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Apr/May 2012 25
Everyone has good days and bad days
How we deal with the bad ones brings
emotional eating into play
You look for
comfort for your hurts
People who turn to
food for comfort fnd a coping mechanism
that won
t judge them, hurt them or tell
them ìno
î To complicate the issue, eating
pleasurable foods can stimulate the release
of endorphins just like exercise
So, afer
you eat, you feel better
Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress
Tey hide behind the food instead of
seeking solutions to the problems
is not uncommon when the stressor is
something horrible such as physical abuse
or a death
But, how do you know you are using food in this way? The frst sign is
obvious. You will gain weight if you eat too much. In light of the weight
gain, examine other areas of your life:
Have you been
under stress lately
at work or at
Has anything
happened in the
last year?
Are you dealing
with a problem
but haven
t found
a solution?
Tere is help for emotional eaters
frst step is recognizing that you have a
ll experience feelings of
helplessness and guilt
Te guilt is over
potentially ruining your health and the
helplessness lies in the fact that you don
see a way out
Secondly, seek counseling
Tere are many
types of counselors out there that can meet
your need
Emotional eating has nothing
to do with dieting or changing your eating
habits but gaining control over your
A counselor might suggest things like
visualization, practicing problem solving
skills, relaxation techniques and family
Visualization helps you to see
your problems in a realistic way and not
blown out of proportion
You will also
learn to see food as nutrition for the body
and not an emotional crutch
Tirdly, your family can learn your triggers
for stress and be on the lookout for changes
in your eating habits
Tey can help you
be aware of the foods you are eating, assist
you in making healthy food choices and
exercise along with you
Proper diet and
exercise increases immunity, blood fow
and positive thinking
Yoga enhances the
body connection so you don
t eat
when you aren
t hungry
Finding new ways to solve your problems
and deal with stress will push food out
of the equation
ll feel good about
fnding solutions which will replace the
dependence on food
High fat foods like French
fries, fried foods
High carb foods like macaroni
and cheese, mashed potatoes
Sugary foods like ice cream,
donuts, cookies, cake
Answering ìyesî to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater.
You eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time.
The foods that you choose are what we term ìcomfort foodsî: