Ditch the Emotions

By. Alex Hobbs, RD, LD, CLT

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Clearly Valentines Day is rapidly approaching due to the overwhelming displays of chocolate boxes and life-sized teddy bears. Now that Super Bowl is over, the majority of commercials consist of googly-eyed couples staring into each other’s eyes while feasting over a perfectly cooked gourmet meal.

With incessant advertising such as this, it is easy to feel pressured to have a “perfect” Valentine’s Day.  It is easy to splurge during this time due to the over abundance of chocolates and candies available. Not to mention that extra stress and pressure that you may be feeling to have this magical Valentine’s Day could result in emotional eating. Don’t kid yourself; eating a whole platter of chocolate covered strawberries does not exactly count as a serving of fruit!

Whether you have a spouse / significant other or not, emotional eating is easy to do on any holiday. If you do have that special someone it is easy to go “all out” and over do it on a fancy meal and dessert. On the flip side, it is also easy to binge if you are celebrating this Valentine’s day solo. Eating your feelings away is not a good way to deal with emotions.  Turning to food is a struggle that many deal with but it is important to pin point if you are an emotional eater so you can prevent it before it starts. Before binging on junk food, try to think about how you are feeling and ask yourself if you are even hungry. I bet you will be surprised to see how, more often than not, you turn to food when you are not in the least bit hungry.

Try to integrate what we dietitians call “Intuitive eating,” which is a fancy way of saying “think before you eat.” Instead of focusing this holiday on sweets and treats, try to find another way to enjoy it that is not food related. Try to think of different ways to celebrate this v-day, here are a few ideas that you can do as a pair of lovebirds or flock of friends:

  •  Get your Dancing Shoes on! 

Take your special someone or your group of friends for a night of boogie – go salsa, ballroom dancing or swing dance the night away. 

  • Get Creative! 

Go get a group of friends and a bottle of wine and try a painting class – make sure you are doing more painting than drinking!

  • Movie Night!

Cuddle up with your honey and have an at home movie night or get a group of friends and catch the latest flick

  • Have a Romantic Evening!

Roll out the red carpet and get your special someone a massage and spend a romantic evening at a nearby hotel.

However you decide to spend you Valentine’s Day try to keep your emotions at bay while you are eating. Enjoy this Hallmark holiday by not enduring the guilt-trip of emotional eating.

 

Happy Hearts Day!