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Saturday, 21 August 2010

21st August - facebook email

Good habits are as easy to form as bad ones. Tim McCarver

I had a very chilled out day yesterday, I even had an afternoon snooze so I didn’t really prepare much food just had sandwiches so today I’m feeling refreshed and will definitely get in the kitchen!

My brain isn’t working yet, we had a lie in and I’ve had a walk with Alfie and now I’m sat here thinking what shall I write….

I’ve just had an email about emotional eating so let’s look at that!

Do you?

Emotionally Eat I mean!

Of course you do, we all do, it’s part of being a feeling human being, however for some it becomes a problem. Occasionally eating something because you’ve had a bad day, or some bad news arrives so you dive for the biscuit barrel, that isn’t the end of the world, but if it becomes a regular reaction then it needs you to take control of it. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotional eating.

So in a nutshell emotional eating is the practice of consuming food (usually “comfort” or junk foods) in response to emotional feelings rather than hunger. Emotional eaters use eating as a main strategy to manage their emotions, both negative and positive. It’s dangerous and addictive.

But are you an emotional eater? Here are a few signs:

You’re eating and you’re not hungry.

Emotional eaters are filling an emotional void, not an empty stomach.

You’re craving a specific food.

When you’re hungry, any number of options will satisfy that hunger. When you’re an emotional eater, you desire one specific food.

You have an intense urge to satisfy your craving instantly.

You turn to foods like ice cream, chocolate or other unhealthy comfort foods.

You know that you are full and you continue to eat.

After you eat, you have feelings of guilt.

And of course emotional eating is not limited to bad times, good moods and happy events can also lead to overeating for those who eat from emotion. In a study that evaluated overeating in a group of obese women, it was found that larger meals were eaten in response to both good and bad moods when compared to those mealtimes when the women's mood was neutral.

Emotional Eating and Weight Loss Success

Eating in response to emotions can undermine weight loss. However, research has shown that becoming aware of emotional eating and developing strategies to manage it works. In a study conducted at the University of Birmingham here in the UK, researchers found a direct connection between a reduction in eating in response to emotion and weight loss success among adults.

Understanding the connection between emotions and eating reveals how behaviour can impact on weight. Becoming aware of the impact that emotional eating may play in a weight loss attempt is the first step. If emotional eating is an issue, developing ways to cope without food is vital for lasting weight loss.

I personally find a notebook helps enormously – no don’t eat it! Write it, if you realise you’re about to emotionally eat, write down your feelings instead, you don’t have to share those thoughts with anyone and if you’re concerned someone may read it, then burn the paper afterwards!

Replace the food with something else. Instead of reaching for a bag of crisps or biscuits, get out go for a walk. Call a friend for a chat, discuss your problems maybe. Do housework if you must! Or even take a nap - I know I eat when I’m tired and one day I may realise my mattress isn’t in the fridge!

If you find yourself unable to replace eating with another activity, at least replace the food type. Instead of eating pizza or junk food, try consuming sugar free jelly or carrot sticks, or if it has to be treat food find lower pointed ones, like Weight Watchers toffee bars chopped up into small pieces and taste every piece.

Know that you don’t need to eliminate junk food from your diet entirely. Instead, recognize that junk food isn’t a healthy way to cope with emotions. You can occasionally indulge for the right reasons as long as you point those indulgences.

Instead of eating the entire cake, try taking just a few bites. According to an expert -Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab at the University of Illinois, states: “Your memory of a food peaks after about four bites, so if you only have those bites, a week later you’ll recall it as just a good experience than if you polished off the whole thing.”

Eating your emotions is a habit that can be broken.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

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