock it????) on that week where chocolate needs to be in EVERYTHING I eat! ???? Hey! It works!
Just remember, everything in moderation – that includes healthy foods too.???????????????? I’m loving your chocolate mug bread! It’s my new brownie coz I’ve chosen to remain sugar free! It helps manage my chronic neck pain significantly so its definitely worth it! Olga????????
Thanks for sharing all these thoughts Olga! Can’t wait to hear how that air fryer works for ya, I’m curious too! I love the chocolate stevia water! I drank that on P2 in the past and it really was yummy. So glad some of these recipes are becoming go-to’s for making a life of satisfying eating while keeping things in check.
Love this article!! Great points mentioned to stir away emotional eating. We are only human and tweaking the way be eat when we are not having a great day, etc., helps in many positive ways. 🙂
We are only human yes yes girl. Sometimes I have unrealistic visions of myself even thinner and having perfectly controlled eating all the time and then I wake up and realize, oh yeah that’s so not happening. Realistic is key to everyday life maintenance!
Question- what are your thoughts and feelings about air fryers? Could the small amount of oil used still be too much in p3? Is it really a gimmick?
Hey Lauren! I did some reading on them and they seem like they could be a neat thing to try. I certainly like the idea of some phase 4 french fries that had less oil!