Emotional overeating is obviously a serious problem these days. If you doubt this, look around you when you're in a crowded area like a mall, restaurant or movie. You will see fat people everywhere, right? And why would anyone take in much more food than their poor body wants or needs if it wasn't for an emotional reason?
Ignoring uncomfortable or painful feelings is the single most destructive habit a lot of individuals struggle with, and a lot of times people will use things like food (or other bad habits like smoking, drinking, shopping, etc.) to cover up those feelings because they aren't sure how to deal with them in a healthy way. It doesn't come as a surprise that these habits can sabotage the goals you make for weight loss. You can keep this from happening if you find a way to acknowledge your emotions and discover constructive ways to make yourself feel better when your life gets hard.
Today we're so quick to label our problems: it's an "overeating disorder" or it's "compulsive overeating disorder". In truth, those terms obscure the meaning of what we're doing, rather than contribute to a solution. Want an effective overeating 'treatment'? Then learn how to deal with your feelings!
Emotional Overeating Step #1: PAY ATTENTION!
The first thing you need to do is pay attention to how you are feeling every day. You need to get accustomed to tuning in to how you are feeling. Begin asking yourself the question,"How am I feeling right now? Am I content or am I sad? Am I mad or at peace?" If you see that you are feeling negativethen try to figure out why. Ask "What is it that is making me so angry? Why is it that I feel so sad?"
Emotional Overeating Step #2: Let Go
Then you need to attempt to process and let go of those feelings. You might not be able to fix all of the basic causes for these emotions, but a lot of times, just realizing why it is that you are feeling them is enough. After this, be determined to work through those feeling instead of covering them up or running away from them.
How do we get rid of these generalized "anxiety feelings"? Here's a favorite method of mine. It involves four questions from Maxwell Maltz, the inventor of the famous PsychoCybernetics. If you are feeling bad, it's because of a thought, a belief:
1. Is there any rational reason for such a belief?
2. Could I be mistaken in this belief?
3. Would I come to the same conclusion about some other person in a similar situation?
4. Why should I continue to act and feel as if this were true if there is no good reason to believe it?
Cycling through these questions can take me far, far away from negative emotions and thoughts. Try them yourself and see what happens.
Emotional Overeating Step #3: Find Comfort In Ways Besides Eating
Meanwhile, make it a habit to do the things that bring you comfort regularly. You will not have to spend a bunch of time doing these activities, just doing one or two of them every day will work, like going for a walk, relaxing in a bubble bath, writing in a journal, meditating, sleeping for short periods of time during the day when you are sleepy, or doing any other activities that make you feel good. Just a little bit of time each day of making yourself feel better can help you decrease the amount of emotion turbulence you go through- and you won't have to overeat to achieve it.
Emotional overeating is THE single biggest cause of the explosion of obesity in out culture. Stop overeating by dealing with your feelings and you won't have a "weight problem" any longer.