Control Your Eating

How to combat emotionally-charged eating in your weight loss plan

Many of us seem to have an unhealthy relationship with food, but it doesn’t need to be that way. To fix the problem using your weight loss plan, you need to start thinking about food another way.

Food can’t instantly make us happy when we’re sad, or comfort us when we’re lonely; but the right foods can provide us with nutrients and other health essentials, that give us energy and keep us feeling well overall. And when we feel better overall, when the hard times hit, we are less likely to turn to comfort food to get through them.

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Forget your mother - your mother may have made you feel guilty about not eating everything on your plate, but now that you’re an adult you don’t have to. Eat the right foods, and eat only until you feel full, and then stop. And believe us, mom would be proud!

Form a battle team - if you find that you reach for chocolate chip cookies or candy when you’re feeling sad or angry, find better options to fuel your emotions. Call or email a friend to vent, or join a boxing class to fight out your emotions. Never eat simply to make yourself feel better.

Chew slowly - your brain takes about 20 minutes to register that you’re full. Take time to thoroughly chew every bite you eat. If you’re craving something, have a glass of water and wait about 20 minutes; you might find the urge will quickly pass.

Get a hobby - keep your hands and mind occupied, and off of food, by finding a hobby that you enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it’s knitting, painting, reading or golfing, find something that interests you and gets you involved. You’ll find once you’re busy, you may not be thinking so much about food.

Get rid of unhealthy food choices - instead of tempting yourself by having chips, chocolate bars, and cookies stashed in your pantry, get rid of these potential dieting disasters. If you’re really craving these foods and they’re not in front of you, you’re less likely to run to the store and get them than you would be to reach in the cupboard.

Identify your triggers - keep a food diary for three days: eat as you normally would and write down every last morsel you put in your mouth. Also write the time you ate and how you were feeling. At the end of the three days review your journal and make note of what triggered your cravings. If you found you wanted a chocolate bar everyday at 3:00, make sure you are eating an adequate lunch, and have healthier options on-hand to prevent potential mishaps. Identifying which foods can sabotage your weight loss plan, and at what times you are most vulnerable, is the first step toward meeting your weight loss goal.