29 C 2017

Are you struggling with Emotional Eating? - Step 1 (Recognize it)

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Are you struggling with Emotional Eating? - Step 1 (Recognize it)
Are you finding yourself at night taking the box of chocolate and chips, sitting in front of your tv or holding your phone snacking without really being hungry to eat that food?
Are you feeling guilty afterwards and try to ‘’save’’ it the next day by overexercising but end up the next couple of days with the same overeating cycle?
Are you accusing yourself of being too lazy to try, hopeless to put any effort ?
Well, I have some news… you are not lazy, you are not ‘’piggy’’ as some of you might call it. What happens is that you might use food as a coping mechanism to cover some other needs that your body has.

Do you really want to have that chocolate or do you just need to relax a bit and chill?
Is that chocolate a way to distract your brain from thinking about an issue in your life that is stressing you?
Stress at work, financial worries, health issues, relationship struggles, literally anything in your life that stresses you can find their way to emotional eating. 

Now, the question is: why food? 
Negative emotions can lead to a feeling of emptiness; therefore, food is believed to falsely and temporarily fill that emptiness and give that feeling of fullness. 
What happens is that you feel stressed for any reason and instead of dealing with the source of that negative feeling and how it makes you feel (emptiness, frustration, sadness, anger, etc.) you turn to food as a comfort action ending with overeating. This action ends up with a temporary feeling of happiness/fullness but soon enough it turns into a feeling of guilt and the cycle keeps going. But, until when? Until the person reaches the recognition and the realization of that behavior and takes serious actual steps to break it.

What is the first step to change that behavior? Recognize it! Observe what you do and when you do it. Ask yourself: what do I really need right now? Is it really the chocolate or maybe I need to take a hot bath and calm my mind? Am I really hungry or am I just seeking that to relax after a stressful day? You don’t need to do anything in the beginning, just be preset in the moment and observe how you feel when it happens.

Emotional eating can cause weight gain to many people but that’s not the only reason to consider the change. In fact, there are people who are dealing with emotional eating and even though it doesn’t cause them weight gain, it is enough to cause distress in their lives, make them feel out of control and that this behavior is not beneficial for them. The issue here is not only “weight gain”, it is the feeling that is linked with it. That is why in this article I emphasis on the importance of the first step which is observation, recognize the action and ask yourself ‘’why’’.
It is possible to change. In future articles we will go deeper into the steps of “How to deal with emotional eating”. Until then, remember! be present in the moment and obsesrve.

Check out "Habit Creator"for professional help with behavior change. 
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