Overcoming Emotional Eating.


In order to overcome emotional eating you first have to understand what it is.

Emotional overeating is primarily eating to mask difficult feelings.  When we experience any unpleasant emotion, we may be tempted to reach for our “sugar/simple-carbohydrate” fix (By simple carbohydrates I mean white flour, refined products, not fruits, whole grains or vegetables.)  We also may be emotionally eating for at any time and for any reason, whether we are feeling anything or not aware of feeling anything in particular.  We may be soothing our boredom or mindlessly snacking through the day.  For many of us feeding ourselves becomes disconnected from physical hunger and at times we may not know any other ways to take care of ourselves.

These are stressful time and we all manifest our stress differently at different times.  Some of us tend to hold it inside.  Others explode in angry rages.  Our responses may differ but when we are stressed, our bodies produce excess cortisol and cortisol is a hormone that increases appetite.  This is important to know because sometimes if you realize you are extra hungry and you are feeling stressed, you will know that it is in large part due to the cortisol flooding into your system and you may choose to do something to manage your stress other that eating to soothe yourself.  You could go for a walk, talk with a friend or take a warm bath for example.

In summary, to be your very best, naturally healthy, vibrant, beautiful self and to stop eating for emotional reasons, you must consider your total wellbeing.  It is no longer possible for you to think in terms of calories in/calories out as your guide.  It is more complicated than that and yet it is paradoxically simple as well.

For more information on how to get help with emotional overeating visit: http://www.thehungryheart.org.

Advertisements

How do you deal with your emotions?


Picture 19
HOW TO HANDLE YOUR EMOTIONS

All of us experience a wide range of emotions in our lives. Usually, that’s a good thing. But sometimes we have difficulty controlling our emotions, even to the point of letting our emotions control our behavior. Usually, that’s not such a good thing. Here are some helpful suggestions for handling your emotions.

• Be honest with yourself.

Talk to somebody about your feelings.

Don’t ignore your emotions, they are telling you something.

• If you are having an unpleasant feeling, think of something you can do that will help, and then do it.

• Find positive ways to express anger that are not hurtful to others.

• Remember, whatever you are feeling, you’re not alone.

• Try not to get overwhelmed, things usually improve.

• If you do get overwhelmed—ask for help.


Sometimes it helps to get your feelings down on paper. Here are some ideas for writing that may help you deal with your emotions so you don’t turn to emotional overeating:

1. Write about a time when you felt like you had to hide your emotions. Have you ever tried to hide them even from yourself?

2. Describe one or two times when you had big emotional mood swings.

3. Describe a time when you felt like you were mad at the world. Were you really mad at the whole world, or just one or two things? Did you figure it out?

4. Who do you talk to when you are feeling down? What does this person do that helps? Do you ever do the same for others?

5. Have you ever felt like you are totally alone and no one else could possibly understand what you’re feeling?
Do you think other people sometimes feel that way too?

6. Watch a television program and write about one of the characters. What were the major emotions that motivated that character’s behavior? How did the character deal with those emotions? Did this character handle his/her emotions in a positive or negative (helpful or harmful) way? Can you think of a better way?

7. Imagine that some day you will have a child. Write a letter of advice for that child to read when he or she reaches the age you are right now. Tell the child about the moods and emotions you experienced at this age, and how you hope he/she will deal with his/her own moods and emotions at this age.