CAROL’S CORNER

Welcome to The St. Patrick's Day Edition of Carol's Corner. Somehow I managed to cobble together some kind of outfit in honor of the day. I don't actually own too much green, but remembered this thrift store top I had purchased, and since it's paired with my favorite color, purple, it fit the bill quite nicely. I then found some jewelry from Avon I had from a long time ago, in fact I'm not sure I ever wore it. That along with my FitBit combo, and my holiday outfit was good to go.

So let's get busy with part three of our series on emotional eating.

STOP EMOTIONAL EATING TIP # 3: PAUSE WHEN CRAVINGS HIT

Most emotional eaters feel powerless over their food cravings. When the urge to eat hits, it's all you can think about. You feel an an almost unbearable tension that demands to be fed, right now! Because you've tried to resist in the past and failed, you believe your willpower isn't up to snuff. But the truth is you have more power over your cravings than you think.

TAKE 5 BEFORE YOU GIVE INTO YOUR CRAVINGS

As mentioned earlier, emotional eating tends to be automatic and virtually mindless. Before you even realize what you're doing, you've reached for a tub of ice cream and polished off half of it. But if you can take a moment to pause and reflect when you're hit with a craving, you give yourself the opportunity to make a different decision.

All you have to do is put off eating for five minutes, or if five minutes seems unmanageable, start with one minute. Don't tell yourself you can't give into the cravings; remember the forbidden is extremely tempting. Just tell yourself to wait. While your waiting, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What's going on emotionally? Even if you end up eating, you'll have a better understanding of why you did it. This can set you up for a different response next time.

LEARN TO ACCEPT YOUR FEELINGS-EVEN THE BAD ONES

While it may seem that the core problem is that your powerless over food, emotional eating stems from being powerless over your emotions. You don't feel capable of dealing with your emotions head on, so you avoid them with food.

Allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable emotions can be scary. You may feel that, like Pandora's box, once you open the door you won't be able to shut it. But the truth is that when we don't obsess over or suppress our emotions, even the most painful and difficult feelings subside quickly and lose their power to control our attention. To do this you need to become mindful and learn how to stay connected to your moment-to-moment emotional experience. This can enable you to rein in stress and repair emotional problems that often trigger emotional eating.

What's more, your life will be richer when you open yourself up emotionally. Our feelings are a window to our interior world. They help us understand and discover our deepest desires and fears, our current frustrations, and the things that will make us happy.

STOP EMOTIONAL EATING TIP # 4: SUPPORT YOURSELF WITH HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS

When you're physically strong, relaxed, and well rested, you're better able to handle the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. But when you're already exhausted and overwhelmed, any little hiccup has the potential to send you off the rails and straight to the refrigerator. Exercise, sleep, and other healthy lifestyle habits will help you get throught difficult times without emotional eating.

MAKE DAILY EXERCISE A PRIORITY. Physical exercise does wonders for your mood and energy levels, and it's also a great stress reducer.

MAKE TIME FOR RELAXATION. Give yourself permission to take at least 30 minutes every day to relax, decompress, and unwind. This is your time to take a break from your responsibilities and recharge your batteries.

CONNECT WITH OTHERS. Don't underestimate the important of close relationships and social activities. Spending time with positive people who enhance your life will help protect you from the negative affects of stress.

HOW SLEEP AFFECTS CRAVINGS AND WEIGHT GAIN

Ever notice when you 're short on sleep you crave foods that give you a quick energy burst? There's a good reason for that. Lack of sleep has a direct link to stress, overeating, and weight gain.

There are two hormones in your body that regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin sends signals to the brain when you're full. However, when you don't get the sleep you need, your ghrelin levels, go up, stimulating your appetite so you want more food than normal, and your leptin level goes down, meaning you don't feel satisfied and want to keep eating. So the more sleep you skip, the more food your body will crave.

As well as making it harder to fight food cravings, feeling tired can also increase your stress levels, leading to more emotional eating.

To control your appetite and reduce food cravings, try to get plenty of rest-about 8 hours of quality sleep every night.

Below you will find links to more help and information on the subject of emotional eating. Take the time to look through the many links to see just what things you may find find helpful to your journey.

MORE HELP FOR EMOTIONAL EATING

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/diet-weight-loss/healthy-weight-loss-and-dieting.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/easy-ways-to-start-exercising.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/relaxation-techniques-for-stress-relief.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-relief-in-the-moment.htm

RESOURCES AND REFERENCES

http://www.shrinkyourself.com/twenty_signs.asp#.VQksz4e9KK0

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20047342

http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/emotions/emotional_eating.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/do-food-cravings-reflect-your-feelings?print=true

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/25/study.clues.emotional.eating/index.html

I hope you have found this information to be helpful and informative. Remember, you have the power to change your life. You can do anything you set your mind to if you just believe in yourself. Take that power and run with it. Till next time, God Bless.


 

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