Emotional Eating: What’s the Real Issue?

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For emotional eaters, the issue is almost never the food

Nutrition is important, but we get caught up in finding the right plan or combination that gets us more of what we want without leaving us starving or feeling awful.  Yet we also blame the plan.  It’s too permissive, it’s too restrictive, I can’t do without (pick yours) sugar/starch/fat, I don’t like X-food.  All of which end with – I can’t stick to this plan. 

It’s not the food.

It’s our thinking about the food.

We elevate its importance or connect it with good or bad memories or use it as a soother or we think about our next meal all day.  We’ve made it a hobby and call ourselves “Foodies.”  No wonder we struggle

Consider addressing these areas:

Accountability – some of us need external accountability to reach our goals, which is why a group and coaching work so well.  We think more carefully when we know someone is expecting us to make good choices. 

Coaches do two things:  1) They help guide through stumbling blocks.  2) They help you be consistent.  Consistency is the key to weight loss.  It makes me crazy, but whenever I follow my plan and consistently make good choices, the weight magically disappears.  Dang it!  Do whatever you must do the be consistent, and unless there is something physically/medically wrong, you will release extra weight.

Emotional – we all have emotional stuff that hamstrings us at times.  Food is the easy soother, but it leaves evidence on our bodies.  Facing emotional stuff is not the easy route, but it provides longer-term success beyond just losing a few pounds.  That voice in your head can be mean or it can be kind.  Which would be more helpful?  If you gave yourself good support or had someone who helped do that, how would that change things?  There’s no reason to drag our emotional baggage for decades, but we do it if we don’t face our stuff.

Spiritual — Surprisingly, our less helpful thinking is often true across spiritual traditions and practices.  This is a sticky issue, so bear with me.  Most spiritual practices help us connect with something bigger than ourselves to be our best and find purpose and meaning.  For frustrated dieters, almost without realizing it, we let food get in that place.    We let food be “bigger than us.”  We make it our focus by elevating its priority in our lives.  Just a thought –

Honestly, it’s almost never really about the food, so what’s the issue for you?

If you want some help finding that or getting free of it, contact me here:  [email protected]

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