Monday, January 31, 2011

Emotional Eating

Emotions can really have an effect on the human body. It is said that 75% of over eating in Americans is caused by emotional eating. One common misconception though is that all emotional eating is caused my bad emotions and this simply isn't true. How many of you eat birthday cake?

The important thing is to try and think about how you are feeling when you reach for the fridge handle. I try and ask myself am I really hungry? When did I eat last? This has stopped me from over eating on numerous occasions.

There's several things you can do to try and avoid emotional eating:

1. Food Journal. I know I have mentioned this before, but even if you only keep track for a week or two this can tell you a lot. Try writing down how you felt before you ate, what you ate, and how hungry you were.

2. Think before you eat, ask yourself those questions. Am I hungry or just bored, sad, depressed, or even happy.

3. Find healthy outlets for your emotions. Make a list of things you could do instead of eat, and next time you think you are hungry try one of the things on your list. If you are still hungry afterwards, have a small snack.

4. Find a support group or therapy. No one likes to admit when they think they have a problem but there wouldn't be support groups out there if they weren't needed. Overeaters Anonymous has local chapters around the country.

5. Remove temptation. Try and stock your pantry or kitchen with healthy choices so that when you do find yourself eating it's something healthier.

6. Don't deprive yourself. Allow yourself that treat after dinner or whenever, but try and find a healthier version or just have a smaller portion.

7. Don't diet. Make changes to your everyday life. Don't think of this as something you can stop doing once you get down to the size you want. This is a life long commitment.

Remember emotional eating is something everyone struggles with. Trying to lose weight can be hard and if you get depressed every time you eat a brownie, you are just going to turn around and eat more. Pat yourself on the back for the little things you do accomplish every day and try and let go of the crap so to speak.

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