Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Emotional Eating Tips
The Autoimmune Protocol AIP and Emotional Eating
I am ALL for self-love and enjoying a treat every so often.
But I’ve found there’s a fine line between “enjoying a treat” and using it as an excuse to eat my emotions.
You see, I used to be a BIG time emotional eater. In fact, I can think back to emotionally eating for as long as I can remember.
So when I started the autoimmune protocol, one of the hardest parts for me?
The AIP diet eliminated ALL of the foods I emotionally ate.
So, how did I get through it, and go on to find such success on the AIP???
I’m excited to share some tools that helped me!
In this article and video, you will find three approaches for handling emotional eating when it comes to AIP.
Please keep in mind everyone is different. I encourage you to find what works for you and to love yourself through this process.
You are taking your health into your own hands, you are learning to find joy while living well with autoimmunity, and that is a journey, not a destination.
Autoimmune Protocol AIP Emotional Eating Tips: Dig Deep, Identify Your Triggers, and Do the Work
In my opinion, the ideal approach to handling emotional eating when starting the AIP is to dig deep to figure out what is causing or triggering your emotional eating.
Maybe you already know what your triggers are, or maybe you have no clue.
Once you identify your triggers, you can begin to get to work addressing them, and working through them.
Depending on your situation, you can work through your triggers and past trauma on your own, with trusted loved ones, or with a professional like a licensed therapist or a lifestyle coach.
Other tools that may be helpful when working through emotional eating include meditation, prayer, journaling, opening up to a trusted friend, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and much more.
There are also resources available from a religious perspective. Shifting our mindset surrounding our bodies and choosing to see our bodies as a gift from God, may help us be more mindful of how destructive emotional eating can be to our bodies, as well as to our spiritual health.
Other tips and tricks for breaking the habit of emotional eating can be found in the book Atomic Habits. My favorite? Pointing and calling, where you point and call out a bad habit you’d like to break before doing the habit. You can read more about it here.
Atomic Habits also includes tips for developing new habits that can be very helpful when adopting the autoimmune protocol.
If reading is not your thing, there are many Youtube videos on emotional eating. Simply search “tips for emotional eating”, or search for Ted talks that explain the science behind emotional eating.
Autoimmune Protocol AIP Emotional Eating Tips: Replace Emotional Eating with Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Many of us use emotional eating as a coping mechanism. Removing a coping mechanism without replacing it can lead to stress and anxiety.
I encourage you to brainstorm several ideas for healthy coping mechanisms that can replace your emotional eating.
Here are some quick ideas for healthy habits to replace emotional eating:
- Listening to a favorite song
- Getting out in nature
- Calling a friend
- Quality time with loved ones
- Reading a favorite book
- Hiking or walking
- Doing a favorite activity
- Snuggling or playing with pets
- Finding gratitude
- Read inspiring quotes
Autoimmune Protocol AIP Emotional Eating Tips: AIP Compliant Emotional Eating
The other way you can approach emotional eating when it comes to the autoimmune protocol is to find AIP compliant foods that satisfy your emotional eating need.
While I do not personally recommend this, based on my experience, it can be helpful as you transition to healthier coping mechanisms and address your emotional eating triggers.
Ideas for AIP compliant emotional eating include AIP chips (these are my favorite), include AIP compliant chips or AIP compliant cookies and treats (these are some of my favorites – use code SHANNA to get $15 off).
Remember the goal of AIP is not to just exclude immune trigger foods, it is to include a wide variety of healing nutrient dense foods.
If you do decide to emotionally eat AIP chips and cookies every day, be mindful to keep up your intake nutrient dense foods.
I personally love me some AIP chips and cookies, BUT, it’s a fine line for me between treating myself and going overboard.
Sometimes I keep AIP chips and cookies on hand, and sometimes I don’t. Know yourself, and know what works best for you.
Autoimmune Protocol AIP Emotional Eating Tips: Marriage
Before my AIP days, my husband and I would go out every Friday night to our favorite Mexican food restaurant and eat all of our favorite unhealthy foods in order to unwind from the week.
When I started AIP, it felt like breaking some unspoken agreement my husband and I had since our Friday night restaurant offered nothing on the menu I could eat.
Both my husband and I missed our traditional date night, and it took time to replace it with other date nights.
I share my experience in hopes you keep in mind you starting AIP may be hard on not just you, but your husband as well.
Try to find other date nights you can enjoy.
Other ways you can be close to your spouse.
Communicate with him and let him know you are trying to improve your health, and would love his support.
Remember you do not need his approval to make diet and lifestyle changes.
He may not understand, and he may not be handling it well, but those are issues you can work through in time.
And if he doesn’t believe that these changes you’re making are going to make a difference and doesn’t support you at first. See it as a challenge.
You’re going to show him, through your example, that diet and lifestyle matter as your health improves.
And remember, he WANTS your health to improve and for you to be happy, but he may feel threatened about the changes you are making, or he may be thinking it means he has to change too.
Remember if he is healthy, he may have no frame of reference and simply not understand. Try to consider it from his perspective.
This resource helped my husband better understand autoimmune disease and the AIP. You can read more about how it helped us here.
Cheering You On!
Please know I do not share any of these experiences or tips lightly.
I personally know and understand just how hard working through emotional eating habits can be.
You do not have to figure this all out today, and conquer your emotional eating tomorrow.
There’s plenty of time.
This is not a quick fix.
Rather, it is a journey.
Along your wellness journey, you will have days where you feel on top of the world, like you can conquer anything…
and you will have days filled with self-doubt, where you wonder if you really are strong enough to change your life, regain your health, and rebuild your life into something more beautiful than you thought possible.
When those days of doubt come, and I promise you they will, please know, you are strong enough.
You can do this.
I believe in you 100%.
And I am cheering you on.
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How to Overcome Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
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