Breaking Free From Emotional Eating: Your First 3 Steps
Your First 3 Steps Toward Breaking Free From Emotional Eating
Breaking free from emotional eating . . . is a journey. It has been said, "the problem of emotional eating may end with the scale but it begins in the mind."
Beyond the nourishment of our bodies, to be sure, we are wired to enjoy the "experience" of food . . . the smells, the textures and most importantly the broad range of flavors. However, even when you're not really hungry, do you consistently use high-fat, high-carb or sugary foods to relieve stress . . . to massage a hurt? Do you tend to hide within the temporary comfort that food brings instead of seeking solutions to your problems?
If this sounds like you (or someone you know), you would do well to continue reading to discover the first three important steps toward breaking free from emotional overeating. Help is waiting.
How Do You Know If You Are An Emotional Eater?
Take A Good Look At Your Life
Like anyone else, you look for comfort for your hurts. However, people who turn to food for comfort, find a coping mechanism that won't judge them, hurt them or tell them "no." To further complicate the issue, eating "pleasurable" foods can stimulate the release of endorphins (just like exercise does). So, after you eat, in a sense, you feel better.
If you are using food in this way, the first sign is obvious . . . you will gain weight because you are constantly eating the wrong foods. And you'll no doubt find yourself bound up in yo-yo dieting.
So examine your life and ask yourself:
- . . . Have I been under stress lately at home or at work?
- . . . Has anything traumatic happened in the last year or so?
- . . . Am I trying to deal with a problem but haven't yet found a solution?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater. You tend to eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time. And the foods that you often choose are your "comfort foods" . . .
- . . . High fat foods like french fries, fried foods
- . . . High carb foods like bread & butter, mashed potatoes, mac 'n cheese
- . . . Sugary foods like cake, candy, cookies, donuts, ice cream
Here are three healthy steps you can take to overcome emotional eating:
Step 1: Recognize That You Are Challenged In This Area
Breaking Free From Emotional Eating Requires You To Face The Truth
The first step in breaking free from emotional eating is to recognize that you have a problem. Of course, you'll experience feelings of helplessness ("I don't see a way out "), guilt ("I'm ruining my health") and maybe even shame ("I keep doing this to myself, people will think I'm sick in the head").
My core message is this: many other people share this struggle and there is help which is why step 2 is so important.
You Are Not Alone
Many other people share this struggle and there is help.
Step 2: Seek The Appropriate Help
Breaking Free From Emotional Eating Requires Proper Guidance
The second step in breaking free from emotional eating is to seek counseling. Let's be clear . . . there is no shame in getting help. You 've admitted that you have a problem and it makes good sense to get the guidance you need in order to become an overcomer. You cannot stop emotional eating simply by dieting or changing your eating habits. It's all about gaining control over
A person experienced in this area might suggest the practice of relaxation techniques and visualization. By the way, visualization can help you to view your problems in a realistic way . . . not blown out of proportion. In addition you may be advised to solicit support from family and friends. And just as importantly, under the guidance of a professional, you will learn to see food as nutrition for the body, not an emotional crutch.
Emotional Overeating Help Is Just A Click Away - Continues To Be A #1 Resource For Emotional Eaters
Author, Geneen Roth has been there . . . and has overcome. In this guide (based on some of her workshops), she shares her struggle with emotional eating as she adeptly directs you along a path of soul-searching, self-discovery and re-calibrating your thinking.
Geneen has appeared on many national television shows including: Oprah, 20/20, The NBC Nightly News, The View and Good Morning America.
Reviewer comment: "I've read several diet books in my time and while most of them were educational to some extent, none spoke to me on the level that this book does. Many of the anecdote's Geneen Roth has included in her book are seemingly taken directly from the pages of MY life. Her encouraging dialog has let me realize that I am not alone and more importantly has helped me start to transform how I eat and more importantly view food. For anyone who is an emotional eater, who sneaks food, who binges or engages in other similar activities, this easy to read book is worth a look. It could help you better understand your motivations and enable the changes you want, but feel you can't make." -- J. Stutz (Orlando, FL)
Step 3: Seek Support From The People That Love You
Breaking Free From Emotional Eating Requires You to Lean On Your Loved Ones
The third step in breaking free from emotional eating is not be afraid to lean on the folks in your life who love you, namely family and/or true friends.
Please note: In some cases, family members may be part of your stress. If that's your particular situation, then look to a partner, a friend or even a support group.
The point is, the loved ones in your life can learn your triggers for stress and be on the lookout for changes in your eating habits. They can really help you become aware of the foods you are eating, assist you in making healthy food choices and even exercise along with you, if need be.
As the song goes:
- "Sometimes in our lives
- We all have pain
- We all have sorrow
- But if we are wise
- We know that there's always tomorrow
- Lean on me, when you're not strong
- And I'll be your friend
- I'll help you carry on . . ."
- ~~ Bill Withers - Lean On Me lyrics
Online Resources For Emotional Eating
- Weight-loss help: How to stop emotional eating - MayoClinic.com
Weight loss — Emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Here's how to regain control.
- Self Tests by Psychology Today
The Eating Disorders and Emotional Eating Test will assess your eating habits. It will evaluate whether your relationship to food is mentally healthy or ...
- Emotional Eating: Overcoming and Managing the Causes of Overeating ...
Learn how to overcome emotional eating, recognize the emotional problems, habits and triggers that cause people to overeat and find out how to prevent ...
- Overcoming Emotional Eating: Diet Tips from Prevention Magazine
Lose weight by overcoming emotional eating. Beat stress, stop compulsive eating & prevent emotional eating with diet tips from weight loss experts.
- Binge Eating Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Help
Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of binge eating disorder, where to find help, and how to stop compulsive overeating.
- Binge Eating Disorder
Information relative to the very common phenomenon of teenage binge eating including definitions, causes, signs, symptoms, and what to do to get help.