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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Stop Emotional Eating

I used to be an emotional eater....sometimes I still am.  But, recognizing when you're hungry and when you're not is the first step.  Let me tell you a little story about last night.  My husband, Royce, and I hardly ever fight, but last night we were both tired and stressed out and we did.  I got upset and my stomach started feeling really weird, like I was hungry.  The thing was, I knew I'd just had supper a few hours earlier.  This weird feeling kept getting worse the more upset I became.  I realized I've struggled with emotional eating for so long and given in to the feeling of hunger that I wasn't sure how to deal with it.  There's a strong connection between mood and food.  And, not just any foods, foods that are high in sugar or fat.

So, I'm an emotional eater.  What can I do?
Stress Management Techniques
Keep a Food Diary
EVERY time you reach for food, ask yourself "Am I Hungry?"
Don't deprive yourself, but snack healthy.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Get Help

Look, I'm no expert on emotional eating, I haven't completely kicked it myself.  But, admitting you have a problem is the first step!  Emotional eating is the top reason diets fail.  Yes, sometimes a cupcake can make your day better, but stop at 1 cupcake!  Food can be one of the most powerful drugs when you're feeling down by increasing dopamine....talk about powerful stuff!  Like alcohol works for alcoholics, your body likes it.  But, food makes you feel worse in the long run because you feel guilty for eating, but your body keeps on craving the junk we're binging on.  You get hooked and at some point you get out of control consuming sugar and fat.  There's no way you can burn off all that!

See, you may have a food plan, a nutrition plan, a food diary, and you do great with it.  Then, you get upset or stressed and eat a pint of ice cream and a bag of chips.....some people say "Really?!"  Yep.  Been there.  And you feel sluggish to boot, so burning off the extra day worth of food you just consumed is pretty much out of the question.  The guilt that overcomes you for eating that amount of garbage sometimes can make you eat even more.

Break out of the rut!  Have a good day.  Think positive things.  Then when the urge strikes again, have a glass of water or a bowl of cereal and move on, work out, get the endorphins pumping and have a better day!  Tada, you can break the eating cycle.

Need More Help?
Here's a great article from Dr. Oz

How To Stop Emotional Eating by Morty Lefkoe

Stop Emotional Eating .org

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