Breaking up sucks, but it happens to the best of us. Even though I'm happily married now, I remember the sting of the breakup of many relationships, and the desire to soothe myself with some yummy peppermint stick ice cream. I wish I would have known then what I know now, which is that the emotional eating that results from a breakup may be dialled down using these six tips:
1. Give Yourself a Finite Time to Wallow: Make sure you're prepared to grieve and if you choose to have a treat, that's fine. Having 6 months of treats and still blaming it on the breakup? Not fine. Get yourself some help if that's happening, because extended grieving isn't normal and it can be serious. Otherwise, give yourself a week max and then find something else that's not food-related to make you happy. The long-term daily cupcake ritual takes a toll on your body, and you're not going to like the results, guaranteed. So not worth it.
2. Keep Moving and Fuelling: Do not stop being active, which will spike endorphins and make you feel better. Eating fresh foods will keep you in fighting form and give you the energy to keep going with your workouts. Hey - your rebound love affair might even be waiting on the treadmill. Either way, the best revenge is coming out of this stronger, fitter, and better. You can do it!
3. Keep Junk Out of the House: If you don't bring junk in, you're going to have to go out to get those Cheetos. That means getting your sniveling mess of yourself out from under that blanket on the couch to run to the convenience store. Yeah, I knew you really didn't want them anyways.
4. Coddle Your Body: A lot of post-breakup eating involves telling yourself that you 'deserve' to eat junk food. Does that even make sense? Your poor body has gone through enough with all this stress, please don't insult it by stuffing it with crap. Fresh foods fight stress and inflammation, and improve your mood and well-being. Enough said.
5. Be Prepared with Healthy Foods: You're not going to have a chance to eat healthy if you're not prepared, so make sure you grocery shop often, and accept offers of meals prepared for you. If your kitchen is stocked with tons of fresh, whole foods, you'll be more likely to go for those instead of dialing up the takeout because there's nothing to eat for dinner.
6. Eat With Others (But Tell Them Not to Bring Pringles): Speaking of meals, surround yourself with people who love you, and have meals with them. Have them over and prepare a meal or have them bring something. More points for friends and family who actually eat well, so you don't get a bucket of KFC and pint of sympathy ice cream for your dinner. It helps to let people know that you're trying to kick this breakup's ass by keeping yourself in fine form, so they know to bring you healthy stuff. Try not to isolate yourself - sharing meals is a good way to enjoy the company of others and distract yourself (and hear some great 'in the trenches' breakup stories from others that will make you feel so much better).
Stay strong and remember -- we've all been there. Take care!
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