When I give presentations, people always tell me “I eat when I’m sad and I eat when I’m happy too. I eat at every occasion.” Does that mean we are destined to be overweight? No, there’s a difference. When we are experiencing a negative mood, we eat more and we keep eating. You may call this emotional eating. When we are in a happy mode, on the hand, we might have greater caloric intake but we stop eating.
Emotional eating is 70% of overeating. So if we can adjust our emotions/moods, we can avoid 70% of overeating which is HUGE for weight loss. So who eats emotionally? Generally, emotional eaters are busy with no time to feel. They are out of touch with their body. And they feel safer blocking their feelings with food than actually allowing themselves to feel. With a society so focused on intellect, this doesn’t come as a surprise. We value the head and feelings are often considered a sign of weakness.
Take a look at our diet world. It’s all about the latest information, counting calories, and restrictions. Nowhere are we allowed to feel. To listen to the body and feel what it needs. Sometimes it actually wants the healthy stuff and other times, it craves treats. A diet would shame you from having it, your cravings take on monstrous form, then guilt adds more visceral fat due to the heightened cortisol your body experiences while you’re trying to diet. In addition, when we suppress our emotions or our emotions are extreme, both causes the same level of inflammation. When we can regulate our emotions, we live longer, live better, and have good body weight.
Here’s one question to ask yourself. “What is eating to you?” Is it guilt, pleasure, or a nuisance? These negative emotions actually lead to greater weight gain, more stomach fat, and a vicious cycle of emotional eating followed by dieting then repeat. Become more aware of your body and your emotions. Develop alternatives and use a 15 minute wait-out period. Definitely stop the shame and judgment with food. STOP Dieting!! Our mood is everything. Let us help you address this root cause and healthy eating will fall right into place easily.
If you need help understanding nutrition and all the mixed messages out there, give us a call. We will address your stress level, eating habits, exercise, cravings, emotional eating, and overall health and happiness. Start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA