Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Emotional Eating Bandwagon

My last post was about the "losing" suggestion. Before I go into the alternatives to the word "lose" I want to have you take a look at the bandwagon.

Finally after decades of poor success with diets and Micky Mouse approaches, it's finally been identified that emotional eating is an important issue to handle. I've been empowering people since the 80's to deal with the stressors that contribute to emotional eating. To do so means to fix one's thinking problem (simply a prerequisite) and then delve into the emotions themselves--happiness, frustration, boredom, upset, excitement...

The bandwagon is full of professionals offering advice on emotional eating by simply recycling and repeating the same useless advice used for many decades--
For instance go to http://www.thedailyjournal.com/article/20090525/LIFESTYLE/905250317 and you'll see an article on a four step plan to end emotional binge eating. I summarized it; my comments are in italics.

Step 1: No food bans--don't limit yourself to any diets. This would be like the "no diet" diet.

Step 2: Discover what true hunger feels like. Wow, what's this got to do with emotions? Fact is that true hunger doesn't happen for six weeks after one stops eating. But this article is just focused on whether you just have a desire or if you're really hungry, i.e. need food.

Step 3: Move beyond the craving Take ten minutes before you decide to indulge, ask yourself what you'd feel like if you ate a pint of ice cream. Again nothing about emotions or handling stress.

Step 4: Find ways to cope The first mention of stress, but it's the same old stuff, i.e. go for a walk, dance, jog... for twenty minutes. Do yoga or meditate.
Make a list of healthy foods and put it on your fridge. Nothing really here that hasn't been advised a hundred times.

The worst thing that can happen is that one who is an emotional eater, does one thru four and ends up with the same results as simply being on a diet and coming to a conclusion that he/she can't manage emotional eating. Particularly so because none of this approach has anything to do with handling emotional eating. And besides, how many people have the luxury of twenty minutes to go jogging, relaxing, yoga, mediation anytime a desire to eat arises? I mean can you imagine walking down the board walk at the shore and being tempted to go into the candy store and instead saying to yourself, "I think I'm going to put on my sneakers and run on the board walk for twenty minutes instead of going into that store and buying some candy?" Let's get real. What's needed is an approach that can be executed within seconds which is what can be done by dealing with emotions directly.

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