Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Can Conquer Emotional Eating

You can conquer emotional eating. Like me you may have taught yourself to use food as a reward system. Chocolate when you’re happy, ice cream when you’re sad and my longtime favorite was candy when I was bored. There are so many emotions tied to snacking that have nothing to do with whether you are hungry or not.

Our appetite is controlled by signals that tell our brain when we are hungry and when we are full. When you become hungry, your tummy will start to gurgle and growl. It’s a slow process that can be felt below the neck.

When your emotions make you think you are hungry it’s an immediate process that comes from what you are thinking about. Did you see the word think being said twice in that last sentence? Your thoughts about how you are feeling turn into cravings for the chocolate, the chips, the candy and they want immediate gratification. This is not hunger and happens above the neck, in your head.

There is a 2-step process that has worked for me.

Step 1: I stop and ask myself if the hunger is coming from my head, above the neck or my stomach, below the neck.

True hunger comes on slow and can be felt below the neck. Cravings and emotional eating come on sudden and really start an immediate inner dialogue going on above the neck in your head. You start wanting food like pizza, chocolate, a candy bar and chips. Right now!

Step 2: If the answer is, above the neck, I determine what I am actually feeling. In my head I say "name that tune" :) And, name the emotion I am feeling.

Over time have I taught myself to stop, figure out below or above the neck, name the emotion and realize that eating for the wrong reasons would only make me feel another negative emotion and create a vicious cycle.

As I’ve said in other blog posts, losing weight permanently is a journey you take with yourself, for yourself and end up discovering who you are and what you really want in life.

Enjoy the journey! Your Diet Diva


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