What Gets in the Way of YOUR Ability to Lose Weight?
- Is it a desire to reach for food for comfort?
- Is it lack of time to prepare healthy meals?
- Is it binging on desserts or consuming lots of coffee, tea, or diet soda for artificial energy?
- Is it lack of willpower to stick to a healthy eating and exercise routine?
- Is it the influence of advertisements urging you to eat unhealthy foods?
- Is it a lack of interest?
- Is it a lack of knowledge and not knowing how to lose weight?
And It’s Not Just About Being Sad…Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, surveyed more than 1,000 people and found that participants were most likely to turn to comfort foods when they were: Happy 86 % Wanted to reward themselves 74 % Depressed 39% Bored 52 % Lonely 39 % Stressed is desserts spelled backward
Why is food so comforting?Emotional eating is a powerful and effective way to find temporary relief from many of life’s challenges. There are many reasons food can be so seductive in moments of stress. If it didn’t work so well, no one would do it.
PhysiologyWhen you are stressed out, your body is flooded with cortisol, a stress hormone, which makes you crave carbohydrates, sugar, and fatty foods. Food is soothing due to the chemical changes it creates in your body. Also, letting yourself get too hungry or too tired is the best way to leave yourself vulnerable to emotional eating. When your body is hungry or tired, it not only sends strong messages to your brain that signal it to eat, but when we’re hungry and tired we’re not at our best. This leaves us less equipped to fight off cravings or urges.
Tune OutEating can be distracting. It can take your attention away from whatever is bothering you emotionally. In our culture, we learn from a young age to avoid things that feel bad. Unfortunately, the ways we have found to distract ourselves from difficult feelings are not always in our best interest; it’d be much better to learn to tolerate the inevitable negative feelings life sometimes brings.
ConvenienceWe enjoy things that are easy and convenient. Vending machines and fast food restaurants are always close at hand when you are fretting. And at the end of a long and hectic day, a big bowl of ice cream or bag of bbq chips can be especially quick and easy.
EntertainmentIt is difficult for many of us to deal with boredom and anxiety. Preparing food and eating it can be entertaining and fills gaps in time. For many, by not thinking about each meal time, they feel as if they have nothing to look forward to.
Good VibesEmotional eating may be linked to your childhood. Perhaps home-baked cookies or macaroni and cheese automatically trigger positive or comforting memories from the past.
Addressing Body HateIt may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s true: hating your body is one of the biggest factors in emotional eating. Negativity, shame, and hatred rarely inspire people to make long-lasting positive lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to our bodies or our sense of self. Often, people believe they will stop hating their body after they reach their goal weight. However, you have to stop hating your body before you can stop the emotional eating cycle.
12 Signs of Emotional Eating
- You eat when you are stressed
- You eat as a response to your emotions
- You seek solace in food
- You have trouble losing weight (due to the way you eat)
- Your eating is out of control (you can’t stop yourself from eating)
- You eat to feel happy
- You eat when you feel happy
- You think about eating or food a lot
- You use emotionally-charged words to describe eating or food
- You eat even though you are rightfully full
- You think of eating even though you are rightfully full
- You have random food cravings out of the blue
Call to ActionAs a psychotherapist, I can help you address many issues involving emotional eating. First, by becoming aware that you are one and second, by sharing new insights that will change the way you relate to food. If you are truly ready and committed to adopting a new and positive relationship to food and have a desire to rid yourself of many of the struggles that bring you down, you will learn how to create new results in our one-on-one private support sessions.
Don’t go it alone a moment longer. Let’s make your intention your reality and start today!
Shoot me an email and we’ll find a time to chat!