We are in a sense, eating zombies!
Fortunately, we can be awakened and reprogrammed to actually start and stop eating when we are actually hungry.
Emotional Eating Is Not The Problem!
Let’s be honest – everyone engages in emotional eating at some time or another. That’s because the definition of emotional eating is eating any time that you are not hungry.Eating to soothe as a coping strategy – it’s easier than facing the stress and uncertainty of a job or relationship issue day in and day out.
Emotional overeating and stuffing yourself well beyond the point of fullness on a regular basis ARE problems.
And these habits WILL affect your weight.
Simply overeating is not the problem either – who hasn’t stuffed themselves on Thanksgiving or some other holiday in the name of celebration?
Face it – we eat for pleasure and we eat to cope.
Engaging in this behavior occasionally is not a problem (so stop being so hard on yourself)! It’s when it becomes a mindless habit, a “program” that problems (and pounds) start to mount up.
Here are 3 ways to help:
1. To become more mindful about what you are doing, try this experiment. Plan an entire day where you eat ONLY when you are hungry, and ONLY until the hunger signals go away.
Then plan an entire day when you eat ONLY when you are triggered by stress and emotion (anger, boredom, fatigue, happiness, etc.)
Notice the difference!
2. Think about why you eat (or overeat). Basically, we eat either to satisfy physical or emotional hunger. Notice during the day which hunger you are responding to.
Are you physically hungry?
Are you eating to cope?
3. What if mindfulness could have the force of habit behind it instead of mindlessness?
During the week, notice how and where you eat.
If you eat a lot of meals standing near the microwave, try sitting instead.
If you eat in front of the TV, try the kitchen table with soft music.
If you always eat indoors, try taking the meal outside.
Any small change can be a doorway to mindfulness.
Food for thought, for sure . . .
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