We’re always busy behind the scenes at Nutracheck developing new and exciting features to add to our Food Diary Service. Latest on the line-up is our new Emotional Eating Tool which I’m really excited to tell you about.
What we eat is often influenced by emotions and circumstances. Understanding this better helps to keep your diet on track. What’s great about keeping a food diary is you end up with a daily itemised list of everything you’ve consumed each day – making it easy to see at a glance what you’ve eaten. With the new Emotional Eating Tool, you can now tag anything you add to your diary with an emotional or situational trigger so you can see why you might reach for certain foods.
Triggers you can choose from include:
- Feeling down
- Under the weather
- Because it was there
- Celebratory meal
- Eating after a few drinks
- Hangover recovery
- In a rush
- Just a habit
- Lack of sleep
- Nothing to eat at home
- Someone else’s influence
- Too tired to cook
It’s all very well being able to see at a glance why you’ve eaten certain things throughout the day or week, but the tool helps even further. You can download a personal report that identifies unhelpful patterns from the triggers you’ve used which provides constructive feedback on how to manage the situation better in future. So by adding a trigger to your Food Diary entries, your report will help you to avoid those temptations in the future.
We hope you enjoy using the new tool and we’re always keen to hear your feedback
Here’s an extract from one of our Food Triggers reports…
Dealing with stress triggered eating
When we’re angry or stressed, it’s easy to reach for food as a comfort – but more often than not it is just mindless eating and we probably aren’t even registering what we’re putting in our mouths! Stopping to think before you eat is hard but could be the key to preventing overeating.
When you’re in the middle of a stressful situation, see if any of these strategies help:
- Before you reach for food – stop and take a deep breath. Count slowly to 10 while controlling your breathing. Ask yourself how you will seriously feel if you allow this incident to cause you to fall off the diet wagon – will binge eating fix the problem or just leave you feeling even more depressed later? Don’t allow this trigger to sabotage your great weight loss achievement by giving it permission to encroach on other areas of your life that you are feeling good about.
- Take yourself physically away from the situation. If you’re at home, go to another room. If you’re at work go for a walk around the office. Get outside if you can, just take a few minutes to clear your head. Make a cup of tea or coffee and give yourself chance to calm down.
- Talk to a friend – a problem shared really can be a problem diffused, even if it’s not solved. Someone not directly involved can help you get some perspective on the issue.
- If you are at home… keep your favourite dress or pair of jeans that don’t fit any more hanging on the wardrobe door. Just seeing it can be enough, but take a moment to imagine how you will feel when you’ve reached your goal and can wear it again. Taking time out of a stressful situation to remind yourself why you are trying to lose weight may be enough to avoid comfort eating.
- Exercise is a great stress buster – yes, you’ve heard this one before but it’s true! Go for a brisk walk or run. The release of serotonin is a powerful feel good hormone that can counter the negative emotions.
- If you have the time, take a long hot bath and just relax. Take a few moments to think about what you’ve achieved to date and the weight you’ve lost. A bit of pampering and ‘me’ time can really boost your mood.
- Hit the Nutracheck Forums! There are hundreds of other members who are dealing with exactly the same challenges as you. Post a message and you’ll soon discover that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling. It’s a great community and we encourage you to get involved.
The next two tips are more for planning ahead…
- Write a list of all the reasons why you are losing weight, make a few copies of the list and put one in places like your purse or wallet, inside the biscuit tin, on the fridge door, in your car, inside your desk at work. Every time you feel the urge to eat when stressed, just remind yourself why you’re doing this and focus ahead on what you’ll be able to do when you’ve lost the weight – how much better you’ll feel, the new clothes you can wear etc.
- Keep only healthy snacks to hand. If you know you’re going to have a crazy day, prepare something to take with you. Carrot, cucumber and celery sticks are great for snacking on, and are all really low in calories – perfect for mindless eating.
The other thing to do is write down things that are playing on your mind and worrying you right now. They could be work related or personal. Now put away the list away and review it in a month’s time.
How many of the things you were worrying about actually happened? Hopefully this exercise will show you that we all waste far too much time and energy stressing about what might never happen!