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Coping strategies for emotional eaters.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Thank you 5% challengers.
Thank you Sparkfriends.
A big thanks to all of you who read my last blog about old habits and emotional eating and took the time to comment. This is a tough subject and any kind of support is welcome and truly appreciated.

Many of you asked about my strategies on fighting emotional eating. So, Iím back to clear a few things out.

Starting with the need to put a label on our cravings. Not all of them are caused by our emotions. Sometimes we just crave something simply because itís one of our favorite treats and we havenít tasted it for a long time. This is absolutely normal and thereís nothing wrong about that. So, in order to clarify the difference, an honest discussion with ourselves always helps. I have already shared with you my own defense system towards cravings. You can find the blog here:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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al.asp?blog_id=5086494


Many times, our cravings are driven by overwhelming emotions. We search for comfort to our souls through the easy way of following the orders of our taste buds. Itís easy to tell the difference. We usually crave a whole category of foods and not a specific treat. And if we let ourselves indulge, we eat way more than we should, we lose all self control and we usually only realize the quantity we have consumed after itís all overÖ Thatís how emotional eating is.

Good news! Gaining control over this can be practiced. And we can get better at this. Maybe even perfect! (If you manage to, donít forget to share your secret!)

The first thing you Ďd better do is face your emotions and take them out of your system. Talk about them with a friend or get to the source of them. This could bring you all the solutions youíre seeking in theÖ kitchen, fridge or pantry! Unfortunately, this is not always easy. And for most emotional eaters this is exactly the reason for whatís happening to them.

So, the next step is simply to shift focus. Take all your attention to something else. Try to empty your mind of everything else and focus on the one activity that could help you.
My first choice is exercise. A fast workout with your favorite music background can work wonders!
A walk outside is also a good choice especially if itís sunny. The fresh air and the warmth of the sun can really help us think clearly and lift our mood.
A hobby that we like and can keep our mind and hands occupied could prove our best ally at times like this. Photography, scrapbooking, quilting, find something that suits you and take it up. Mind you, though, there are two traps here. One is the kitchen. For many of us Ė including me Ė cooking and baking are among our favorite hobbies. This can be disastrous if you canít keep control while handling the ingredients! Also, youíd better stay away from monitor-based hobbies like anything on the internet, TV or gaming. Fixed eyes on the screen can make us munching without even realizing it sometimes.

And yet, there are times that nothing will work. But that doesnít mean that we donít have to try. Each one of us can experiment with the things that they think will work for them. And as I said in my cravingsí blog, even if you let yourself indulge in the end, chances are that all this self-talk and all the things you will have tried will minimize the ďdamageĒ.

I really hope Iíve helped some of you who are facing the same problem. I wish you can create your own strategies and really find ways to win this battle.

Always keep in mind that whatever you do, it has to be something that you can practice for life. Maintaining a healthy weight is something youíll have to try for the rest of your life and the sooner you realize that, the better. I recently read one of the best blogs on maintenance from WATERMELLEN, a successful maintainer who really has lots of wise feedback to share with all of us. Whether youíre at the beginning of your journey or youíre close to your goal, this blog can definitely give you a good idea of what to expect afterwards.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Thank you for reading. Keep on Sparking!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VIXSTERLU 3/12/2013 2:23AM

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing :)

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FLDEEZ 3/8/2013 9:28AM

    I've been browsing your blogs (after the initial link from your "popular blogs" post). Great words of wisdom - thanks for taking the time to post! These emotional eating strategies are especially helpful. Thank you!

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STARDUSTGR 3/8/2013 5:13AM

    Emotional eaters! Unfortunately I am one of them and its very difficult to handle with it....but as Jillian says "you are so much stronger than you think"
Keep going girl!!!
emoticon

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REBECCATKD 3/6/2013 7:45PM

    Ah, focusing attention elsewhere. There's the crux! Sometimes I have to force myself to leave a room -- even as my insides are whining for the bad decision.

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HAKAPES 3/6/2013 5:53PM

    Great ideas.
Thanks for sharing them!
Helps to tackle cravings differently.


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02SERENE 3/6/2013 4:02PM

    I read this blog and want to reread it and reread it again because you make a lot of good points in a simple and real way. Thank you.

My blogs are mostly works in progress to stay honest just in bits and pieces so I appreciate constructive writing such as yours that you are also manifesting in your life.

Best wishes. emoticon



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ANNIEONLI 3/6/2013 2:57PM

    BRAVA!!! Very well said emoticon And it is so true...it is an ever evolving, ever learning, lifelong process to realize, but it can be done with awareness and some tools and tricks of the trade!
emoticon
PS - thanks for the sparkgoodie too - it made me
emoticon emoticon emoticon real BIG

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BEE2LE 3/6/2013 7:54AM

    Thank you for the blog! I also read your other post. Mindful eating is a difficult task, but something that can be practiced. Thank you!

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TINAJANE76 3/6/2013 5:19AM

    I totally agree that our cravings can come from different sources. How I manage my desire for treats and my desire to eat to fill emotional needs are completely different, the latter being much more complicated. Thanks so much for bringing this issue to light.

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VIXSTERLU 3/6/2013 2:36AM

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing :)

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TRAVELGRRL 3/5/2013 4:04PM

    Great blog! Thank you for writing. And I love Watermellen's blogs, she really tells it like it is. (Even if I don't want to hear it!)

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MICKEYH 3/5/2013 11:24AM

    Thank you for sharing this. I can feel your pure kindness and concern for You SP friend here on this blog. You are so right about this blog. for me, Night time TV watching seems to trigger my emotional eating. So I am trying focus on my attention to elsewhere. This is still working progress but so far so good. Take care and have a nice rest of your week.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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