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Beauty: Emotional and Addictive Eating  Previous Next

Emotional and Addictive Eating

by: Judy Feder

Many of us are emotional eaters and don’t even know it—but knowing it is half the battle, as controlling emotional eating is the key for many women dieters to finally dropping the weight they wanted.  For those who don’t know, if you eat in response to your feelings, especially when you are not hungry, you are an emotional eater. Emotional eating means your emotions — not your body — dictate when and/or how much you eat.

Here are some tips that can help:

Use smaller plates: emotional eaters and people with food addiction often overeat because the signals that are supposed tell the body to stop eating don't work properly. But you can retrain your brain to feel full on less by using smaller plates and bowls, which will force you to dish out smaller portions.

Reduce the sweets: If sugar is your soft spot, begin by removing it from areas of your diet where you're less likely to notice. Sauces, breads, crackers, and other "nonsweet" foods that contain hidden sweeteners (not only sugar but highfructose syrup and corn syrup appears often on ingredient lists). After a while, your taste buds will become more sensitive to sugar, making the foods you really want to avoid—like cookies, cakes, candy–less attractive.

Don’t get ravenous: The food addicted often lose tracks up by resisting food to the point of being ravenous, and then overeat.

Work out: Incredibly, exercise can actually change the body's biochemistry, and help to make up for some of the physiological imbalances that can lead to food addiction. And of course, the time you spend at the gym or working out is time when you won't be eating.

Cop in other ways: Just Instead of running away from those feelings, consider talking to a therapist or finding support from a food addiction group like Overeaters Anonymous.

Figure out if you eat emotionally:

Do you often feel guilty or ashamed after eating?

After an unpleasant experience, like an argument, do you eat even if you aren't feeling hungry?

Do you crave specific foods when you're upset, such as always desiring chocolate when you're feeling depressed?

Do you feel the urge to eat in response to outside cues like seeing food advertised on television?

Do you eat because you feel there's nothing else to do?

Does eating make you feel better when you're down or less focused on problems when you're worried about something?

Judy feder is a health and nutrition specialist. To read more of her articles, visit her online at http://www.judyfeder.com/.

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