How to Eat to Stop Emotional Overeating

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When you think of stopping emotional overeating, does it seem like an impossible goal? You’re not alone – many people who suffer from this problem feel imprisoned and helpless. It can seem like you are unable to break free from the overwhelming emotions and habits. But there’s good news – it’s a treatable problem.

Being honest with yourself is an important first step. Emotional overeaters tend to judge themselves pretty harshly, but don’t – you’re not an isolated case or some kind of freak. It’s a sign of strength to seek help! It means you’ve identified the problem.

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If you’re struggling with this problem, there are some things you can do to get things under control while you’re seeking professional help. Here are some tips.

Your Grocery List

When an emotional moment hits and you head for the refrigerator or pantry, what kind of foods do you usually go for? Often, emotional overeaters head for high-calorie comfort foods like ice cream, chips, or candy bars. But you can’t eat those things if they are not in your house! Here are some examples of foods to put on your grocery list in place of the ones you may be tempted to buy. (Another tip – buy only the foods on your list. Compulsive buying of food is tempting.)

  • Brown rice (instead of white rice)
  • Millet (instead of or in addition to rice)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (rather than canned)
  • Low-fat, low-calorie yogurt (rather than ice cream)
  • Popcorn kernels for air popping (rather than chips and fatty snacks)
  • Lean protein like fish, turkey, and chicken (instead of deli meats and processed meats like hotdogs and         bologna)
  • Natural, healthy cooking oils like olive and safflower oil (instead of shortening, lard, or unhealthy oils)

Don’t Crash Diet

It’s good to be proactive in solving problems, and emotional eating is no exception. If you try to crash diet, you may find yourself eating more after the crash diet is over. So, rather than stopping eating everything you love, try some of these tips.

  • Allow yourself to have a dish of frozen yogurt each week as a treat. This approach tends to be easier than just cutting out all frozen treats. You could use this approach with other “naughty” foods, too – it may be easier to resist if you know you are going to have that food on Saturday (or whatever day of the week you choose to have a small treat).

  • Boost your nutrition with a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement.

  • Increase your consumption of nutrient-dense foods.

Eat Regular Meals

Experts recommend regular mealtimes as a way to combat emotional overeating. If it’s not “time” for food, then you may be better able to hold off on eating until it is time. Also, eating regular meals helps you to be deliberate about your intake of nutritious foods. And finally, having regular meal times tends to make for a more relaxed eating experience, which is the direct opposite of anxiety-driven overeating.

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Alternative Therapies for Emotional Overeating

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Emotional overeating can make a person feel imprisoned – it can seem like there is no way out of the cycle of feeling sad, angry, anxious and so forth, and then eating to alleviate the emotional pain. There are treatments that are available, though – some of them conventional and some of them alternative.

Conventional therapy, surgery, and medication have all been utilized at one time or another for the treatment of emotional overeating. There are, however, some alternative therapies that are worth exploring. Here are some of them.

Emotional overeating

Hypnosis

Because emotional overeating begins in the mind, hypnosis is said to be effective because it addresses the mind directly with the power of suggestion. Hypnosis is not the mumbo-jumbo stuff of cartoons and swinging pocket watches; it’s a clinical practice and many practitioners have used it with success to treat emotional overeating.

Meditation

The intent of meditation as a treatment for emotional overeating is to “tune in” to the emotional thought center that is driving your cravings and/or binge eating. Meditation, sometimes taking a form called “mindfulness,” is the opposite of mindLESSness, which is what often happens in emotional overeating. The person does not really think about what he or she is doing; it’s mindless eating.

Herbal Supplements

It seems like every time you turn around there’s a new herbal supplement promising to help you lose weight. But there are some herbs that can help with the issue of emotional overeating. Here are some of them.

  • Hoodia – This much-publicized herb is said to be effective at appetite suppression and boosting energy. Its effects tend to be subtle, and it also has a good safety record.
  • Vitex – This hormone-balancing herb for women may help those whose emotional overeating is influenced by hormone fluctuations.
  • Ginseng – This ancient herb is said to help sugar cravings and curb the compulsion to overeat in response to one’s emotions. Both American and Asian ginseng are purported to be equally effective.

Acupuncture

Acupuncturists are often asked if acupuncture can help with weight loss. The answer, in general, is yes – but not always. However, the good news is that acupuncture tends to be more successful with treating emotional overeating than just overeating. This may be due to acupuncture’s alleged ability to release endorphins and boost metabolism – making the client feel better emotionally, effectively curtailing the emotional overeating.

Nutrition

Interestingly, having the right balance of vitamins and minerals may affect emotional overeating – it’s not too much of a stretch to speculate that nutritional deficiencies could play a part in this kind of overeating. So make sure you’re not eating a lot of artificial, processed, pre-packaged foods; opt for fresh, whole foods as a general rule. It’s also a good idea to take a vitamin and mineral supplement that is formulated for your gender and life situation.

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Nutritional Treatments for Emotional Overeating

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It may seem ironic to turn to nutritional treatments for emotional overeating – after all, isn’t the problem too much eating? Why would you want to look at more foods you need to eat? But more and more experts are seeing the connection between nutrition and emotional overeating.

The fact is, when you overeat in response to emotions, you may not be eating the healthiest foods. You become full – even sick – on junk foods, and there’s no room left for the good stuff. It’s common knowledge that you do need the right nutrients to be healthy, and if those foods are not being eaten, then it’s more a matter of quality than quantity.

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Nutritional Deficiencies

Another aspect of emotional overeating may be nutritional deficiencies – and the deficiencies might bring on cravings. The theory is that the body craves certain foods in response to a need – in the case of emotional overeating, the need is emotional but it may also be physical. For example, a craving for ice cream may signify your body’s need for calcium.

Here are some vitamins and minerals that, according to research, are implicated in the management of emotional overeating.

Vitamin D

This vitamin’s effect on mood is well-documented, and is even suggested for people who suffer from certain depressive disorders, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Foods high in Vitamin D include:

  • Cod liver oil
  • Sockeye salmon
  • Soymilk (fortified with Vitamin D)
  • Cow’s milk

Remember that Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so sources with healthy fats, such as fish, may be absorbed better by the body.

 B-complex Vitamins

These important vitamins help increase energy levels and manage water retention. Foods with B vitamins include:

  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Lean beef (B12)
  • Dark leafy greens (kale, broccoli, spinach)

Magnesium and Calcium

This is a powerful pair – many supplements put them together in one pill or capsule. These minerals are important for managing muscle and nerve tension. Interestingly, when these minerals occur naturally in foods, there is usually a higher proportion of magnesium to calcium, whereas supplements generally have more calcium than magnesium. Foods include:

  • Beans
  • Nuts, especially peanuts, hazelnuts, and pecans
  • Corn

Zinc

Zinc has been shown to have a profound effect on appetite and cravings, and many people with eating disorders are deficient in this mineral. Zinc is found in the following foods:

  • Shellfish, especially oysters and crab
  • Beef, particularly beef shanks
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Garbanzo beans

Making deliberate, conscious choices about what you do eat can go a long way toward managing emotional overeating. Plan your meals and make a shopping list, and be proactive about meeting your nutritional needs.

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Weight Loss Surgery: Can It Help with Emotional Overeating?

If you have trouble with emotional overeating, you may have considered weight loss surgery of some sort. But how do you know if it’s for you? What kinds of surgery options are available?

Here are some ideas as to the more common surgical options currently available and some of the better-known pros and cons associated with them.

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1. Lap-Band

This is a type of restrictive weight loss surgery, and it is adjustable. A silicon doughnut or ring is placed around the top of the stomach, leaving a small pouch above the ring. This is where the food goes first, and the pouch, being so small, fills up quickly. The person feels full on less food, in other words. Slowly, the food makes its way from the pouch into the main stomach.

The doctor or surgeon may, from time to time, inject saline into the ring in order to inflate it, thus decreasing the pouch’s capacity even further. The opposite can be done as well.

Pros:

  • It’s adjustable, as noted above – fluid can be removed or injected into the ring.
  • The digestive process is not compromised; food is digested “the usual way.”
  • The surgical procedure is usually done laproscopically, meaning it’s minimally invasive.

Cons:

  • Additional surgery may be required in the case of twisting of the access port or perforation of the stomach.
  • Weight loss tends to be rather slow and gradual, and not as dramatic as some other options.
  • Repeated follow-up visits with your doctor are required.

2. Gastric Bypass

This is what’s known as a malabsorptive technique. In gastric bypass surgery, a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach using “staples” rather than a ring. Then part of the small intestine is re-routed to connect to this pouch, essentially creating a permanently smaller stomach. It is called “bypass” surgery because food bypasses the rest of the stomach and the original small intestine connection, called the duodenum.

Pros:

  • Weight loss tends to be significant and permanent.
  • Mild side effects, such as heartburn, tend to be resolved easily.

Cons:

  • Compromised nutrient absorption is a significant concern, and patients are generally required to take many supplements to prevent nutritional deficiency.
  • Dumping syndrome, or a too-fast emptying of stomach contents, is a potentially difficult side effect.
  • It’s harder for doctors to view the stomach and intestine via endoscopy, meaning cancer and other problems may go undetected.

These are just two of the more common types of weight loss surgery. The bottom line is, weight loss surgery can help with the weight gain and excessive caloric intake associated with emotional overeating, but it does not address the underlying emotional issues. If you do choose some sort of surgery to treat emotional overeating, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s part of a “whole person” treatment plan that includes counseling and emotional therapy.

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What Causes Emotional Overeating Disorder?

Emotional overeating disorders can be difficult and devastating for those who suffer from them. What makes this happen? Why is it that some people, knowingly or unknowingly, turn to food for comfort? Here are some thoughts and ideas on those questions.

Emotional overeating disorder is a general term that refers to any of various eating habits where genuine hunger is not the motivational factor. It is more common among women than men, but men are not immune – especially young men in their teens and twenties. Those who suffer from this disorder associate food with emotional comfort, and will turn to eating to escape negative feelings.

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Past Trauma

For some with emotional overeating disorder, the problem stems from past traumatic events. Someone who suffered sexual abuse, for example, or some other kind of sexual trauma may overeat in response to feelings of anxiety and confusion. The result is a fatter body, which some sources suggest may cause the sufferer to feel “protected” from being attractive to the opposite sex. Subconsciously or consciously, the sufferer wants to be unattractive. Other examples of past trauma or unmet needs may cause a person to turn to emotional overeating.

Poor Self-Image

People who suffer from low self-esteem and a negative self-image may seek escape by overeating. In a way, emotional overeating is a physical expression of what the sufferer feels inside, and the resulting weight projects the same image of self-disrespect.

Self-Medication

Like alcoholics, those who struggle with emotional overeating may be unconsciously using food as a drug. Eating numbs or dulls the emotions that might be too hard to deal with otherwise.

Depression

Studies indicate a strong correlation between depression and emotional overeating. Ironically, sometimes as depression grows worse a sufferer loses weight; weight loss means the sufferer is not eating as much, and therefore not engaging in his or her coping mechanism.

Stress

Prolonged, unrelieved stress can have a profound effect on the body. Stress stimulates the body to produce, among other chemicals, the hormone cortisol. Cortisol apparently has a hunger-stimulating effect, and as the stressful emotions increase along with the cortisol, a cycle of emotional eating can play out.

Individual Triggers

There are triggers or causes of emotional overeating that are not necessarily in the categories above. Some examples might be:

  • Boredom
  • Oral need or a need to satisfy your mouth’s need to do something
  • Social pressure or embarrassment at eating in public, resulting in overeating in private
  • Financial stress
  • Relationship difficulties
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5 Best Healthy Foods For A Longer List

Living longer is about exercising and eating only healthy foods. The healthier the foods that you eat, the more likely you are to live a happy life for a very long, long time. Obviously there are thousands upon thousands of healthy foods. Almost all vegetable that you may come across is likely healthy, as are the majority of all fruits. Natural grains tend to be in the upper pinnacle of healthy eating, etc.

But what are the healthiest foods – the foods that if you eat them regularly you are guaranteed to get the most nutrients you can from your meal? What are the foods that everyone should be eating in order to live a long and healthy life?healthy

The Healthiest Foods – a Countdown

5. Quinoa (Whole Grains)

Whole grains are vital for healthy living, and quinoa is one of the healthiest of those whole grains. A rather bland food overall, quinoa is very easy to flavor with things like lemon, garlic, oils, salt, and other flavors that make it taste significantly better. It is extremely high in both protein and fiber, and it is also a good source of iron and magnesium.

4. Cranberries (Berries)

Berries are another extremely healthy food. They have a number of antioxidants that are vital for healthy living. Cranberries are just one of several berries that are extremely high in antioxidants, but all berries have their benefits and should be eaten regularly.

3. Spinach (Greens)

Greens are a great source of protein, fiber, calcium and other important pieces of nutrition. Spinach is actually not quite as good for you as Kale and Collard Greens, but Spinach is more versatile and can be eaten in far more ways that just salad, so it can easily become a staple in your cuisine even when you want to mix it up.

2. Soy

Soy is simply a fantastically healthy food. It has fiber, vitamins, Omega-3, protein, calcium – almost everything that you could need from a meal. It can also be found in almost every different type of food, as vegetarians can find soy meats, soy cheeses, tofu and other food types that can all be used to get soy in every meal.

1. Salmon

Salmon, however, is like soy on steroids. Loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other beneficial nutrients, salmon has almost everything that you need all in one grilled piece of fish. It is also low in fat and cholesterol (high in good cholesterol), and is a great addition to anyone’s diet.

All five of those foods are considered some of the healthiest foods in the world – but beyond that, they are all also incredibly versatile, so it is not too difficult to get them into your daily diet regularly. For anyone who want to improve their overall health and wellness and planning on eating a significantly healthier diet regularly, these foods are the first place you should go. They are simply loaded with all of the necessary ingredients that you need in order to improve your health.

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How Food Affects Your Mood

Few things affect our state of mind, aka our mood, as profoundly as food. Women being propelled by some mysterious hormonal force to eat chocolate during PMS is one good example. There’s just something in that chocolate that makes them feel so good!

Aside from the emotional ties around food, such as associating it with celebration or entertainment, there is also the physiological side that affects our mood. We’ve all seen children throwing fits in the cereal aisles or at the checkout stand where all the sweets have been placed for impulse buying. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen such outbursts in the broccoli aisle.mood

People crave almost instinctively comfort foods which are high in carbohydrates, which the body immediately converts into sugar in the bloodstream upon consumption. Consuming processed and refined foods which contain exorbitant amounts of sugars and artificial ingredients and practically no dietary fiber renders the eater into a blood sugar nightmare.

Even cooked starches that some consider healthy such as potatoes, rice and pasta are converted into simple sugars quickly in the body. This gives an immediate burst of false energy and a short-lived sense of well being, followed by a nasty letdown and what some call ‘self induced hypoglycemia.’

In order to feel better after the letdown phase, which can make people feel exhausted, cranky and unable to focus, the body compels one to simply eat more of the substance that gave it that happy rush in the first place. Now we see how we get set up for addictions. Ever tried to be in a good mood, feel jubilant about life or get lots of work done when you are in the throes of caffeine withdrawal?

The main function of most anti-depressants on the market is to enhance the uptake of that famous ‘feel-good hormone’ serotonin. When this brain chemical is low, people crave carbohydrates and comfort foods in order to get it.

But if we learn how to nourish the brain properly, we need not suffer from nutrient or serotonin deficiencies and consequently we can avoid the addictions that keep us bound to the constant highs and lows. There is a sound and foolproof way to accomplish this.

One of the main reasons a raw vegan diet is so helpful in maintaining stable moods is due to the fact that there are no toxins, addictive substances or artificial ingredients in living foods. Moreover, raw foods are loaded with fiber to keep the intestinal tract and colon in tip top shape as well as clean.

If the colon is overloaded with waste, this waste is recirculated in the bloodstream again and again. How peaceful and blissful do you think you can feel with your body’s own waste nourishing your brain? Consumption of foods that are high in fiber and natural sugars also eliminates the wild roller coaster blood sugar swings which are notorious for ultimately depleting our serotonin supplies.

After a period of detoxification, which may sometimes be a bumpy road as our emotions are detoxified as well, the mind becomes clearer and sharper. Better health also brings an improved outlook on life and renewed hope that other improvements are possible. When we begin to look better, perhaps by dropping a few pounds or our skin clears up, we definitely begin to strike a more cheerful tone.

On a raw food diet, our brain becomes cleansed and nourished on a cellular level, our senses sharpen and we begin to see the sun come out in our life once again. Won’t you join me in eating naturally?

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How To Stay Calm and Collected in Any Situation

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Now is the time to plan. We’re always juggling so many things – planning for the future like finding new clients, attending to current clients and the list goes on. High-stress levels can result in a tense situation which impact on our communication style. A situation which may usually cause minor irritation could become a breaking point when feeling stressed.

Here is how to stay calm and collected in any situation. 

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  1. Have the courage to step back

Stressful situations can become quite emotional.

  1. Gather your thoughts before responding

If you’re communicating via email, it’s easy to hit send before calming down from an angry state.

The technology was supposed to make our lives easier. Use technology as a tool to assist you in your working day. Replying to an email that causes you stress doesn’t have to be done immediately. Take control of the situation by allowing yourself some time out.

  1. Change perspective

Step into the shoes of the person that you’re having difficulty communicating with and see, hear and feel the situation through their eyes, ears and emotions.

  1. Analyse your options

Depending upon your situation, here are some questions to consider:

  • What is the most appropriate response to the situation given what you know about the other person’s communication style?

  • Do you have enough information to make an informed decision?

  • Have you heard what the other person has to say without becoming defensive or shifting into win-lose thinking?

  1. Logic instead of emotion

View at the facts and detach them from the emotional element of the situation.

To be capable of doing this, it’s essential to look after yourself so that when a difficult situation arises, you’re less likely to be affected by the emotional component.

Some strategies include:

Breathing deeply from the diaphragm

This helps to relax the muscles and allows oxygen to flow to the brain so that you can think in a more rational manner.

Regular exercise

This could be as simple as a walk that can clear the head while applying nervous energy in a productive way.

Become an objective observer

Hold back from the situation and reality it as if you were a detached observer.

  1. Master of actions versus reactions

You can control how you feel and react to any situation. You cannot control how others feel or react. So it’s important that you do what you can within, always know that your circle of influence.

By recognizing and checking your reactions, intentions and assumptions you’re able to be the master of your actions.

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7 Things You Can Do to Relax Each Day

We face new challenges each day and in the long run these challenges contribute to high stress levels. Stress can affect our well being and reduce our productivity. If we let pressure build up we can end up harming others, making irrational decisions, and in extreme cases we vent out our stress to others.

Therefore it is vital that we find a way to reduce stress levels. There are various ways we can unwind and here are 7 Things you can do to relax.day

Do some yoga

Find a quite room and do some yoga. Yoga helps your body and mind relax. You can lookup brief yoga routines on YouTube and practice them. Yoga will help you release all the pressure that has been building up in your body and it is also beneficial for your body.

Listen to your favorite genre of music

Listening to music lets you get loose. As you get to listen to favorite musician you forget what is troubling you which in turn reduces your stress levels. A good thing about music is that you can plug in your earphones and separate yourself from the stressful environment.

Take a walk

You might opt to walk or jog into the park and enjoy what mother nature has to offer. If you leave in a noisy neighborhood find a quite place to walk. This lets you organize your thoughts and you get to view things from a clearer point of view. Find time in your busy schedule and enjoy the walk.

Play games

Computer games or physical games can do. If you love staying indoors then computer games will help you vent out the stress that has been building up in your body. You can play board games against your friends and it will hep you focus on something new other than your problems.

Hit the gym

The gym helps you relieve all the mental and muscle tension that builds up during the day. Your job could be demanding that you stay seated for a long period of time and this is bad for your health. Weight lifting will help you reduce all this tension that has been building up. You also get to socialize at the gym which is very healthy.

Watch movies

Watching movies lets you forget what has been stressing you . Take sometime off and watch a movie on Netflix or in a cinema. Movies are enjoyable to watch and we can dedicate weekends to watching movies. You can also watch documentaries if you are not a fan of movies and you will learn new things.

Travel

Visiting new places is one of the best stress relievers. You can save for a vacation and to get your mind off the things currently stressing you. On vacation you get to interact with new people and learn their diverse cultures. Traveling helps you reduce tension in your life and you can take your family with you.

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How to Manage Stressful Situations

Stress is a common feeling that every human being experiences. As we all know from experience, stress can impact your life negatively and it should, therefore, be dealt with properly. Stress may be unavoidable but how it is handled is our choice. Managing stressful situations is all about taking charge of your thoughts, lifestyle, emotions, and the way you handle problems.

When faced with a stressful situation at work or in your personal life, it is very common to worry, panic and be fearful which can result in poor performance and inaction. To avoid this, here are a few tips that can help you manage stress.stressful

Determine the Sources of Stress in your Life

Identifying the sources of stress should be the first step before you know how you will deal with them. It can be easy to identify the major stressful situations like moving from home, changing jobs, or losing a loved one, but identifying the day to day stress can prove to be hard. In order to recognize your true source of stress you should look into your attitude, habits, and excuses.

Take Care of Yourself

You will be able to handle stress better if you are in good physical and mental shape. Looking after yourself by having fun, building time for relaxation, exercising, eating healthily, and attaining a balance between your personal and work life is important.

Be a Positive Thinker

Positive thinking makes one feel confident and in control. You should envision a positive outcome to a stressful situation and focus on your successes rather than your failures. Focusing on obstacles that you have overcome also helps you feel in control.

Connect with Others

Social engagement is the most efficient and quickest way to reduce stress and to avoid overreacting to both external and internal events that you recognize as threatening. Expressing what you are feeling or going through to a person that you know will understand you can be very helpful. You should, therefore, reach out to friends and family more and connect with them regularly in person.

Accept Things You Cannot Change

Some sources of stress in our lives are unavoidable and can’t be changed. The best way to cope with such stress is to accept things the way they are. Acceptance may prove to be difficult but in the long run, it is a better way than trying to fix a situation that you can’t change.

Practice Forgiveness

Accepting that we all live in an imperfect world where people make mistakes is a good way of perceiving things. Let go of resentments and anger by forgiving and moving on with your life.

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