Elizabeth Arnott

Emotional eating

How often do you eat when you are not hungry?  Every time you eat when you are not hungry, you strengthen the neurological pathways in your brain, that will lead to a habit of turning to food when your body doesn't actually need it.
There are so many different reasons why we eat when we are not hungry.  It can be perceived as a reward, that you deserve it, although deep down you know that you deserve a healthy body more than that extra helping, or that bar of chocolate.  Food can feel like a safety net, a feeling of support.  You can use food for comfort, stimulation or a mechanism for dealing with perceived stress.
We need to become aware of what drives us to eat, and whether we are, in fact, hungry.  How long is it since you last ate?  One hour, twenty minutes, six hours?  Check your watch, and if it is less than five hours, tell yourself "this is emotional hunger".  It is surprising how quickly you can take back control.  Do you really need to eat everything on your plate?  When you suddenly realise that you have eaten enough, but there is still some food left on your plate - leave it.  Throw it out, or save it for later. 
We need to make friends with food and our bodies - we need to look at the driving forces behind our eating behaviour.  We all need to eat to live, but let's not allow food to rule our lives.

Click here for a free chart The Eight Traits of Emotional Eating.  Print it out, and hang it up where you can't miss it.

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