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2016 © Beginner Weight Loss
BEGINNER WEIGHT LOSS

Stop Emotional Eating in Three Steps.

Do you often feel driven to eat when you aren't hungry?

Do you tend to eat more when you feel anxious, depressed, restless or bored? This is called "emotional eating" and most of us have done it at least once. Some of us, however, take it to the extreme and make it an ongoing habit all day, every day. The problem with emotional eating is that it creates a vicious cycle that never resolves anything. With physical hunger, you feel hungry, you eat, you feel satisfied, and the need to eat dissipates until your body needs more fuel. With emotional hunger, that satisfaction is never achieved because eating cannot resolve emotional issues. So you feel restless, anxious, bored, depressed, or sad, and you start craving cookies or potato chips to soothe yourself. Eating may distract you from the negative feelings for a few minutes, but when you stop eating, they are still there. So you keep eating more and more to try to feel better, but it doesn't work. Stopping the urge to eating when you are upset is easier than you think, but it does require a bit of courage and persistence. Start with these three steps: 1) What do you really want? Your craving for potato chips or cookies is just a mask for something deeper you're craving. It might be that you're really craving some quiet time to yourself, or a hug, or a greater sense of fulfillment in your work. The best way to tell what you really want is to sit with your craving for food and follow it a bit deeper. Ask yourself, "If I could have anything I wanted right now besides food, what would I ask for?" 2) Satisfy the true craving. If you can figure out what you're really craving (hint: it's almost always a positive emotional quality like inner peace, satisfaction, love, etc.), find a way to give that to yourself. If you discover that you're really craving some quiet time to yourself, do what you can to grant it. You may have to do a bit of rearranging of your schedule to make it work. Also note that you may not be able to satisfy all of your true cravings immediately. For example, if you find that you're really craving a loving relationship but you don't yet have that, you can at least quiet the yearning by loving yourself - do nice things for yourself, buy yourself something, do things to make yourself feel happy like you would if you had the relationship. That alone will usually help calm the emotional turbulence enough so that the craving for food decreases. 3) Clarity and conviction. Even if you can't figure out what you really want and the desire for food is persistent, simply acknowledge that it's an emotional craving, not a physical one, and make a firm decision to eat only when physical hunger is present. Whenever you feel a desire to eat, ask yourself, "Am I really hungry right now? Physically hungry?" If so, eat. If not, decide that you will handle your emotional needs separately, without bringing food into the picture. This approach takes a bit of inner strength and conviction, but it is extremely effective once you get the hang of it.
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                   2016 © Beginner Weight Loss
Beginner Weight Loss

Stop Emotional

Eating in Three

Steps.

Do you often feel driven to

eat when you aren't hungry?

Do you tend to eat more when you feel anxious, depressed, restless or bored? This is called "emotional eating" and most of us have done it at least once. Some of us, however, take it to the extreme and make it an ongoing habit all day, every day. The problem with emotional eating is that it creates a vicious cycle that never resolves anything. With physical hunger, you feel hungry, you eat, you feel satisfied, and the need to eat dissipates until your body needs more fuel. With emotional hunger, that satisfaction is never achieved because eating cannot resolve emotional issues. So you feel restless, anxious, bored, depressed, or sad, and you start craving cookies or potato chips to soothe yourself. Eating may distract you from the negative feelings for a few minutes, but when you stop eating, they are still there. So you keep eating more and more to try to feel better, but it doesn't work. Stopping the urge to eating when you are upset is easier than you think, but it does require a bit of courage and persistence. Start with these three steps: 1) What do you really want? Your craving for potato chips or cookies is just a mask for something deeper you're craving. It might be that you're really craving some quiet time to yourself, or a hug, or a greater sense of fulfillment in your work. The best way to tell what you really want is to sit with your craving for food and follow it a bit deeper. Ask yourself, "If I could have anything I wanted right now besides food, what would I ask for?" 2) Satisfy the true craving. If you can figure out what you're really craving (hint: it's almost always a positive emotional quality like inner peace, satisfaction, love, etc.), find a way to give that to yourself. If you discover that you're really craving some quiet time to yourself, do what you can to grant it. You may have to do a bit of rearranging of your schedule to make it work. Also note that you may not be able to satisfy all of your true cravings immediately. For example, if you find that you're really craving a loving relationship but you don't yet have that, you can at least quiet the yearning by loving yourself - do nice things for yourself, buy yourself something, do things to make yourself feel happy like you would if you had the relationship. That alone will usually help calm the emotional turbulence enough so that the craving for food decreases. 3) Clarity and conviction. Even if you can't figure out what you really want and the desire for food is persistent, simply acknowledge that it's an emotional craving, not a physical one, and make a firm decision to eat only when physical hunger is present. Whenever you feel a desire to eat, ask yourself, "Am I really hungry right now? Physically hungry?" If so, eat. If not, decide that you will handle your emotional needs separately, without bringing food into the picture. This approach takes a bit of inner strength and conviction, but it is extremely effective once you get the hang of it.