Tag Archives: disordered eating

Emotional Eaters, Stop Here


Do you feel like you have a never-ending battle with the scale? Are you tired of gaining weight that stays with you forever? The cause of your weight gain might be emotional overeating. A complex topic, with essential, easy to recognize elements.

Emotional overeating is defined as disordered eating that is characterized by the compulsion to eat even if you’re full. It tends to be a response to negative emotions or thoughts. It’s also seen as a coping strategy for those who are under stress or who have suffered abuse. Food often provides comfort for emotional eaters. But the comfort is only temporary! Emotional overeating can sabotage your diet and weight-loss goals. It can also negatively affect your health. Luckily, there are easy steps you can take today to stop emotional overeating!

Try these strategies:

  1. Figure out your triggers. In many cases, emotional overeating is triggered by an event, thought, or feeling. If you can figure out your triggers, then it will be easier to take control, and stop them from encouraging you to overeat.
    • The most common triggers are stress and negative emotions. Other triggers can be difficult days at work, fights with your family or spouse, and issues with friends or coworkers. Therapy may also help you deal with triggers.
  2. Try to eat only when you’re hungry. Teach your body to accept food only when you’re really hungry instead of viewing it as a constant source of comfort.
    • This step will take time because changing your eating habits is challenging. However, you can take small steps to make dietary modifications. Learn to listen to your body and pay attention to real hunger pangs.
  3. Create alternative plans. For example, if you know that you overeat after a difficult meeting at work each week, then plan ahead and try to prevent it. Try substituting a more positive action that also brings you comfort or reduces your stress.
    • By creating alternative plans that don’t involve eating, you will be setting yourself up for diet success. For example, you can plan a long walk or gym workout after work to get rid of stress. Instead of turning to your fridge and ice cream after an argument, you can binge watch your favorite TV shows or get on the phone with a friend.
    • The key is to find other ways to deal with stress and negative emotions.
  4. Surround yourself with people who care. One of the main reasons many people turn to emotional overeating is because they feel like they don’t have a support network. Do you feel alone and isolated? Reach out to family, friends, coworkers, and others for help. Build a strong support network around you that can help you deal with negativity and stress. Find those whom you can call or visit without worrying that you’re intruding or upsetting them. In turn, be open to offering them support, too.
    • Explain to friends or loved ones about emotional overeating so they can understand why you overeat. Discuss effective techniques that can motivate you to stick to a diet or exercise plan. They can remind you of these techniques when you need help, without being authoritarian or critical, to help you get back on track. 

Emotional overeating doesn’t have to control your life. You can fight it and overcome it with these easy strategies. With any luck, this post serves as a catalyst to reach out and seek help

To Your Success, 
Juan

Your Relationship With Food


While I don’t think there is anything wrong with occasional over eating, after all, many things propel us to gorge ourselves into a food coma. Relationship ending, failing an exam, being let down by others, etc.  However, you cannot ignore there is a problem, when you hide the habit from others, feel ashamed, and tried to stop on your own.

Overeating can have many causes, but they all produce the same result. You gain weight and feel like you’re out of control. While you may  blame yourself for lacking willpower or not trying hard enough, there could be something else at work. The real reasons (besides the mental and psychological aspects) why you eat more than you intend, may surprise you, and some are relatively easy to fix. 

There are many common lifestyle habits that tend to undermine a healthy diet. Take a look at this list to find out which things you’ll want to do differently.

Dealing with Eating Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Be flexible. You may think you’re being virtuous for starting a super-strict diet, but being too rigid can backfire. Allowing yourself a few treats can keep you from feeling so deprived, that you wind up eating an entire pizza.
  2. Shrink your menu. On the other hand, planning your meals and snacks around a limited number of healthy foods can help you eat less. The lack of variety dampens your appetite.
  3. Eat mindfully. A lot of overeating happens when you’re busy with something else. Sit down and pay attention to your food instead of watching TV. Beware of nibbling while you’re preparing meals or lingering at the table after dinner.
  4. Slow down. A leisurely pace gives your brain time to tell your stomach that you’re full. Chew thoroughly and pause between bites.
  5. Listen to cravings. Intense urges are usually trying to tell you something important. Eating light snacks can keep you from getting so hungry that you long for junk food.
  6. Avoid low fat foods. Did you know that low fat foods are usually only about 10% lower in calories? Plus, they’re often higher in sugar and sodium, which can make you want to eat more.
  7. Limit artificial sweeteners. Sweetness is one of the signs your brain uses to try to determine how much to eat based on how many calories a food has. Artificial sweeteners make those calculations difficult. Over time, your brain loses the ability to make correct judgements.

Dealing with Other Lifestyle Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Sleep well. A lack of sleep can make you want to eat more and make it difficult for your body to digest food efficiently. Go to bed early on a consistent basis so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  2. Socialize wisely. We tend to eat more when we have company. Be especially vigilant when you’re enjoying holiday dinners and office parties. Try to find a lunch mate who eats healthy, so you can support each other.
  3. Exercise more. Physical activity burns calories and helps to fight depression and anxiety, which can lead to overeating. Aim to work out at least 30 minutes a day 3 times a week.
  4. Deal with your feelings. While it’s natural to associate food with celebrations and comfort, it’s important to have other ways of managing your emotions. Call a friend or write in your journal.
  5. Talk with your doctor. A slice of cake rarely does much harm, but sometimes there are deeper issues at work. If you binge frequently or feel guilty and ashamed about your eating, talk with your doctor. Effective treatments are available.

Understanding the reason why you overindulge is the first step in finding solutions that enable you to stick to a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. Use these tips to take control of your eating, so you can stay fit and enjoy your food more.

To Your Success,
Juan