Escape from emotional eating, especially during unsettling times

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many of us are feeling overwhelmed right about now: stressed, anxious and stuck at home. That can lead to a lot of emotional eating.

If you're turning to your favorite snacks and drinks now, more than ever, know that you're not alone. It's happening to all of us.

"There's a spike in sales for comfort food, so that's already telling us that people are already gravitating towards their old coping mechanisms," said Jessica Procini, emotional eating healer.

With most of us home, we can find ourselves grazing and eating out of boredom or stress.

Perhaps people are adding a few drinks to take the edge off.

Procini is the founder of "Escape From Emotional Eating."

"There's nothing wrong with cookies or cake or ice cream," she says.

But, the next time you reach for a treat she says: "Stop and take a moment and ask, 'Why am I eating this? What am I really looking for here?' Are you physically hungry or trying to fill an emotional void?'"

If you think you might be eating your feelings, as they say, Procini says ask yourself: "How do I feel ? Mad, sad, glad, scared or bad?"

Any or all of those choices are correct.

"Then, here's the fun part," she says. "Affirm that this is how you feel and tell yourself that you have a reason for it and it's not wrong."

Now, it's time to write those feelings down in a journal.

"We want to literally get it out of our mind and body and put it down on paper," Procini says.

"The key question is: 'What am I really hungry for?' The truth is, food will never satiate our emotional hunger, so we need to get to the deeper roots of what's going on and ask ourselves what we really need."

Jessica says instead of snacking, try doing something else you love like going outside and get some exercise.

She says to think of food as nourishment for your body and your soul.

We need to protect and maintain our health and immunity, Procini reminds us, especially now.
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