Emotional Eating

We all handle our stress and emotions differently. It amazes me how many negative stress-relievers are available and how many of them we choose instead of finding a healthy, constructive release (myself included).

Whether we choose smoking, drinking, or over-eating, they are all adverse alternatives that contribute to the deterioration of our health.

If you turn to food for comfort and would like to lose weight, read the following tips provided by our expert contributors to help you change your stress-relieving habits:

Consider “Why I eat” Instead of “What I Eat”

Over eating is a symptom of an emotional problem. Eating provides temporary relief to inner sadness and satisfies the desire to console oneself. The more we eat, the better we feel until we are hungry again.

  • Work on yourself starting with reading some self help books like the old stand by “I’m Okay, Your Okay.”
  • Get into a really good exercise program which will make you feel better about yourself.
  • Join a group like Toastmasters to help build you self confidence.
  • Learn to love and accept yourself more.
  • Look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself “I love you” and really mean it.
  • Never criticize your body.

— Jean Logan, Director, Holy Ground Farm  http://www.holygroundfarm.org

Tips to Stop Emotional Eating

1. Know that you do it – Awareness FIRST

2. Have a plan for what you can do instead, go for a walk or call a friend when you are mad about what someone said. Chocolate is not the answer (but, it sure can feel like the answer at the time).

3. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If I get over-hungry I make the worst food choices. If I keep an apple and nuts in my desk I will eat those at 3pm. If I don’t have a good snack I will find anything to eat – especially chocolate!

4. It is not a straight path, be gentle with yourself! Eating a small chocolate is better than a pint of ice cream.

When my doctor told me I had gained 13 pounds, we had a mini-fight in her office. No one in my family or any of my friends had been brave enough to tell me. I still can’t believe I had no idea how I looked and I could not figure out why I couldn’t get a second date. I did meet George online at my heaviest of 176 and 39 years old.  I almost missed our first date because I did not write back, but luckily he wrote to me again.  At our wedding, just 3 years later, I weighed 114 lbs. It was a long journey of weight loss and of eating less but it has been worth the effort!

— Lisa Niver Rajna, Happy Traveler, We Said Go Travel   http://www.wesaidgotravel.com

Looking for more ways to stick to your diet, keep shedding pounds and not spend the holidays in a constant state of emotional eating? Check out our Healthy Eating series for great alternatives to bad habits.

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