Tag Archives: emotions

It’s a Fight That Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard

When I lost both of my dogs last month, I went into the deepest form of depression that I have ever experienced. Luckily my friends stood by me, but there was not much they could do to help my inevitable pain. To mourn, I wanted food…

and not necessarily the good kind.

I knew if I emotionally ate, the outcome would be a reverse affect of my hard work, and I was very much willing to accept that.

In the end, the pain did subside and I only gained a couple of pounds.

I’m determined to lose that weight and that pain.

Being in control really does aid my happiness. It is great that I have finally had the chance to learn all of this by making this film. I have been given a one in a million chance to have three years of constant advice from the top diet and health gurus in the country. They are helping me fight the fight of obesity. Even through emotional obstacles, I’m still fighting the fight.

It doesn’t have to be so hard…does it?

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Emotional Eating

Dr. Judith S. Beck

This is a guest post by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., author of “The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person” and President of Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research.

Chronic dieters often have beliefs about emotional distress and eating that interfere with losing weight or keeping it off. They express the ideas in the following ways: “If I’m upset, the only way I can calm down is by eating.” “If I’m upset, I deserve to eat.”

Woman Eating to much food while a man stands behind her while condemning her for her actions

Are you an emotional eater?

To address the first idea, I ask dieters about people they know who don’t have a weight problem. What do they do when they’re upset? Dieters frequently feel stymied–they simply don’t know. After polling hundreds of people, I’ve found that people who don’t struggle with their weight do lots of things when they’re upset: they try to solve the problem that is leading to distress, call a friend, take a walk, tolerate the feeling and return to whatever they were doing, practice relaxation or mindfulness exercises–or they distract themselves (surf the web, write emails, play a video game, do a puzzle, listen to soothing music). This group has a different idea about emotional distress: that it is temporary, normal, tolerable, and will diminish.

To address the second idea, “If I’m upset, I deserve to eat,” I get across the message that dieters deserve to feel better but that eating will only give them temporary relief. Once the food is gone, they’ll still have the initial problem that led to distress plus they’ll feel badly about having overeaten. I help them see that they have a choice: They can eat whenever they’re upset (and fail to lose weight or keep it off) or they can tolerate their distress or actively work toward reducing their distress in other ways (which greatly increases the probability that they will lose weight and maintain their weight loss).

I then work with dieters to create a list of compelling activities they can engage in when they’re upset and they quickly find out that they can self soothe in other ways. Many of these activities are described in the newsletters and blogs at www.beckdietsolution.org.