Friday, January 2, 2015

5 Easy Tips to Help Stop Emotional Eating

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I have just decided that I have the propensity to have an emotional eating problem.  Yes, Mz. Health and Wellness has to take some steps to make sure I am not just eating to be eating!

I recently had a great conversation with Karen Koenig, LCSW, M.ED about emotional eating.  Karen is an expert on the topic of emotional eating and has written six books about emotional eating.  One of the things she said about emotional eating was "The reason you turn to food when you’re stressed or distressed is that you don’t have better ways of managing life’s ups and downs...you can transform your eating habits — and your life" (click here to listen to an interview I did with her regarding emotional eating "The Wellness Journey-LIVE!)

Below are some simple ways that I have helped myself to calm down, not stress, and most importantly not get into emotionally eating. Give them a try. They have worked for me! 

  • Tea Time - when I need to calm down and not reach for that cookie,I have fixed myself a cup of tea.  I love peppermint tea in the afternoon laced with honey or perhaps chamomile laced with a bit of lemon-lavender tea. It's a wonderful time to calm down and relax. Teas can reduce your cortisol that causes those cravings.  If you have a craving for chocolate try organic Chocolate Tea.
  • Crave a Walk - this may sound silly but I can't tell you how effective taking a walk can be when it comes to stopping emotional eating. Instead of reaching for that candy bar reach for your walking shoes and go for a quick brisk walk. 
  • Pull Out The Beads-I use worry beads to help deal with the need to reach for a chip or some other food whenI know I am not hungry.  Worry beads have a long history of helping people cope with addictive behaviors, which can help you break the habit of reaching for food whenever you feel stressed or anxious.
  •  Distract Yourself - I always find myself doing more than one thing at once (multi-tasking) and eventually reaching for whatever I can find that will fit in a bowl. I start snacking and after awhile I am not aware of what I have eaten.  I now find it effective to distract myself during these snack binges by doing a cross word puzzle, knitting or some other rhythmic exercise it helps me to stop reaching for that snack in a bowl. 
  • Let It Go - That's right let your body totally go, just like a rag doll.  Drop down your muscles as if you were a rag doll. Tense up your body and then assume the [rag-doll] position again.  According Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself  Without Food  "Anxiety is at the heart of many of our mindless nibbles, says Albers. "To calm down your body, you can do a very simple relaxation exercise: Drop down your muscles as if you were a rag doll. Tense up your body and then assume the [rag-doll] position again. The contrast between tightening and relaxing can help unlock anxiety."


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