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Advice for reducing/stopping emotional eating

I was raised with the notion that food=love, food=comfort, etc. It's so ingrained in my being that I usually can't stop myself. I want to be as close to 100% raw vegan as possible, and I know I can if I am able to find some way to halt the emotional eating (I was strictly raw vegan a few years ago, before I met my soon to be x-husband and before I became a Mom). Any time I am stressed, sad, under pressure, bored.....in I go to the kitchen and eat eat eat even though I am not hungry. I catch myself every time, and even though I tell myself it's completely emotional and I am not hungry....the hand still feeds the mouth. I only have raw vegan foods at home, so at least I am not binging on junk food. But if I am out, I do eat cooked non vegan stuff.

I want to feel as good as I did when I was completely raw vegan! I am currently overweight and don't have half the energy I used to have just a few years ago.

Does anyone have any advice? Perhaps some herbs that may help with this? I am still nursing my little one so it would have to be breastfeeding safe.



  • eechoeecho Raw Newbie

    I think everyone struggles with this to some degree. As an athletic guy, even I struggle with conforming to my eating goals (not eating at night, not overeating ,etc.) Growing up I never knew I had so many addictions, and becoming raw really revealed that. But its ok, we just admit where we are and move forward, thats just life, right?

    Anyway, I'll just list a few things quickly that help me out. 1) Read read read. I always have at least one raw food book that I read. And normally every day I skim some forums, blogs, etc. This will keep you excited and increase your motivation to remain raw. It will also develop a sense of connectedness with others enduring the same struggles and experiencing the same joys. 2) Exercise. Figure out how much you need / should actually be doing, and do it. Besides helping out your chemistry, this will also give you more motivation to remain raw. Then, instead of that junk food just equaling some guilt and lack of energy, it will also equal undoing a lot of hard work that you just did. And you'll be want to feel tip top shape for tomorrow's workout. 3) Accountability. Find a person that you are close to who will understand your situation and have them hold you accountable to your goals. It doesn't have to be a confession every time you eat some junk food, but just let them know that you did it. Let them know if you've been "good" for a long time. Again, this connectedness will help you out emotionally and hopefully you find someone that can give you a lot of positive support as well. If you don't know anyone personally who could do this, then find a forum like this and use it to maintain your accountability.

    Hope that helps, good luck! Just remember that if you mess up its ok, just keep your overall progress moving forward and don't let any bit of guilt discourage you from your goals.

  • if you just allow yourself to eat fruits and vegetables as much as you want, even if it's a comfort motivation, it may lose some of its appeal...and you'll actually end up overeating less, since, if it's not verboten anymore, it doesn't have the same draw.

  • I have this problem in winter a lot, now it is dark early.. So i just bought some walnuts, I love them but I have to open them.. it takes time and after a few- no more thatn 3 right now I have lost all motivation.

    Drinking warm water also helps.. or teas if you do that.

  • Eecho, what books do you recommend? Reading is always a great motivator for me, but since I became a single Mom to an infant, it's been difficult to find the time to read. I think it will really help. Even if I have to cut into my sleeping hours a little bit.

    I am shooting for an exercise routine in January when my baby starts daycare. Right now I am her sole caregiver.

    Ampallang, the nuts in the shell idea is very good! Nuts are one of the things I usually snack on when not hungry!

    Crispypear, I tried your approach and the emotional eating has decreased in the last few days. I've also started taking some plant extracts mixed by an herbalist in town and it seems to be helping a lot! I just started taking it yesterday and can feel the difference.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  • chilovechilove Raw Newbie

    Hi there,

    I was a compulsive overeater for many years and food was always what I turned to for comfort so I know what you are dealing with. I was obese before I went raw and I really had to battle those demons to stay raw.

    What helped me a great deal was to always have delicious food around me to stay satisfied with. Feeling in the slightest bit deprived was a huge binge trigger. I always packed way more food than I needed when I was going out anywhere. It helped me feel more secure.

    Also, lots of inner emotional work was the key. I had to address the reasons why I ate to comfort myself and the underlying unresolved emotional issues.

    Meditation and exercise helped a great deal because they lower stress significantly and stress is a huge contributor to binging.

    I hope this helps,




  • eechoeecho Raw Newbie

    These are some good books that I recommend. Remember that no one is 100% correct, so if an author says something that doesn't quite seem right, it doesn't mean they are completely wack, it just means they have different experiences forming their knowledge. I recommend, in order:

    Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko (classic starter book, great info, great perspective)

    Your Natural Diet: Alive Raw Foods by T. C. Fry (author is wacky, but great knowledge)

    The China Study by The China Study (especially helpful to reinforce veganism / abolish the protein myth)

    The Daylight Diet by Paul Nison (this is still in the mail, but the concept is great and I anticipate it to be fantastic)

    Start there. These books are good because they really just push raw, and not necessarily a subdivision of raw (i.e. mostly fruit, mostly greens, how much sprouts, etc). So, hopefully they won't contradict each other too much. After that you can read other stuff for general learning, like The Hippocrates Diet by Ann Wigmore and The 80/10/10 Diet by Doug Graham. Books like these contain very different approaches to raw, but at this point you should be figuring out what works for you so you can mix and match the information however you think works best.

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