Avoid Emotional Eating If You Want to Lose Weight

The key to losing weight, and keeping it off forever, is not to follow a diet, but rather, a healthy nutrition programme for the rest of your life.

Bob Greene writes, in his book Get With The Programme, that if there is a secret to permanent weight loss, it is the complete elimination of emotional eating. Emotional eating occurs when we eat because of something we are feeling instead of actually being hungry. As you might guess, the causes of emotional eating can be very complex, and the successful elimination of this destructive behaviours requires making significant changes in your life. These changes can be as simple as developing creative ways to handle stress or as involved as entering a psychological counselling programme.

The four most common reasons for emotional eating are:

* boredom

* stress

* loneliness

* problems arising from childhood trauma

Emotional eating can occur at any time – during meals, at the end of meals, between meals, at social occasions, and late at night. Eliminating emotional eating from our lives is as important as a well-planned exercise and nutrition programme.

The first step in eliminating emotional eating is to make eating a conscious activity. Eating must always be organised and well-planned. Again, keeping a food diary can really help in achieving this goal. The next step is learning to distinguish where physical hunger ends and emotional eating begins. Once this point is identified, you can then begin the hard work of taking a clear and objective look at your life and start making the changes needed for permanently eliminating emotional eating. It takes a lot of courage to get to the root cause of emotional eating, but the result will be a permanent change in the way we use food – a change that will guarantee a lifetime of great physical and mental health, goals definitely worth achieving.

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