• Monique Jephcote

Basic needs and emotional eating



Food has played the role of comforting us since we first came out of the womb. Emotional eating doesn’t deserve the bad wrap it gets from diet culture.

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Because of the way emotional eating is so heavily demonised in diet culture, people are often so busy being hard on or judging themselves for it that they’ve completely numbed themselves to the experience of it. There’s no awareness, no enjoyment. The intuitive purpose of it has been stripped & instead, been replaced with judgement & criticism. This is when it becomes unhelpful. Note, even at this point, it’s not about judgement. It’s about bringing awareness & curiosity so we can learn from ourselves to create something ultimately more helpful for us in the end. Understanding diet culture & how it works helps. & always remember - we are just doing the best we can with the tools & support we have at the time - so be kind to yourself.

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Emotional eating can be a powerful tool. It can house a treasure trove of information. While remaining aware & non-judgemental, we can ponder, are even my most basic needs being met?

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Sometimes they will be. & we will simply be turning to food for some situational comfort. This is completely okay (really... yes really!). It’s a normal role that food plays. Stay aware & mindful in the experience, grateful that food can give you this comfort.

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Other times, they may not be, & what results might be quite a numbing experience. That’s when we start to explore that further & put some tools in place to help you ultimately get to know yourself better.

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There is certainly a difference between comfort eating & numbing & if you feel you need some assistance in exploring this then don’t hesitate to get in touch via the links in my bio

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I wrote a little more about emotional eating last week in the most recent ‘green’ post after this one in my feed.

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Reflection point: are your most basic needs being met? Because if they’re not, it may make you more vulnerable to emotive driven eating experiences. It’s more helpful to take a step back & observe what is happening MOST of the time.

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PS I realise in some way the words “in order to reduce emotional eating” in the image may subliminally imply it’s something that needs to be reduced. While comfort eating is an intuitive role that food plays, it can become challenging/difficult if MORE often than not, our eating experiences are emotion driven & subsequently affecting our emotional & physical health. I am using such words in this context - I hope this makes sense. Intuitive Eating is a journey of learning & discovery & not about judgement - no matter what place we find ourselves in with food & body. There’s no right or wrong - just learning.

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This topic is incredibly nuanced please reach out if you feel you need some support.

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♾ Become an Intuitive Eater and find food freedom & body acceptance.

➿ Individual Intuitive Eating & Group Intuitive Eating programs available.

Get in touch/find out more via link in bio.

️Need additional support with? Disordered eating, eating disorders, chronic dieting & weight cycling, obsessive health tendencies (orthorexia), body image, compulsive & obsessive exercise, finding enjoyable movement —> individual consults available.

➰My instagram is for educational purposes and not individualised nutrition advice, therapy or medical care.

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