Skip to main content

Emotional Eating: How to Control Your Eating Pattern with Self Awareness and Mudra technique

We are all guilty of emotional eating at some point in our life. This is an area that we all need to look at closely because it affects our health. 

How spiritual discipline can keep you out of emotional eating 
While I was in my teens, I underwent spiritual mentoring that taught me how to control the mind and to discipline it. Spiritual discipline required me to automatically stem any sense of taste with the power of the mind. It worked wonders for me because the moment I ate food, my mind had the power to block the sense of taste. I didn't have any craving to eat more. This technique also gave me control on maintaining body weight too. 
When I let go of the serene spiritual world that protected me, everything changed. My eating pattern went for a toss and became influenced by my emotions. I lost control of disciplining the mind, so did my control over maintaining body weight.
How relationships trigger your emotional eating pattern
Recall the years that have changed your eating patterns. You will recognize that emotional eating sneaks in like a thief. It becomes a camouflage for all the stress, the pain, the anger and the disappointments you had to tackle. 

Simply put, the quality of our relationships determine our emotional eating pattern.
If you are like me, I am certain that more than actual hunger, it is more of an emotion that triggers your eating pattern.




Tackle Emotional Eating Pattern NOW

So, it's time for us to tackle it, right? Here are some  useful tips from Dr Deepak Chopra.  
1. Start by asking yourself, “What am I hungry for?”
This question triggers an awareness within us steering our thought patterns to recognize why we feel the need to eat more than we need. If you make this a daily habit, it will totally rewire your brain and the habit of emotional eating.
2. Another useful technique to control emotional eating is to practise a ‘mudra.’  Dr. Deepak Chopra calls this an awareness recall method to practice every time we feel a craving to eat more.
First step - You have to touch your forefinger to your thumb (this is called a mudra) and as you hold this position, ask yourself
·        What ami hungry for?
·        Ami famished? Ami comfortable? Ami uncomfortable?
·    Ami just craving for food because I am hungry for something like attention, affection, appreciation? Or ami just bored?
When you are able to make this a daily practice, your brain will send the proper signals to interrupt your emotional eating pattern.
Be happy, Manage your Energy
When you feel happy and at peace from within, you won’t feel the need to indulge in ‘emotional eating.’ The key to happiness begins with cultivating a positive mindset, relationships that are meaningful to you and by working meaningfully to empower others creatively

Ultimately, it’s like Tony Schwartz famously proclaimed, ‘Manage your energy, not your time.”
What’s your take on emotional eating? How do you tackle it? Do share tips, beliefs or anecdotes that have inspired you to change your lifestyle eating patterns. 

Comments

Vinaya Naidu said…
This is such a vital topic that needs to be given its due importance in school. Most of us do not even know that we are suffering from something like this.
Personally, I have experienced the other side of emotional eating - my way to combat stress, frustration, anger, agony led me away from food, as a result i suffered from deficiencies of vitamins, minerals,etc. Doctors prescribed calcium, iron and multi-vitamin supplements for the white patches on my skin,anaemia, etc.
There was a phase in my life I started my day with chawanprash, complan milk, Seven Seas codliver oil, and supplements!!
Finally, over the years in my search for a wholesome healthy life, i realized the secret was to be happy, come what may. And not to tackle my frustration on food. I did not receive spiritual guidance but somehow got hold of the right books,at the right stage in my life, by the grace of Almighty.

This post is an eye-opener for some..for those who live in denial and those who need heavy workout to get rid of the extra, if we all only realize the importance of contentment in our day to day lives, we can stay away from all kinds of diseases.
Firstly, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this, Vinaya, esp as it is personal and can be painful. I felt sadness seep in where I read your words about your testing phase that began with so many supplements and also a sense of pride that you, dear friend, have so many admirable accomplishments that have evolved to shape the person you are today. Knowingly or unknowingly, the testing phase has given you more strength and positive energy that the rest of us can look towards and learn from too.

I also share your view that food, nutrition and eating habits should be scientifically taught in our schools. Because we, in our own different ways, are adversely affected by it during childhood and the phases of growth.

You have nailed it where you point towards happiness and that's what my post has also attempted to conclude.

This is what I believe: So much of what we eat and how we eat is determined by the happiness quotient or the lack of it.

You mentioned books that helped you. Could you list some of them? That would be helpful.
Asha said…
Loved this post, dear swapna.

After my son's birth, i went on a post natal depression which strikes many new moms. during those days i found solace in food and it started showing on me body.

It took yoga to put me on the path. My yoga instructor says one of the reasons of emotional eating is stress. she often stresses one should not reheat food or refridgerated food. One has to eat fresh food. Only fresh food has Prana. one of the best thing to to ensure nutritional food is to do more cooking by yourself and gain control of the nutritional quality. Nutritious food when cooked properly will keep you healthier and stress free. While artificial and processed food creates unhealthy and artificial appetitie and reflects on our emotions.
@Asha - Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Most of the mothers I have spoken to have shared with me about post natal depression and I have undergone it too. The only difference is that I had read up a lot on it beforehand and I knew that it was coming. Still it didn't make much of a difference when it actually hits on you, right? Even preparing doesn't help when you are caught in the middle of a scary storm. You just have to let it pass by and then you witness the devastation it leaves behind. So, yes, I can totally connect with what you are saying.

You are lucky to have found a yoga instructor to guide you with the right tips.

When you mentioned the part about eating fresh food and not refrigerated food, I was reminded of what the spiritual masters say - they also emphasize about prana being present only in fresh food. With the hectic life that we lead, sometimes we take short cuts and opt for refrigerating and reheating. Once in a while, people like me need such timely reminders from gentle, loving bloggers like you to take food, life and nutrition with mindfulness. Thank you so much for that :)
jk said…
NGDCs .. I am not against emotional eating, provided one has enough confidence to have enough money and environment to buy or prepare the food in future too as it might be difficult to change once established food habits fast .. In younger ages because of Anxiety for the next activity, perhaps eating food might not seem that much a priority, but with age probably with lesser anxieties of future one need not be much discouraged of emotional eating too provided the valet permits .. but then even with ageing if the anxiety still persists like younger ages probably dieting can be a good thing perhaps in line with some of the principles of "KaThopanishad" that seem to promote the "Belly Fire" for a better existence with / in the world ..

regards and Sairam,
jk
Vinaya Naidu said…
My home was a library with books collected by my dad over the years...I discovered the vast beauty and mysteries of this world through them...books have been my spiritual guides!

The first book that changed my whole outlook towards life was 'Autobiography of a Yogi' by Yogananda Paramahansa, where I learnt about willpower, self-discipline and of course karma.

The other significant book where I discovered natural everyday health secrets was Nature Cure book by Dr. H K Bakhru
Many thanks for stopping by to respond to my questions Vinaya.

Wonderful to hear about how books have been your spiritual guides. There can be nothing more exciting than that.

I have been deeply inspired by 'Autobiography of a Yogi' by Yogananda Paramahansa, because it has many spiritual incidents during his childhood that are exactly similar to mine and one which I was constantly questioning because I wasn't sure if I am imagining things or whether the spiritual realm and its mysteries were in some way reaching out to me.So, yes, I can say that reading his book is where I learnt about spirituality and the world within ourselves that is within our power to control.

I have not read the Nature Cure book by Dr. H K Bakhru but thanks for mentioning it here. I plan to buy it at the earliest. I am all for Nature Cures in treating ailments.

Most Popular Posts

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered that I would receive such online abuse for writing this or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience or a perspective, not to insult others.  My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to abuse me because our journeys are entirely different narratives. My life and yours are not the same at any given point of time.

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.A new book 'Ants among Elephants' written by Sujatha Gidla, who writes about herself as being born 'an untouchable in India' teaches you everything you probably want to know abo…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

How to travel with family and create the coziest memories ever!

I know I haven't been blogging as often as I wanted to at the start of this year but so many things are happening in my life, like travel. For a working mom like me, the last time I traveled with my family.....is like ages ago. I do travel but mostly on my own and given the kind of school and work schedules that we have to balance out, it usually doesn't happen that we take a break for summer holidays as a family. Let me confess that it's pretty rare, which is why 2018 has been amazing for me. I got to travel with my family....yay!
Okay, so back to earth with a big bang, shall we?  
First, we headed to Gangtok, in Sikkim, via Siliguri in West Bengal. We had a fabulous time. My love for travel got a real boost, just as it used to in my childhood days, when my parents used to take us to different places during our summer vacations.
For me, the joys of travel have nothing to do with seeing new places, as it does with the fun-filled conversations we have with ourselves and the pe…

Book Review: Nan Umrigar's Sounds of Silence, A Bridge Across Two Worlds

The year 1978 was a glorious one for Karl Umrigar – a young man who won many prestigious horse races, including the Indian 2000 Guineas and the Indian Oakes. Finally, Karl Umrigar fulfilled his dream – every jockey’s dream– to win the Indian Derby. His name remains in the Indian Derby scroll of honour. 
But just at exactly the moment Karl won, he fell from the horse.  A fall that finally saw the country mourn for him when the headlines of the Indian Express read, “The King is Dead.” Karl Umrigar, the young champion and loved by many, was laid to rest on May 3, 1979.
Karl Umrigar’s Death: Bridge between Two Worlds You can imagine what Karl’s death did to his family, particularly his mother – Nan Umrigar. She says, “Nothing could have prepared us for the darkness that descended upon us – nothing!
While her family tried to pull on with daily routine, Nan Umrigar found herself in such a state of agony and trauma that she couldn’t resume a normal life. She couldn’t let go of her son.
She heard…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your fe…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other.  At workplaces, colleagues lose their temper and say things that they regret later. During holidays with loved ones, small things set us off and we say things that damage relationships forever. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 


Does anger solve your problems? You know the answer!

If anger solved all the problems in the world, this world would have been a perfect place centur…

Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?

Many people ask me this question, ''Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?''. Mantras always work but the problem is that we are often not open to believing this.  The query about whether the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra works comes in different forms, sometimes by email, in the comments section or in person. Most people are curious, some are interested but few are committed to sincerely want the answer.



I am just an ordinary seeker on the spiritual path but my experiences have taught me valuable lessons and I am sharing this with you so that it helps your spiritual progress.
From what I have learned from my grandmother, who was a devout Shiva Bhakt throughout her life, the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is a powerful mantra that has ancient sounds which provides an aura of protection to those who chant it with faith regularly and it triggers powerful energies to remove sufferings and diseases. This is why Hindus believe that the one who chants the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra will be blesse…

Jodhpur travel: Ring in the New Year with Flying Fox adventure, Polo Grounds, a room without a roof & more

A part of me has always been a dreamer, a seeker, and a wanderer.Perhaps the way I grew up has something to do with this. Bright, blue sky, skin colored sand that you could melt into and blue waters that sparkled when you splashed it on your skin....ah, the magic of growing up in a place like Blantyre! It felt joyful when we chose to welcome the New Year by traveling to a new place together for the first time! I can't describe the delicious feeling of excitement that I felt when we reached Jodhpur. I love not to plan and travel to places just like that - it has its dangers but still......!



The real fun began when we went sightseeing! The spicy food (not to my son's liking - he doesn't like to eat anything with onions - which puts us in quite a difficult situation with most Indian dishes), the warmth and hospitality, the grand palaces, forts and there is so much I want to share with you about the moments I enjoyed, the people I made friends with and the experiences I had. 

Mo…