Emotional Eating -- Tips That Work
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September 12, 2009 , last updated January 9, 2013
By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist


How do you know if you're an "emotional eater"?  Easy.
Emotional eaters use food to medicate their emotional
stress. When they 're sad, they reach for chocolate ice
cream instead of crying. When they're excited, they reach
for potato chips instead of shouting for joy.

Emotional eaters are also sometimes called "unconscious
eaters". They sometimes can't recall how much they've
eaten or even what they've eaten.  Many overweight
people respond to the question "do you over eat" by
stating ", "I really don't eat that much". Truth is, we don't
remember what we ate. We don't remember because when
we ate we were in a fog of emotion.

In America, we are almost all set up to become emotional
eaters. Ever notice how many food commercials are shown
with sporting events like the Super Bowl or the Oscars?  
The subliminal message is-- food is necessary to really have
"fun".   Most of us are even conditioned to never watch a
movie without also munching on a box of popcorn or
downing a hit dog and a large soda.  It wasn't always this
way, of course. Several decades back, our grandparents
got through listening to a whole radio show without
munching. Imagine that.  

Is there a way out of this pattern of emotional eating? Sure.

Here are some tips you can use to break the pattern of
emotional eating:


























1.
Write it Down. The way out of this is to write down what
emotions you are feeling at different points in the day
when you eat. Keep the emotional eating journal for a
week. You'll be surprised at what it reveals about you. Over
time, you'll be able to control the urge to reach for food
instead of your journal. Try it. It works.


2.
Drink First. Try to create a rule for yourself --- never eat
before you
drink a glass of water. What this does for you is
to make time your ally in your battle against emotional
eating. Just taking a few seconds to drink that glass of
water gives you time to collect yourself. It also helps to fill
you up, making you less likely to ignore the signals your
body will send you that you are already full and don't need
to eat.

3.
Points for Feelings. The key to breaking the pattern of
emotional eating is to feel your feelings. It's just that
simple. People who let themselves feel their feelings are not
likely to try to "stuff" their feelings or suppress them with
food. Food is merely a distraction from the pain, stress or
discomfort of feeling your feelings. When you're sad, feel
sad. Cry. When you're angry, recognize that, and be angry.
Throw a pillow. It may seem scary at first, but, over time
you will grow accustomed to experiencing your true
feelings, rather than being afraid of them.

Here's a simple trick that helps you to feel your feelings.
The next time you're angry, give yourself 1 point.  The
mere act of having given yourself a point will help you
remember to feel that anger next time, rather than
distracting yourself from it with food. Same for sadness.
When you feel sad, give yourself another point. When you
feel overjoyed, give yourself another point, and so on.
Over time, you'll start building up points instead of calories.

Update:

4. Chewing Longer at Lunch Reduces Snacking Later.
Several studies have found that simply chewing your food
longer will reduce your total amount of food you eat later.

One 2012 study comes from the University of Birmingham
in the UK, led by Dr. S. Higgs and Dr. A. Jones , asked
students to chew food they ate at lunch for 30 seconds
before swallowing. Those students who chewed their food
for 30 seconds at lunch ate one-half as much snacks as
students who ate normally.

As an emotional eater, you know that you may be tempted
to grab snacks later in the day, as stress or boredom settles
in. Try chewing your lunch for 30 seconds as a tool to curb
your impulse to eat more and more snacks later in the day.

In 2011, Dr. Biggs completed a similar study at the
University of Birmingham which showed that paying
attention to what you're eating at lunch reduces the
amount of snacks you eat later in the day.

The study asked conducted an experiment with 29
students. Some of the students were asked to eat lunch
while either paying attention to the food they ate, noticing
the texture, smell and taste of the food. Other students
were asked to read a newspaper while eating or to simply
eat without any extra task.

The study discovered that those students who payed
attention to what they were eating --- savoring the food ---
were far less likely to indulge in snacks later.

Related:
Why Am I Always Hungry?-Causes and Top 10
Natural Remedies / Ideal Breakfast to Lose Weight/ Diet
and Exercise --A Simple Plan for Life / Foods That Shrink
Your Waist  / Why Waist Size Matters / Weight Loss-A
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