Have just realised how much I use food emotionally


Kia ora (greetings) from New Zealand everyone. This is my first post so hello all and I’d better introduce myself - I’m 45, not diabetic (yet) but overweight,
insulin resistant I’m pretty sure, and with a serious family history of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc, which I am determined to avoid. I watched my dad have a miserable 10-15 years of diabetes, ending in a final fatal stroke, before I knew how I could have helped him. I’ve been doing Keto for about 3 months (the forums and podcasts have been great) and have added in some IF now as well, previously I have been on and off low carb, sometimes on it very successfully and sometimes reverting to a SAD style diet…I never really knew why I would slide back into that as low carb definitely made me feel so much better! I felt a lot of shame about that, internally labelled myself weak-willed and greedy, and felt so guilty that I could watch my dad die but still not change - but now I have had a bit of a revelation (which I’m sure is obvious to a lot of people, but new to me) so I felt the need to shout it out!

I started Keto at the beginning of my Xmas/summer holidays (here in the Southern Hemisphere) and I was anxious about all the Xmas food but that was no problem at all, I simply ate delicious Keto food and ignored all the cookies etc, with no cravings at all. To me they were just decorations! Lost 7kgs (15 pounds?), my skin tags disappeared, lots of energy, feeling great.

But now I have been back at work for two days (a job that I love, by the way), and I have been immediately seconded onto about 6 projects, all with a lot of planning to do and materials to make…everyone at work wants something from me, my beautiful 12 year daughter has decided to teach me
Minecraft and is really excited about it so I do that when I get home, my partner is doing his PhD and needs my emotional and academic support a lot of the time (I’m a librarian at a university so I do that anyway), I’m cooking and washing and cleaning and shopping for everyone as my partner has both job and study load - and I suddenly want to fall face first into a bag of chips or a mince and cheese pie! The urge is incredibly strong, I have to force myself to walk past the dairy on the way to the bus.

Why did I never realise how much of my carb and junk eating was emotional support for myself!!? I have this little seductive voice in my head saying “everyone wants a piece of you - but the king size pack of salt and vinegar chips is just for you alone”

Anyway I’m sure that’s all painfully obvious but it honestly just didn’t become clear to me until now. Hopefully now I realise it I can take care of myself in other ways. Instead of going to the dairy (that’s our convenience store btw) I went to the public library and picked up “the salt fix” that I had on hold, and that will be my treat!

Thanks for listening guys :slight_smile:

(Full Metal KETO AF) #2

Kudos for staying strong through the holidays and resisting the mind games trying to get you carbed up! I’ve been wanting to read The Salt Fix for a while. Coincidentally I just posted this on another thread, you might enjoy it.

Stay strong! :muscle: :cowboy_hat_face:


Thank you! I will watch it before I dive in to the book :slightly_smiling_face:

(Susan) #4

Welcome to the forum, Tuatara =).

Find some fun things that are not food related to treat yourself with now; like a bubble bath, or a nice face mask (they have so many different ones you can get) or a lovely scented candle, some nice Herbal tea (I love choosing different flavours, they are a nice treat, nice and relaxing to have a cup in the evening), things like that will still make you feel special and pampered and are totally Keto friendly!!


Thank you so much for those suggestions @Momof5, I love tea (and hate coffee) so that’s a really good idea, I should branch out from my Twinings English Breakfast and jasmine tea and use that tea drinking time to soothe myself…I used to love Korean buckwheat tea but I’m not sure if that’s keto-friendly…it’s just an infusion of the grains, not the grains themselves, so I wonder if that’s ok?

(Susan) #6

I love Celestial Seasonings herbal teas they have a lot of different flavours, including peppermint, peach, cherry berry, vanilla, camomile, sleepy time, etc. I am sure that your grocery store there has a variety of different herbal teas as well =).
I always drink one or two cups in the evening, nothing added, but it tastes nice and no calories =).


Oh you just reminded me of a Celestial Seasonings tea I used to like in my 20s! Rosehip and hibiscus or something like that? I must have a look for it! :grinning:

(Susan) #8

Yes, that will work well, just drink it plain and you are all set =).

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #9

Here are some other ideas for self-soothing/care. My advice is to check in with yourself throughout the day. Incorporate what you can where you are instead of putting it off “until I get home”. I find that managing small stressors on the spot keeps my mind and body from reaching the crisis zone.


(back and doublin' down) #10

Welcome! There’s some great suggestions for self care already, and I encourage you to find ones that work for you. Sounds like you’ve got lots of folks depending on you, and it’s difficult to care for others if you don’t care for yourself. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

There’s that speech flight attendants give at the start of the flight about how the oxygen masks will fall in front of you in case of cabin pressure loss and to put the mask on yourself first, then help those around you. If airlines, who obviously spend millions ensuring safety, see caring for yourself first as vital to helping others…??

Congratulations on your progress, hope you’ll be with us around here for years to come😀

(Mame) #11

I love love love all the self care ideas given. :heart_eyes:

Finding other ways to care for ourselves and soothe our emotions without food is so important for us emotional eaters!

I have also found that reminding myself that connecting food to my mood is a long-established habit that I am working on breaking is helpful. It’s like a cranky toddler or tween of my lower brain that says ‘do it the easy (carby) way’. I give myself lots of grace while I learn my new habit on not soothing myself emotionally with food. (even keto food). And I really want a new habit because when one is depleted and it’s 9pm sometimes there is not enough will power left in my tank.

I know of several podcasts where the work is particularly targeted towards changing the emotional eating habit. Let me know if you are interested…


You are putting everyone else’s needs in front of your own and that is a sure fire way to incorporate stress and unhappiness into your life. Stess +/ Unhappiness can only lead to not-so-great side effects including falling back on food for emotional support.

It’s not something you need to learn now. Could you tell your daughter you are super excited but need her to wait a few months to learn it from her?

Could you let your partner know your emotional and support bandwidth is a bit low at the moment? Maybe dedicate maybe 15 minutes each evening to give him direction on only the very crucial aspects, but only when you have the bandwidth.

Guess who also has a heavy load? You. Everyone who has hands in your household should be contributing to cooking , washing and cleaning at the moment. Maybe your daughter can do some cleaning, husband can do some washing and you do the cooking. Seems like a fair compromise.

Not sure if you are self-employed but if you are employed, maybe you can talk to your manager and let them know 6 projects is simply too much to handle. Then you can discuss a more reasonable amount. With some managers, if they feel you won’t complain, they’ll overload you with work with no regard for your health or wellbeing…so you need to look out for you.

Wishing you the best on your journey. I’m sure you’ll get rid of those craving urges in no time!


Great ideas from everyone, thanks!

Edited to add: I definitely do put myself last a lot in order to take care of others, will be working on that, it’s most important to me that I am around for my daughter so I have to make my health a priority for her, as well as just for myself! Lots to think about and thanks for the welcome everyone


Yes please @cervyn that would definitely be helpful :slightly_smiling_face:

(Paulene ) #15

What a great way to look at ‘bad’ food. Gives new meaning to the term ‘eye candy’. I like it.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #17

So you’re just going around the forum copying and pasting this trolling anti-keto?

(John Linnon) #18

There are so many strings, so why not? The truth is in seeing all sides.

(Edith) #19

And that goes for you as well.

(Kirk Wolak) #20

Dr. Cywes is on YouTube and he has great videos about Emotional/Addiction Eating.
We have learned to SOOTH ourselves with the dopamine hit foods/sweets/chips give us.

We have BROKEN our coping mechanisms with bad habbits.

I am reading the book Tiny Habits (From a BPC guy podcast, Dave Ausprey)… Great ideas for building TINY new habits and what makes them EASY or hard to adopt.

The first key, is find a Trigger. Like reaching for the Fridge Door, or the Pantry Door. That’s your trigger. Now do 2-3 squats a couple of pushups, and CELEBRATE them big time. Give yourself a dopamine hit, and head back. If you do that consistently, you will break the old habit by replacing it with a new one.

Dr. Cywes talks about WHY we do it. Great videos… He’s long-winded at times, but he has so much information to unload on you. Loved him so much, I am now a client, since he is in boca, and only an hour drive each way! LOL.