Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How To Beat Emotional Eating

Posted by Cecile at 5/17/2011 07:44:00 AM
Emotional eating is a very serious condition frequently seen by physicians but not often discussed publicly. It may not get the research dollars like those spent on cancer, nor does it get the attention of heart disease, but it is every bit as serious.

Emotional eating is a condition characterized by either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of one’s physical health. The primary emotional eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

If we find ourselves in a habit of eating for comfort rather than for hunger, how can we get back on track? May I suggest we start by focusing on a few basics:

Get a good night’s sleep: This is your body’s chance to restore its normal chemistry. This natural tune-up prevents you from feeling physiologically stressed.

Daily aerobic exercise: Getting at least 30 minutes or more per day acts as an emotional outlet, can suppress hunger, and releases mood-stimulating endorphins.

Eat healthy small meals throughout the day: That means eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with at least 3 food groups included at each meal. I suggest eating a meal of about 400 calories as well as a healthy 100 calorie snack in between each meal. Doing so will keep your metabolism up and stave your hunger.

Other treatments include keeping a calorie log. Write down everything that goes into your mouth. Understanding the caloric content of food makes those Oreos a whole lot less attractive than munching on a fresh apple. Next, get busy with serving others. Studies have proven that volunteerism promotes psychological and physiological well being (including better weight control); after all, it is easier to keep our challenges in perspective when we are focused on others. Finally, consider getting some psychological support. These very serious conditions can lead to other medical disorders—and can even put a person’s life at risk.

Management must include both psychological and medical support. Medications are available, but education and understanding as well as professional counseling can bring about the best results. Appropriate care can lead to a full and healthy life. Denial of the issue only leads to guilt and loss of self-esteem and respect. Let’s become the very best we have the potential of being.


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