Emotional Eating

Booze, Cigarettes, and Emotional Eating – The After-No Contact Diet and 5 Ways to Change It

Sharing is caring


You implemented No Contact and now you have Pizza Hut on speed-dial, a stash of chocolate that would make Willie Wonka blush, a beer-can pyramid that would totally impress the Dos Equis guy (or maybe you’re considering melting all those wine bottles down into cheese trays), and you’ve set off the smoke alarm a few times from the excessive number of cigarettes you’ve smoked while stalking your Ex on their Facebook page.

Welcome to the After-No Contact Diet.  What?  You thought you were the only one?  Feeling a little sleazy because you go to bed every night with Ben and Jerry?  Take it from a former Platinum award-holder in dirty martinis, your conundrum is not only common, we could probably create a whole new demographic for the United States Census.

Let’s talk about five ways you can change your new-found dietary decadence before you land yourself in the ER.

1 – Don’t try to quit everything at once

Attempting to make too many simultaneous changes while suffering the already life-altering emotional trauma you’ve endured would be akin to walking on a tight rope with an elephant on your shoulders.

Instead, pick one habit you won’t absolutely die without and work on quitting that one first.  You can wean yourself or go cold-turkey, whatever works for you.  However, a series of small, doable steps is typically the best approach when experiencing overwhelming stress.  Celebrate your small victories (though perhaps not by eating that death-by-chocolate, triple chunk-walnut, super-sized ice cream tower)

2 – Quitting drinking greatly reduces your chances of making a bleating idiot of yourself

If you have fallen prey to drunk-dialing, 3 a.m. sentimental emails to the Ex and their new supply, or crying/collapsing/falling-asleep-in-your-front-yard-while-sucking-your-thumb episodes, you would do well to cut back on the alcohol.  If you can’t bear the thought of abrupt withdrawal, then instead of drinking the whole bottle of Shiraz, drink half instead.  The following week, take it down to a glass.  Then, see your family physician for a non-addictive anxiety medication…preferably one that takes effect as soon as possible.  Lastly, incorporate guided meditations into your daily routine.  Once you start feeling the Zen, you can stop the meds. 

3 – Know that smoking may eventually cause spontaneous blindness

Not really, but it can cause a plethora of symptoms and diseases that could cause a spontaneous heart attack (or worse).  I know I’m being Captain Obvious here, but if you want to be around for your kid’s graduation, your dog’s obedience school certification, or when the Karma bus stops in front of your Ex’s house, quitting smoking is absolutely critical.

Besides, you could use the extra money to pay for a healing program.

4 – Every time you engage in emotional eating, an angel loses its wings

…and that angel is you. 

Narcissistic abuse already imbues us with cripplingly low self-esteem and gaining weight only amplifies the problem.  If you feel the need to eat (which is really an act of self-soothing and trying to fill an emotional void), stock your shelves with foods you can eat in large quantities with little consequence.  These might include:  popcorn (try to avoid microwave brands), low-calorie soups, fruit pops, apricots, watermelon, rice crackers with wasabi peas, mountains of sautéed veggies, and kale chips.

(Sorry, I know you were hoping for rib eyes and Fritos).

5 – Know your triggers

Every habit is triggered by some event.

Smokers – Many people smoke after stress, drinking alcohol, or being around other smokers.   Try to limit your exposure to these environmental stimuli.  Here are some links to help you get started:

10 ways to resist tobacco cravings

Can E-Cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking?

Drinkers – If you’re tired of waking up with the bouncer from that seedy dance club, stop going there.  For a long time.  Going to bars and clubs while trying to maintain No Contact is a disaster waiting to happen.  Besides, you might run into the Ex and catapult yourself into another decade of psychosis.

On the other hand, when trying to implement a healthier lifestyle, go with the lesser of two evils until you get stronger.  If eating a half-bag of Hershey’s Kisses will help you put down the bottle, then go for it.  You can work on changing your eating habits later.

Eaters – If you find yourself munching down while casually browsing your Ex’s social media, then the best course of action is to throw your laptop out of a moving vehicle (or at the very least, block your Ex and deactivate your social media accounts for a couple of months).

Hopefully, these tips will help empower you to break out of the After-No Contact Diet and start a new, healthy plan. Your stress levels need not rise, and your body and psyche will both thank you.

Copyright 2017 – Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach

Grab your free Beginner’s Healing Toolkit below for more healthy ways to recover after narcissistic abuse!

New here? Your healed life starts with one step...

Claim your free 14-day email series designed to help you break free from narcissistic and emotional abuse. Each email focuses on a different aspect of abuse and provides tips and strategies to help you equip yourself with vetted and current facts and approaches.

Powered by ConvertKit

Sharing is caring

Leave a Comment:

Kaytee says June 10, 2015

Thank you so very much for this site and every article. This one I needed so very much today!! Humor thought the tears is a wonderful. I am No Contact. Like many others who have been damaged by a relationship with a Narc, I have always been seen by others and viewed myself as being intelligent caring, giving, kind people (ahem, as we are all learning- we make the BEST targets!) I have a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology & Counseling yet being in a vulnerable place in life my Narcs saw straight to the core of my being. What a wonderful source of supply and challenge I was for them! 7 years and almost 3 years w a best friend Narc and an intimate relationship w a Narc that displayed every piece of what we all know they do. The roller coaster of the three phases and us being made out to be worst person on the planet. Double whammy of trauma for sure. I was told a “monkey could do my job” that my in vitro fertilization efforts to have my two beautiful kids (thank goodness NOT his children) was trivial and not really adversity, that I was chubby, too into intimacy- a huge blow as I have never been accused of that before by any man, that I sucked for being a stay at home mom to my kids when they were younger, that I was a liar, a cheater (he was of course) & on & on. I finally said I need off of this crazy train while he publicly humiliated me and put me down at a restaurant. I could feel and see other people seeing my pain. I could sense their concern for me. It was sad, pathetic and eye opening as he told me he would never be with the woman he was cheating on me with because in his words “Look at her and look at me. Someone like me would never be with her.” Ummmm, YES you would is what I happily thought and realized as he spoke those words. Thankfully, my own humor kicked in and my self worth as well. I thought to myself, “Well, for hells sake not a single person in this place can believe I am sitting here being verbally accosted by YOU.” He used to say, “No one would believe I am with you anyway.” Which I always thought was strange as I thought and said to him many times if I am happy to be with you (stupidly I was) who cares. However, that night I realized, finally, that his. Above comment was one shred of the truth somewhere in the things he said to me over the years. Please run away from these people. Everyone on here needs to see that they truly are the epitome of LIGHT, LOVE and ALL that is sacred and good in people. Please, be kind and gentle to yourselves. I guarantee you that every other person who matters in your life besides the Narc sees the love & light that you give off to the world. HEAL and live your best life ever. Those who love you want to see you thrive and flourish. This journey is a lesson about seeing true evil in people but remember you were targeted because you are the absolute a opposite of that evil. Peace, love and healing to you all.

terry says May 10, 2015

Yes, Kim thank you so much for bringing this issue out into the light where I can look at it and see it for what it really is. I’m trying to soothe myself through this discard, divorce, and stress. Your bog is so very helpful to me

Booze, Cigarettes, and Emotional Eating | In de hemel is wél bier ! says March 23, 2015

[…] Read more […]

Anonymous says March 17, 2015

Just shy of a yr from being discarded from a 4yr (engaged 2) relationship, St Paddy’s Day has always been very special to me and my family, this yr it will be the last holiday that I face as being wo my narc, I cannot say today is easier, having a hard time today.

Leisa says March 16, 2015

Thank you!!! I thought I was the only one pathetic enough to be doing this!! I know I need to stop, especially the wi r every night ( started drinking a year ago on the day I found out about his affair after 25 yrs of not drinking, and haven’t stopped yet 🙁 ) but I’m working in it.

    Kim Saeed says April 14, 2015

    Don’t beat yourself up, Lisa. Just get through one day at a time and start figuring out ways to begin your healing journey <3

betternotbroken says March 16, 2015

Those are my reactions TO contact. Great post, I cannot recommend No Contact highly enough is will be health in the long run. Great post as usual Kim.

    Kim Saeed says March 16, 2015

    Thanks for bringing another perspective to the issue 🙂 and thank you for the encouragement!

      betternotbroken says March 16, 2015

      It is absolutely amazing what No Contact does, it is like an evil spell is broken. You are more than welcome, keep up the good work!

deborah says March 16, 2015

In what was probably the 40th time, I ended my relationship with my disordered lover. I knew he was all wrong, but he made me feel like the only woman in the world, mostly in bed. Our relationship consisted of his scheduling our dates, picking everything we did etc. He would become enraged if I needed to share my feelings. He never really listened, absorbed or cared about how I felt. Sometimes he would block me on his phone, shut off all access to him because I said something he didn’t want to hear. This past Friday he borrowed my German sports care for the day to interview for a job. He was so excited he promised to take me out to dinner. No instead there was a last minute party he wanted to go to for only 5 minutes. We stayed 3 hours, the night was over, no dinner. The following morning he told me how sick he felt and then proceeded to spend the day boozing and clubbing. He liked me 2 days a week and then he did whatever he felt like the rest of the week and we rarely talked about our time apart. The saddest part of this is that we are both 57. This is the darkest, most confusing relationship of my life. I have never encountered anyone quite like him and I hope I never do again.
I started self medicating 6 months into the relationship just to tolerate what I never tolerated before. Something snapped in me this weekend. I saw our dynamic at in the blink of an eye. I blocked him, deactivated my FB, email etc. I am emotionally fragile. On some level I feel as though I am going to get into trouble for leaving him. That is a change in thinking for me, I have always been pretty ballsy in relationships.

In any case I get it now. I came to your site this evening with a grateful heart. I can begin.

    Kim Saeed says April 14, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your story, Deborah. I experienced a similar shift during my healing journey. One day I just woke up and knew what kind of person my Ex was and I stopped loving him that day. Though, I admit it was almost a year into No Contact, it still changed my life because I’d done the work I needed to do before this epiphany.

    I hope you’re still holding strong <3

Jen says March 14, 2015

Yoga helps. Exercise can become addictive, and Carolyne Myss suggests, when trying to break addictions, swapping one addiction that is healthier for another addiction that is slightly more destructive. My worst vices right now are edibles (I live in CO), which are invisible to the kids, and then chowing down once the munchies kick in. I swaped the edibles for smoking. A little healthier, and I am trying to go easy on myself. The advice re: stalking the kitchen with veggies that are easy to saute is great! Thanks! Kale chips are salty and crunchy and completely non fattening. Sometimes eating until I feel so full all I can co is pass out is the only thing I can do to get me through this stage. Vitamins help for the times I can’t do it healthy. When I can’t eat right my skin gains wrinkles fast and my hair starts to fall out. I don’t always care right now, but every ounce of self preservation feels valuable. Thanks for this blog. It is a light in the darkness of and it helps a lot to see that I am not alone.

puameliaclinic says March 14, 2015

Reblogged this on It's All In The Head.

Vanessa says March 14, 2015

This article came at the right time for me. Even though I’m out of the abusive relationship my self esteem is incredibly low. The inability to go out due to social phobia I seem to have picked up now means I sit a great deal in my own negative space. I do drink a lot more and just started smoking yet again. I’ve gone and got myself some antidepressants that I am trying to get use to but some days I’m so negative I can’t seem to get out of my own way.It’s hard for others to understand that we are self medicating. I think I probably need to see a counselor. I’m not really moving on. I think about just giving up on life sometimes. Doesn’t help now that the x seems to want to find out how I am going over e-mail.

KMC says March 14, 2015

Thanks this for this blog… I did think I was alone. Overeating and too much drinking…alone 🙁 Feels good in the moment., but not so much the next day.

    Kim Saeed says March 14, 2015

    Don’t I know it! It gets better. Hang in there 🙂

irenedesign2011 says March 14, 2015

You are so good to describe the reactions after with no contact and I love the humor as you use here 😀

    Kim Saeed says March 14, 2015

    Thank you, Irene! Humor is the best medicine 🙂

      irenedesign2011 says March 14, 2015

      I agree so much 😀

Add Your Reply