Are You Hungry For Something More Than Food?

We use food for stress relief, and as a source of comfort and solace. But no matter how much you eat, it won’t bring more love, nurturing or acceptance into your life.

The more stress we feel, the more the felt need for a reward or a distraction in order to feel good – a way of telling ourselves we are good or we are deserving.

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How To Handle Stressful Events Without Overeating

Stressful events create anxiety. Stress related eating occurs when the urge to eat is triggered by anxiety. Your emotional brain takes over and you experience a strong desire to eat.

Anxiety and stress go together. Sometimes, it’s a build up of stressful events over time.

Sometimes, it’s one big event that causes you to lose your composure. It feels like it’s too much to handle. Your feelings may be so strong that you don’t know what to do, or how you will get through it. Continue reading

Heartmath and Emotional Eating

I just watched a webinar on how to stop emotional eating and stress eating from the folks at Heartmath. In a 6-week pilot study, their research showed:

  • 5.2 lb. average weight reduction over 6 weeks of using the Heartmath stress reducer
  • Average waist size reduced by 2.1 inches
  • Average hip circumference reduced by 1.78 inches
  • Calmness significantly increased
  • Anger, resentfulness and stress significantly reduced

These results were all accomplished WITHOUT any specific food or exercise regimen, only using the Heartmath emWave tool.

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Has Stress Eating Become A Habit?

Has stress eating become a habit? Is it hard to stop stress eating once you start? I’ll bet you aren’t reaching for carrots!

According to a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research, just a few bites of a sweet treat may leave you yearning for more foods packed with sugar and fat.

Drexel University professor, Evan Forman, Ph.D. conducted a study showing that when participants savored one chocolate truffle, they ended up craving unhealthy foods, such as pizza, potato chips, and ice cream.

“Sampling decadent foods seemed to set off an unconscious urge to overindulge,” Dr. Forman explained. Knowing this fact can help you plan for the unintended consequences of stress eating. Continue reading

Why Willpower Doesn’t Work For Stress Eating

If you are trying to use willpower to control  stress eating, you are probably feeling frustrated. Applying willpower doesn’t work because the eating serves a need – a normal human need, usually for distraction, soothing or comfort.

If the need goes unmet, then willpower is no match for the powerful emotions that are driving the need. Weight is not a food problem or a self-control problem. It’s an emotional, lifestyle and/or stress problem. [important] Excess weight is an indication that something in your life needs to change.[/important]

If you force yourself to stop stress eating, the habit will only be resumed or replaced by some other negative habit. The problem isn’t even the stress eating itself. Stress eating is just a symptom of something being out of balance. You are overextended, stressed and/or engaging in work or relationships that are not satisfying.

When you get away from the source of stress and are on vacation or engaged in creative tasks, then there is no need to escape it by stress eating. If eating is the most exciting activity you have going, then you keep going back to it. If you are unhappy with yourself for responding to stress in this way, it is misdirected, since you don’t lack willpower to begin with.

Yet the solution is not as simple as exercising self control. Stress eating is a symptom that a life change is needed, not that there’s something wrong with you.

Where to start?

Listen to your body.

Remind yourself (compassionately) “it won’t help.” Make a decision to reduce the stress and overwhelm in your life.

[tip]A psychological craving will never be satisfied with sweet treats…[/tip]

Recommended Resource Lose Weight Without Willpower CD