Hi folks! Thanks for visiting us at Healing Path Counseling, LLC. We pride ourselves on bringing you content tailored to bariatric patients and/or folks struggling with overeating or binge eating. This blog will focus on a tool that can be helpful in shifting our behaviors with food. Take a look!
Do you ever buy a food and notice it doesn’t stay in the cabinet for more than a day? Or, you notice that there are specific foods you know you will overeat? Maybe its potato chips, or chocolates; Whatever foods it may be, you may find yourself reliably binge eating or overeating that food, while other foods remain in the cabinet much longer.
At Healing Path Counseling, LLC, we work to help clients address behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that contribute to one’s struggle with food/overeating/binge eating.
One of the many tools we introduce includes the traffic light categorization. This is adopted from the Overeaters Anonymous folks. Some folks find it helpful to categorize some foods as “red light,” “yellow light,” and “green light” foods. Red indicates a highly dangerous trigger or binge food (food we WILL overeat or binge on), and green indicates a food that can be eaten with no problem. Creating categories for food is highly individualized. A food that is "safe" for one person could be a "red light" food for another.
The purpose of this classification is NOT to judge, shame, or restrict. The purpose is to look at the data, gather knowledge about your behaviors, and plan accordingly. This is highly personalized. One person may be able to have chocolate in their cabinet without bingeing, (and it may even gather dust in the cabinet), while another person may eat all of the chocolate in one sitting or in one day, reliably and consistently. This is not a judgement. This is solid data that we can identify and use to help folks create a more flexible relationship with food, while also knowing areas they may continue to struggle.
While this is a helpful tool, it is only a small piece of the whole picture of treatment.
I challenge you to take a look at your cabinet and classify some of the foods in the cabinet. Are there foods missing that could be labeled as red? What’s been in there for a long time? Which foods seem in the middle of trigger food or benign food?
What does this information do for you? Make sure not to judge!
(Also, you may find that some of these behaviors occur in other places aside from home. For example, parties, in the car on the way home from work, etc.)
Feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for specialized support with bariatrics, overeating, binge eating, or struggling with exercise or movement.
We are here to help!
Feelings and Food
Thanks for coming by!
Let’s start by talking about feelings and food. As we all have likely experienced, food has the power to influence how we feel, and our feelings have the power to influence how we eat.
While food is connected to times of joy and celebration, it is also tied to sorrow and stress. This becomes a challenge for our eating behaviors when we struggle with mood intolerance. What is mood intolerance? Well, it’s a fancy way of saying we have difficulty experiencing negative emotions, such as disappointment, hurt, fear, and anger, among many.
Instead of experiencing these negative feelings directly, we attempt to avoid them through binge eating, oversnacking, or excessive exercising. However, coping in this way only provides us with short-term relief and reinforces our unhealthy eating habits.
So, what can we do? We can learn to become more aware of what we are doing so that we can change our behaviors – after all, we cannot change something that we aren’t aware of!
Here’s five mindfulness skills to help you become more aware of your eating habits. Try choosing a particular day, time, and meal to practice these mindful eating skills. Remember that as with all new things, it will take time and practice to learn these skills. Be patient and kind to yourself as you approach this task!
What did you notice? What are your thoughts, questions, or concerns? Share them here and let’s help each other become more aware of our feelings so we can improve our habits!
Thanks for dropping by.
Let’s start off by saying what we’re all likely thinking – this stay-at-home order is tough, and it is scary! Phew, that felt good.
While we definitely recognize how important and needed the order is, it is changing every aspect of our lives – our routine, our sense of freedom, our connectedness with others, and maybe even our eating habits…
Making health promoting choices is difficult on any given day; and now we have a whole new way of living, perhaps contributing to some difficulty with eating habits.
So, here’s the big question, how do we continue to make healthy choices despite all this change? Here’s a few tips:
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