What to Do If You’re Feeling Out of Control Around Food

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Over the years, I’ve used a variety of therapeutic tools. Meditation has helped create space for thoughts to feel less urgent and intrusive. Journaling and art have been consistently cathartic, allowing me to step back and process my emotions and experiences in a more objective and compassionate way.

4. Do something you find pleasurable.

We often turn to food as a source of pleasure, especially if we’ve been restricting our dietary intake, Melissa I. Klein, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College who specializes in eating disorders, tells SELF. There’s nothing inherently wrong with eating recreationally or occasionally using food as a pick-me-up. In fact, joy, joyful connection, and other positive emotions can be a central part of forming a healthy relationship with food. However, if you think eating for pleasure is one reason why you feel out of control around food, it may be helpful to develop alternative sources of pleasure and ways of responding to emotions like boredom or frustration.

Engaging in an alternate activity can shift your focus away from food, says Dr. Klein. It can be helpful to have some intentional distractions up your sleeve to interrupt and relieve overwhelming thoughts and emotions.

These can be activities such as playing an instrument, taking a bath, or creating art…

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