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Emotional Eating

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Emotional Eating

Postby Ally » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:25 pm

As there has been quite a few posts on emotional eating I thought that I would post the following:

One Simple Step to Combat Emotional Eating.
Obesity and weight loss are issues which need to be tackled with sensitivity. Behind many weight management problems there lies an emotional attachment to food.

Eating is so intrinsically embedded in nearly every social aspect of our lives - from celebrating Christmas and other holidays and even birthdays. Just about any get-together whether it be with family, friends or work colleagues involves food. Often the hardest part is steering clear of a high carb meal - and learning to choose the best and healthiest option.

But how do we do it? How can we continually convince ourselves to choose the steamed fish with Asian greens when everyone else is going for creamy pasta with garlic bread on the side?

Emotional eating is a huge part of our lives - who doesn’t sometimes eat for reasons other than hunger? We often eat because we are bored, stressed, tired, or we want to reward or comfort ourselves, or simply because we just love to eat!

Wouldn’t it be great if the main reason we ate was because we wanted a nutritious, healthy, low carbohydrate meal or snack?

But if stopping this emotional eating was as simple as telling ourselves just to eat less (and it is never really that easy…), we wouldn’t be understanding or learning from the experience that has made us eat so much in the first place.

One of the best ways to tackle emotional eating is to stop using judgmental and moralistic words when referring to food. We need to stop the use of terms like “I’ve been naughty, I’ve eaten too much todayâ€￾, or “I’ve been so good, I can have that slice of pizzaâ€￾. The emotional power of food is taken away once we stop dividing food into the “good/angelicâ€￾ or “bad/evil/naughtyâ€￾ categories.

Instead of using the terms “goodâ€￾ and “badâ€￾, use “everydayâ€￾ and “sometimesâ€￾.

By taking away the association that food equals guilt or virtue, we immediately limit the power that food can have over us. Eating pizza won’t make you a bad person; you just wouldn’t want it to be part of your “everydayâ€￾ diet. Eating more “everydayâ€￾ foods and less of the “sometimesâ€￾ foods is so much easier when we take away its emotional attachment.

So try it – you’ll be amazed at the difference this tiny little change can make! More “everydayâ€￾ choices, less of the “sometimesâ€￾ foods!
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Postby grugwashere » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:41 pm

i once read an interesting article about comfort food, that asked why do we use food as a comfort? does it keep us warm at night?(i know my fat does lol jokes), does it tell us it loves us? etc... its very odd to use food as a comfort but nearly everyone does and i think its to do with childhood

what mother hasnt at least once given your child a lolly or similar when they fall over or they are upset?

i love the idea of sometimes and everyday brings everything into a much more positive light.
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Postby kate_turner2000 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:55 pm

hey ally
excellent read. i especially tend to call certain foods naughty or bad and have to cut out saying that! its just the category i put them in without thinking of a more appropriate name.
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Postby Ally » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:14 pm

You are so right right Joanna!! Even as a mum I used to do the same thing!! I am much more aware now after sorting out my own eating habits to just watch from a distance in my children!! If they are have hurt themselves..I let them cry it out while giving them a big hug!! Before I used to reach for something to help them stop crying!! I don't think we realise the (un-intentional) damage we do by offering them sweets or fizzy drinks to help them "get over it"!! Well said mate!

I have looked at foods in this way this time everyday and occasional foods and it has helped me tremendously!! I don't feel like I am missing out as I have one day a week to have something like a choc bar or something...however if there is an occasion through the week where I have a dessert or something....that is ok too as it is not happening everytime I open the fridge!!
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