Overcoming Emotional Eating

Week 6/9. Beck Diet Solution

Control your emotions or they will control you.                        -Samurai Maxium

Have you every gotten so emotional that you ate or drank way more than you should have? Me too! Emotional eating can be a nightmare that undermines your diet, weight loss and confidence.

This week, Week 6 of 9 of our Beck Diet Solution series we apply everything we’ve learned so far to stay on track during difficult situations like parties, food pushers, vacations, and of course, emotional upheaval. The focus of this post is how to “say cool” and prevent over indulging in an emotional -challenging situations.

While Judith Beck’s Seven Question technique or my Derrickson 8 steps to overcoming sabatoging thoughts work well to overcoming thinking errors – they can be applied unless we’re first calm enough to think rationally.  First, we “emotional control” techniques to stabilize our intense emotions.

Psychology Today provides useful tips to help you ride out any emotional storm. Next to each tip i’ve shared my personal experiences f how and why this works for me and for others I’ve worked with

  • Correctly identify your mood & your typical response. This means  you need to honestly acknowledge your true feelings and what your typical response is. This process justifies your emotions and is a critical first step in allowing you to thinking rationally.
  • Cope in healthy ways: Breathe, talk with friends, walk/exercise, seek nature. Force yourself to shut your mouth until you’ve taken five deep breaths so you don’t say things you don’t regret. If you do snap, immediately apologize, take deep breaths and remove yourself from a tense environment. Do NOT complain to others on Facebook or other social media as this typically just fuels the fire. Sharing your feeling with a caring friend or mentor can be very helpful.
  • Ride out the storm. Our emotions change with time so do what you can to divert your attention from food.  A leisurely stroll, reading the comics, viewing the stars and sunset.
  • Don’t empower your vices: have alternatives instead. This means keep those goodies out of reach, or better yet, don’t have them available at all! Instead, provide healthful alternatives include my #1: water, as well as nuts, seed, berries, or something you can nibble on. Do not reach for caffeine or alcohol. Honestly, carbohydrates in small quantities i.e. no more than 50 calories can truly improve your serotonin levels without overpowering your insulin. If you really need to eat sugar, plan on consuming a healthy meal/snack with protein and make sure you are fully hydrated. For example, instead of a brownie (or two) have a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk. Instead of a milkshake make a healthful high protein berry or peanut butter smoothie.
  • Aim to stay healthy (calm & positive) under stress. This is your proactive approach to maximum health, which means you work hard to stay as rested, hydrated, and relaxed as you can on a daily basis.  Regular physical activity (particularly vigorous or extended activity) can do wonders – so can more sleep. Find what works for you so that your engine is neither sluggish or on overdrive, but feels like  that “little engine that could” up any hill you face. Additionally, most of us can’t do maintain a calm positive outlook if we don’t regularly take a day off to rejuvenate, and periodically “vacate” to restore our inner balance and enthusiasm for life.
  • If all of this doesn’t work it’s a good indication that professional support from a Psychologist and/or a Psychiatrist may be an excellent investment. Don’t delay. Get the help you deserve today!

Want more? See the entire Socioemotional wellness domain (Chapters 6-9), and Maintain Balance goal  (Chapter 19) of the Wellness Compass Travel Guide.

Week 6. Overcoming Challenges (Days 28-34; February 12-18)                                                                      

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