However, this “replacement” technique usually backfires…because it triggers diet mentality around food…which makes us want to eat more in the long run, not less.
Sitting-on-your-hands-trying-not-to-eat is a surefire way to feel DEPRIVED around—which we, as human animals, are biologically designed to rebel against.
In other words, when we try to pick up a coping mechanism for the purpose of controlling or limiting food—we can easily end up falling into diet-binge cycling behaviors…which is a way bigger problem than a little comfort-eating ever could be.
Emotional eating—or eating to soothe feelings—is a far lesser problem than bingeing your face off because you can’t take one more second trying to “hold yourself back” from eating what you really want.
This is one of the biggest points of confusion for folks dealing with emotional eating—90% of my clients who think “emotional eating” is their big problem realize very quickly that what they’re actually dealing with is a diet-binge cycling—an entirely different issue altogether. More on this here.
So what’s the solution? Get rid of the word “instead.”
Practice new coping mechanisms and diversify your self-care strategies without putting pressure on yourself “not eat” over something.
When we practice ADDING IN coping mechanisms (rather than taking out food), emotional eating essentially gets “crowded out” by other coping mechanisms without triggering diet-binge cycling behaviors.
Of course, if you think you may be struggling with deprivation mindset around food (i.e. you feel like you’re constantly having to control your food at all times and are terrified of ‘falling off the wagon’), it’s probably time to address your diet-binge cycling patterns–which is an entirely different issue. Learn more about that recovery process here.