I always encourage folks with emotional eating to start not only tracking their food intake; but also their emotions with food consumption. Discover what are your emotional triggers: stress at work, bordom, a certain family problem, etc. Then find ways to handle these issues that do not involve food. Would a talk with your boss help? Talking to a family counselor? Finding hobbies to fill the bordom. For each person it will be different. But it is important to start the discovery process.
This is, indeed, a lifestyle and not a "diet". There is a lot to learn, and Spark is chock full of all kinds of information and tools to help us succeed. The thing is, you don't have to learn it all overnight. I mean, what's the rush? You're going to be working on this for the rest of your life. Start small. Pick 3 things to focus on. Like maybe, drink 8 cups of water a day, eat at least 5 fruits / vegetables, and exercise for at least 10 minutes a day.
Once you've done those 3 things for a couple weeks, pick another couple things to add on to that. Success breeds success.
As for emotional eating, there are some excellent articles here on Spark about it. What I did in the beginning before I'd had a chance to work on strategies for coping with emotional eating-- I used raw vegetables. I kept a huge plastic container of peeled, washed, cut-up raw vegetables in the refrigerator and whenever I was really stressed (my biggest emotional trigger) I'd pull that container out and just eat til I was full.
I figured out I was an emotional eater just a few years ago myself. I always thought it meant that when you have a feeling, you pig out. But it's not always that simple. I noticed that when I was happy about something (say a small accomplishment at work) I'd plan how to celebrate with food; same for when I was down: "oh a good slice of cake will make me feel better, and I deserve it!" Those kinds of things. Once I realized I did this, I also realized I can control it. I do plan for special meals and treats, but instead of digging in right away, I think for a moment about the best way to deal instead of hitting the bar for a drink or the Chinese restaurant for Lo Mein.
With that said, you DO need to put in the time and effort to learn what to eat. Otherwise, history will repeat itself and you'll be back where you started: unhappy with your weight, fitness, and energy. It's worth it, and this site helps...it sometimes feels like a game to enter in the different foods and portions.
A couple tips: Find a few easy foods that you know fit in. I use Subway 6" Turkey hoagies, Au bon Pain soups, and Brown Rice Sushi for these occasions. Find easy to make meals at home that you know fit in with your calorie ranges. Once you have a few in your repertoire, it becomes so much easier. And lighten up! It's just food, enjoy it.
Fitness Minutes: (145)
1 2/2/12 12:54 P
Ok Im new to Sparkpeople, figured it couldn't hurt to try yet another thing to lose weight, honestly you would look at me and wonder why Im trying to but it is me not comfortable in my own skin. I know I can be leaner and healthier so therefore I need to lose atleast 20 lbs. I never saw my self as an emotional eater until after I took the quiz and read my personality. Yes I need to resolve something, and my fixation on food and whats good, whats not, how much to eat etc....if feels like it is just so much work to remember all the do's and don'ts and Im just not sure which way to turn anymore, can someone please help me. My brain becomes so cluttered with all of it, that it just seems easier to give up. I just don't want to think so hard about all of it, I need to learn to make it a life style not a challenge.
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