Weight Loss 911: Help, Iím an Emotional Eater
Do any of these situations sound familiar: Itís been a tough day. The kids are finally in bed. You sigh in exhaustion and start walking towards the kitchen looking for comfort. You grab a scoop of...
Do any of these situations sound familiar:
When faced with stress, anger, boredom, anxiety or loneliness, itís very easy to overeat. Maybe you turn to a childhood favorite like ice cream when you need a pick-me-up. Emotional eating isnít about being hungry physically; itís about being hungry emotionally. And thatís why no amount of Twinkies or bonbons will truly satisfy. Unfortunately, in the process of trying to find comfort, youíre packing on pounds.
But thereís good news! You donít have to live as a prisoner to emotional eating. Get control of your eating habits before they take control of you. Hereís how:
1. Call Weight Loss 911 (figuratively speaking!). Call up a friend when you feel down instead of turning to a lifeless carton of ice cream, no matter what flavor. Ask someone to be your accountability partner.
2. Recognize the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Hereís a great test for true hunger: do you want to eat snap peas, celery or broccoli? If the answer is no, youíre probably just craving something sweet or salty to eat. If the answer is yes, then eat as many veggies as you like. Youíre really hungry!
3. Journal what you eat. For the next week, write down what you eat all day long. Look for patterns. Do you eat poorly at certain times of day? Maybe you overeat when youíre alone. When you see negative patterns, start making some changes in those areas. For instance, if youíre a late night snacker, brush your teeth at 8 pm and donít eat anything afterwards.
4. Look for comfort outside the kitchen. Relieve stress in your life by stretching or taking a walk in the park. Rent a chick-flick and have a good cry. Get a manicure. Listen to your favorite music CD. Think of things you enjoy doing that donít involve food.
5. Keep your perimeter secure. Donít allow unhealthy, high calorie foods into your kitchen. If your pantry is stocked with potato chips, cookies, cakes and sodas, youíre asking for trouble. Save your treats for social events.
Emotional eating is a very hard habit to break, but it can be done. Some days, youíll do better than others. The key is to keep trying. There will come a day when youíll automatically turn to a friend instead of the pantry. When that happens, youíll know youíve gained a weight loss victory!
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