Diet for Emotional Eaters
When people eat as a response to an emotional distress and not because they are hungry, they turn themselves into emotional eaters. For most of us, emotional eating is a method of looking for some comfort after a psychological imbalance.
Emotional eating is triggered by emotional hunger and even if physically the stomach is full, a particular craving urges people to eat more. Unfortunately, on the physical level, the result of this phenomenon quantifies in extra, unwanted pounds added to our body weight, while on psychological level, the outcome is a supplementary feeling of guilt caused by the overeating. According to Jane Jakubczak from the University of Maryland web site, 75% of overeating is caused by emotions, so dealing with emotions appropriately is important. Emotional eating is a situation which should be carefully managed because people who binge themselves to be able to cope with an emotional feeling are one step away from eating disorders.
In the book “Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much”, the author Colette Baron-Reid outlines a four-step, eight-week program for managing this emotional stress eating. The weight loss program created for emotional eaters is not a typical weight-loss program with prescriptive advice.
According to Colette Baron-Reid, to determine if you are a person who eats because you feel too much, you have to answer to the following questions:
- Do you feel overwhelmed by your emotions around certain people?
- Do you turn to food as comfort or reward, especially in the evening?
- Do you gain weight during stressful times without eating extra food?
- Do you feel afraid that you won’t ever get your eating under control?
The positive answer to these questions places you into the emotional eaters’ category, which means that you should follow the 8 weeks diet for people who feel too much.
The foundation of the program involves learning to manage emotional and empathy overload and establishing healthy boundaries. This is presented as a four-step process that includes practical exercises and journal writing.
The program assumes working especially on yourself, to learn how to deal with the psychological reasons of emotional eating.
To deal with your emotional eating, you should:
- Identify what triggers emotional eating behavior in you.
- Replace the eating urge with another enjoyable activity.
- When you cannot control the craving, at least replace the junk food with something healthier.
- Eat smaller portions of comfort food and limit the consumption to 4 bites.
- Eat locally grown, organic plant-based foods;
- Avoid processed foods and all genetically modified foods;
- Eat a vegetarian diet to avoid empathy with the emotions of animals infused in milk, eggs and flesh; if you cannot become a vegan, moderation when it comes to animal products is the key;
- Listen to the way your body responds to different foods; discover what works for you.
Foods like organic and seasonal fruit and vegetables, quinoa, buckwheat noodles, whole-grain bread, tofu, soy milk, miso, edamame, chickpeas, pea protein powder, lentils, beans, almond butter, unsalted raw nuts and seeds, free-range eggs, popcorn, extra-virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, Bragg’s amino acids, herbs and spices, stevia should be the basis of the emotional eaters’ diet plan.
The plan of overcoming emotional eating includes physical exercises. Their goal is to release the excess accumulated during the day.
EMOTIONAL EATING DIET- PRO:
- It helps you deal with compulsory eating, so you will lose weight because you will be able to control your feelings.
- It addresses to the hidden reason for excess weight, which allows you to finally release excess pounds and keep them off for good.
- It is not a restrictive specific diet; there are only a few rules to follow when it comes to food.
- Encourages daily physical activity for its health-promoting benefits.
EMOTIONAL EATING DIET- CONS:
- It doesn’t provide a structured diet and exercise plan, so for people who need strict guidance to control their overeating, it might not work.
- May take time for weight loss results to occur.
- Does not include a meal plan or recipes.