Fitness Friday: dopamine substitutes

In early April, I repurposed an older essay for my Fitness Friday series. In “discomfort food,” I wrote about using food to cope with stress. At the conclusion of the post, I asked readers to share strategies for avoiding emotional eating. Here is what Jessica A. Walsh had to say:

APRIL 12, 2016 AT 12:01 PM
I have eaten my emotions my entire life and write about it often. I’m taking a more cognitive therapy approach to kicking the habit, but damn, it’s hard. My strategies: keep busy first of all. Remember, you can’t just take the food away – you need to replace it with something else. So when you’re worried or anxious, you need something to replace the chips. Go for a walk, write, watch a show? Something else to numb the anxiety. The food is dopamine; no more, no less. Look for dopamine substitutes. But when I know I NEED the food for self-care, I pick up healthier junk food alternatives that I can munch on. Popcorn, frozen fruit pureed into ice cream, etc. Sometimes you just need to mindlessly munch so plan ahead and find a better alternative. That’s my strategy. Good luck!

I’ve chosen Jessica’s advice as my April comment of the month. Her words will live on at my Couldn’t have said it better page.

I encourage you to visit Jessica’s blog and leave a nice comment on one of her posts. You can read more about her use of cognitive behavior therapy here and here.

Jessica offered several suggestions for dopamine substitutes. What’s your favorite healthy replacement? Let us know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: dopamine substitutes

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