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Weight Loss and Control:
Roger Gould, MD's Weekly Blog
on Emotional Eating

Knowledge is power.
Understanding why you turn to food is the key to changing it. Join in the discussion each week as Dr. Gould shares his valuable insights from over 30-years of clinical experience.

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Be Proactive About Holiday Binging (Start Now)


This is an interesting time of year. The school season is up and running. The holidays are looming nearer. The days are getting shorter. And even here in sunny California, the nights are getting colder. All of this CAN add up to excuses to stay inside and eat comfort food, but it doesn't have to. Halloween can kick off a two-month sugar binge that starts tomorrow and doesn't let up until your New Year's resolution. This year CAN be different if you're proactive. Here's how:

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Recent Posts
4 Ways Fat Feels Safe


Who doesn't want to escape the world sometimes? Fat can feel like the perfect hiding place. It can offer a boundary between you and the people you live with, work with or commute with. It can keep out unwanted attention. It can keep you on the sidelines of life. Do you eat to keep yourself safe? Don't be so sure until you keep reading.

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7 Things to Learn from Successful Calorie Cutters


For years now, studies have been done on the benefits of calorie - restricted diets. Animal research has shown that eating less means longer, healthier lives. Now they're trying to figure out if the same thing applies to humans. An article in the Sunday, October 11 New York Times Magazine by Jon Gertner made some good points about calorie restriction. Yes, Americans are getting fatter and fatter ("obesity rates increased in 23 states last year and declined in none"). Yes, less calories seem to promise less disease ("A recent spate of papers in some of the world's leading medical journals demonstrate that in small studies, human subjects following such diets experience astounding drops in cardiovascular risk factors; a forthcoming review on cancer risks in animals with such diets, moreover, suggests a stark correlation fewer calories mean fewer tumors."). And yes, despite the probably vast benefits of a calorie-restricted diet it will be extremely difficult for many of us to adhere to ("Another problem humans present is their susceptibility to temptation. Primates and mice are kept in cages and eat what they are fed; none have ever had to choose to forswear a spring roll or a cupcake.").

If you're an emotional eater, can you ever expect to benefit from the promises of an eating plan such as this one? Maybe. But it will take some internal work first. What I found so interesting about the article is what we can learn from the kinds of people they believed could be successful in a study such as this one. For obvious reasons, you can only study the results if you choose people who are capable (mostly in their mind) of sticking a strict eating plan for two years time. So, how can we begin to cut back and restrict our calories based on the types of candidates they chose?

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H.A.L.T. Before Your Next Bite of Food


Do you unconsciously reach for food when you're hungry, angry, lonely or tired? These are the moments when you're most likely to make less than optimal choices about eating. In 12-Step Programs the acronym H.A.L.T. is used to help people remember that when you're hungry, angry, lonely or tired you're more vulnerable to your drug of choice. You can use this acronym to help you remember to pause before you take your next bite of food. Here's how:

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Do You Get Hungry After Dark? More Information for Night Eaters.


Last week, we sent out a tip about night eating. It was just a short suggestion about how brushing your teeth after dinner can prevent you from overeating or snacking at night. We got a huge response from people that definitely resonated with the issue of night eating. Certainly, for longtime emotional eaters, and bingers brushing your teeth is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. However, it does work for some, particularly people that have an extensive oral hygiene practice that they do at night. But it's not enough.

Night-eating is a pervasive, and difficult component of emotional eating. For some people it starts as far back as infancy. A quick tip is therefore not going to cure it. However, an awareness that there is more to night-eating than simply the urge to eat tasty treats is a start. The Shrink Yourself book is 288 pages, and the Shrink Yourself online program is 12 weeks long. In other words, it takes time to find the psychological root of why you get hungry when the sun goes down.

One member, who responded to an Expert Advice letter I wrote her shared that after getting my help she realized what her night eating was about. Here is a quote she allowed me to reprint in the hopes that it will help you begin to see the root of your night eating.

"This is a response to the good words of Ms. Fiordaliso regarding my problem with night eating:

Ms. Fiordaliso, as soon as I read the words unmet need for affection or closeness from a spouse I knew right away that might be the catalyst for my night eating. You see, my husband of 32 years has worked nights for the last 20 years, and I am always alone. He leaves at 4:30 PM and doesn't return home until 4:30 AM. I have been battling boredom and loneliness for so long! But guess what? He just retired in December 2008, and he is a wonderful companion to me now! I guess I will have to undo the night eating habit that has accumulated these past 20 years. Thank you so much for bringing that factor to my attention! I never would have thought of it. This is one of the reasons I find Shrink Yourself to be such a wonderful program. It opens so many doors for people. Thank You!"

To explore your night eating, I recommend the following things:

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