Emotional Eating

Are you an emotional eater? Why some of us eat the way we do and what can be done about it?

Emotional Eating
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Are You Eating Your Emotions?
By Barry Lovelace

Let’s face it, when it comes to being overweight, there are some people who are perfectly happy that way. There are many people who like to eat whatever they want and frankly like to be sedentary. I’m not going to use the word ‘lazy’ here because, hey, it’s their prerogative and they are making a choice. These people are often the ones that no one talks about, they are the people who really could care less about the extra weight they carry and the ones who give no attention to the thought of losing weight and to the pleas for fitness from people like me.

However, the majority of overweight people will tell you that they want to lose it. So that brings us to the big question; Why don’t they? We are living in a time where there is a wealth of health information that tells us constantly how unhealthy it is to carry extra weight. We know about the stress this puts on our heart and internal organs, we know that our risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and even certain cancers is increased. From a psychological standpoint, we know that being overweight makes us feel bad, it makes us self-conscience and uncomfortable and yet still people struggle, sometimes for their entire lives, and don’t get the weight off.

I believe that for many of these people the problem is emotional eating. When it comes to ‘coping’ with life’s ups and downs, some people drink alcohol, some people workout, some people meditate and lots of people eat.

If this is not you, you may have a hard time understanding this concept. But for those of you who struggle with emotional eating, you know what I’m talking about. Food comforts you, helps you to not feel the feelings you are trying to avoid.

From the time we are children, food is used to comfort us. Whether it be warm Sunday dinners with the family, a cookie to make you feel better if you were sad, etc. For so many people this is an almost automatic reaction. They will turn to food without even realizing that this is what they are doing until it is too late, it can be mindless.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers in conquering this problem but it can be done. It takes work and it takes you being honest with yourself and admitting that this is what you are doing. Too often people lie to themselves and that will get you nowhere. Once you admit it, I think it’s a good idea to get support by talking about it to someone you trust, a friend or relative. Chances are you know people who struggle with emotional eating and don’t even know it because it is rarely discussed.

Once you have a confidante in place you will have someone you can call when the going gets tough. Also, it is important to come up with a new coping mechanism, it is not enough to just remove the old one, and you need a new one for lasting success. One good idea is going out for a walk or doing some other form of exercise. Another is setting a timer and promising yourself that you will not eat until it goes off, this will give you time to think through things and hopefully you will not eat when it goes off. I know many people who have success writing down what they are feeling when the emotional eating urge hits. You have to explore and find what is right for you.

I hope you will think about this, take action and start living.

Barry Lovelace is creator of Exercise4 Every Body circuit training DVD's. co-owner of FitQuest Fitness in Allentown, Pa.. a personal trainer, speaker and all around fitness enthusiast. Visit Barry's website: http://www.fitquestlv.com/ Email Barry at: barry@barrylovelace.com

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