Are you eating your emotions??

23 01 2015

The brain is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it can be difficult to understand and control. You know those urges to overeat, and all the wrong foods? The same area of the brain that triggers those urges also includes the emotion control center. On a very basic level, this is why we often want to eat away our emotions!

Try and halt the impulse to consume whatever is nearby by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What purpose will this meal or snack serve for me? Will it fuel my body? Am I even hungry? Drink a large glass of water and see how you feel in 10-15 minutes.
  2. Is there something that I am trying to distract myself from? Am I unhappy, frustrated, or feeling stressed?
  3. Am I just bored? If yes, what other things are available to fill my time? A walk? A good book? Call a friend? Have a plan for impulse control!
  4. Do I struggle at a particular time of day? After work for example? Pinpoint your triggers and have a plan. If you tend to binge right after work, then arrange for activity during that difficult time of day.

Other things to keep in mind:

  1. Get rid of the temptations! If sweets or comfort food are calling to you, get them out of the house. Saying no will be much easier!
  2. Keep in mind that the gratification is temporary. Food may seem to fill the void for a moment, but what comes after? Usually more negative feelings!
  3. If you need a mood boost, tap into the natural endorphins with exercise. Try some deep breathing exercises to clear your head and calm your body.
  4. Set yourself up for success. Know that binging now and feeling guilty later won’t have the desired positive effect.

And always, remember that you have support in the Weight Management Program. Your Personal Trainer, Registered Dietician, and Health Behavior Counselor all want to see you succeed, and are available to help when you need it…so ask!

By Stephanie R. McWilliams, Health Behavior Counselor

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