Whilst we start the new year with good intentions to eat healthily, our feelings and emotions sometimes get in the way of this goal. Here we look at five feelings that can impair our judgement when making food choices.

The BLAST method addresses the emotions behind the urge to reach for a food or drink to provide comfort. Think about it – have you ever made unhealthy food choices when feeling Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stressed or Tired?

Having a plan of positive distractions that don’t involve food is really helpful when these feelings arise. We’ve come up with a list of welcome distractions below. Remember that what works for one person as a positive distraction may not work for another, and vice versa. The trick is to learn what works for you, when you feel Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stressed or Tired.

Bored – With many of us working from home at the moment, it is easy to find yourself staring inside the fridge for your next snack! Whether you are working or not, try organising your day into blocks of working/ productive time and time to take a break. Plan activities for your breaks – an express workout or a spot of meditation. If you’re not working then productive activities can include anything from cleaning the house to finally getting around to creating that photo album of your last holiday!

Lonely – Thank goodness for video calls! Tell your friends or family you need a chat – chances are they will be feeling the same too. Lockdown may prevent you from going out for dinner with friends, but there is nothing to stop you from cooking the same healthy meal and enjoying this together over a video chat.

Anger – Instead of letting your anger manifest in unhealthy food habits see if any of the following works for you…

  • Have a friend or family member you trust to share your frustrations with
  • Channel your anger into exercise – get out for a run or do a HIIT class
  • Redirect your attention – move on to another task, watch a film, play with pets if you have them!

Stressed – Transition yourself from a stressful task to a calm setting. Try meditation, yoga, repeating your positive affirmations, reading a book or close your eyes and listen to music. Find what works best for you in order to shift your thinking back to a calm state. It is only in this calm frame of mind that we can make rational and sensible decisions around food.

Tired – We know that we make poor choices when sleep deprived. Allow yourself a nap or quiet time to simply rest your eyes and switch off. Get yourself into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time to prevent fatigue which can lead to unwise food choices.