Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So Emotional

I'm sure at one time or another you have let your emotions get the best of you and unintentionally pigged out. As women, life can be quite stressful balancing work, school, kids, dating/relationships, your girlfriends, money and family, etc. Sometimes it just gets to be too much and that bag of Doritos ( insert your favorite junk food here) happens to be in the right place at the right time.......

It helps to be aware of your eating habits especially when there are emotions involved. For example, when finals time comes around I prepare for my snack cravings by arming myself with 80 calorie Dannon yogurt (Key lime is my favorite), 100 calorie packs of my favorite/candy cookie, and plenty of fresh fruit (like strawberries) so I can make smoothies. I love to snack and if I don't think ahead of time a pick up some healthier snacks, finals week can turn into an eating disaster.

It really helps to plan ahead and only eat portion controlled servings. I can not say that I have quite conquered emotional eating; It's hard becasue in our society we celebrate accomplishments with food and drinks and we console ourselves with food and drinks. It really takes some effort to break this cycle.

After a rough week of dating, school, work etc. I know it's tempting to invite the girls over for a glass of wine and all of you favorite sugary and salty snacks. But be careful, all that sugar will surely send you crashing and it's highly unlikely that you will feel any better.

How can you tell if you are eating because of your emotions? Here are some tips from Heather Hatfield at WebMD.

1. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually.

2. When you are eating to fill a void that isn't related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you're open to options.

3. Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly with the food you crave; physical hunger can wait.

4. Even when you are full, if you're eating to satisfy an emotional need, you're more likely to keep eating. When you're eating because you're hungry, you're more likely to stop when you're full.

5. Emotional eating can leave behind feelings of guilt; eating when you are physically hungry does not.

Here are some ways to avoid emotional eating:

1. Try waiting 15 minutes and see if the craving passes

2. Try a portion controlled snack (100 calorie packs)

3. Have a small piece of candy or chew on gum ( it may help to trick you mind into thinking you gave into the craving my chewing on a small piece of candy or gum)

4. Eat sweet fruit like strawberries or peaches, or make smoothie ( it's sweet, healthy, and filling)

5. Have a glass of wine (it's sweet, doesn't have a ton of a calories, and can help you relax)


What is your experience with emotional eating....ever eat because you were sad, stressed, happy...?

What do you to prevent yourself from going overboard?

Update! I just signed up for twitter. So follow me fitnessgoddess3


Tesia at FlavorDiva.com said...

Sugar or something crunchy is usually the emotional food of choice. Yes, eating fruit instead does help as does slow, deep breathing.

Maya said...

Right after I left college and moved in with my parents I gained 15lbs. I was depressed because my boyfriend was in DC, and I was in NC.

My depression and inactivity caused me to turn to food for comfort. After my grad school evening classes, I would go to my favorite fast food take out resturants almost every night, and then cuddle up on the couch and watch tv all night and go to sleep.

Thats whent he pounds began to pack on, I was inactive, overeating, and depressed :(

To turn it all around, i began exercising whenever I felt hungry. Instead of going straight to the couch in the evening, i went for a walk instead. Soon walking turned to running, and running lead me to get a gym memebership.

Finding a new hobby (exercise) gave me a new purpose for living. Running and working out was something that made me feel good about myself, and kept my mind off my long distance love.

So to help others who eat emotionally I would suggest picking up a new hobby to take your mind off of food, be it knitting, reading, or simply call a friend.

Also i have found that we give ourselves to many food based rewards. (Example) whenever we pass a test, getting that new job, or even worse work out we celebrate wtih food! This calorie splurge can undo your work out for the day, and also put you in a dangerous positon to overeat again later.

I think we should find new ways of celebrating our lives other than packing on extra calories. Like buying new exercise clothes, or spluging on new runnig shoes! :)

Fitness Goddess said...

Thanks for sharing ladies.

Maya it's great to hear that you found a way to get things under control.