- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Monday, March 8, 2010
What to Do About Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is a problem for most of us. Whether it is from stress, sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, loneliness, or boredom, eating to ignore these or any other emotion is unhealthy. Eating will not rid you of these emotions either, but will most likely add guilt to the equation.
I eat sometimes when I am bored. It is as if I have nothing else to do so I eat. What I have found that works for me, is to direct my attention to another activity like taking a walk, reading, writing, or anything that will take my mind off of being bored and eating. There is always something to do when you are bored.
Many people eat when they are stressed out. Physical activity is a good alternative to eating when you are stressed. It will not only get your mind off of food, but will lower your stress levels by doing exercise.
Emotional eating will sabotage your weight loss program, so it is important to try and gain some awareness and control over the situation. It may soothe you temporarily, but it is a short term fix that will come back and make you feel worse in the long run. Your negative emotions will still be there, if not magnified by your binge eating.
Here are some tips to fight the urge to eat emotionally;
If you are stressed and eating, try exercise, yoga, or meditation to help lower your stress levels.
Keep a food diary so you can see just when it is that you are eating emotionally. With this awareness you can choose to do other activities instead of eating.
When you are eating emotionally, ask yourself if you are truly hungry. Sit with that thought for a fifteen minutes or so before you choose to eat. You may make a better choice when you are more aware of what you are doing.
Eating from boredom? Take a walk, read, watch a movie, call a friend, or any activity that will distract you from wanting to eat.
Do not have unhealthy foods or comfort foods readily available to you. Do not go grocery shopping when you are emotional. Have healthy snacks only when you are in a negative emotional state.
Find help in the way of a family member, friend, teacher, or professionally trained therapist that can help you with your emotional problem. Without identifying what the problem is, there is not much hope in ridding yourself of the emotional eating. You will continually return to eating to avoid what is really bothering you. Face the issue that has created the eating and you will be able to move on from it.
It is never easy, but with some conscious effort and awareness on your part you can stop being an emotional eater. You are in charge of You! There is nobody else in that mind of yours but you....take control of this fight and win the battle. You can do it with consciousness, discipline, and self control....I know you can!