Friday, January 23, 2009

Emotional Eating

Dear Charlotte,

I have been reading your blog and I know that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I am sad…or depressed, or bored. Recently I went through a divorce and if my waistline is any indication, it seems to be getting worse.

How can I take control of my eating habits and maybe lose a few pounds?

Thomas J. FL

Dear Thomas,

Emotional eating is characterized as eating to console or sooth, as a way to deal with stress, anxiety, or depression--and going through a divorce is certainly a cause of all these things! Emotional eaters often turn to junk food and high calorie, or sugary snacks. Even though your emotions can be a trigger for eating, you can take certain steps to control these cravings.

Here are some ways to gain power over emotional eating:

1) Recognize your true hunger: Is your hunger physical or emotional? If you ate just a few hours ago and still have a full stomach, you're probably not really hungry. Are you really just bored or sad?

2) Recognize your triggers: Keep a food diary for a week and write down what you eat, when you eat, and how you're feeling before and after you eat. Do you only eat when hungry? Or do you find that you are snacking when you are stressed. Are there patterns in the time that you eat between meals or in why you are eating? Change the pattern and you are less likely to eat when you don’t need to.

3) Take a break: If you find yourself reaching for food in a stressful or frustrating moment, get up and go for a walk. Take a break from your work, or from sitting in front of the TV or computer—just get up and go do something different, fun, or relaxing.

4) Clean the cupboards: One of the secrets of slim people is that they do not keep a lot of junk food in the house. Don’t buy the bag of chips or keep high calorie snack foods in the cupboard. If you are feeling hungry between meals, you will be more likely to grab an apple or carrot sticks if this is what is available to you.

5) Don’t skip meals: You should eat when you are physically hungry. For you this might mean 5 smaller healthy meals throughout the day, or less, but wait until you are hungry. But if it is a meal-time and you are hungry, sit down and have a good meal. If you are full you will be less likely to grab the "bad-for-you" foods later if you are feeling down.

6) Take care of yourself: Get regular exercise and a good night’s sleep. You will be better able to deal with the stress in your life when you are healthy and well-rested.

If you do give in to emotional eating, do not dwell on it. Understand why, (a trigger or a skipped breakfast) and move on and face the next day. Celebrate the positive, healthy habits you are developing and the way the world opens up when you aren’t held back by emotional eating.

Please give me a call if I can be of assistance: 800.496.7710

Charlotte Smith
Eating Consultant and Life Coach

Become The Real You will instruct you on how to listen to your own body. How to eat whatever you want to achieve and maintain your perfect body weight! No more diets, no drugs, no counting calories. It’s simple...and it works!

Become The Real You is a process is for anyone who:
--Is tired of yo-yo dieting
--Wants to return to their natural shape
--Wants to come to peace with food and their body
--Wants to lose weight permanently
--Wants freedom from food obsession

Contact Charlotte today to learn more at 800.496.7710.

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