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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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Another Year... Another Diet?

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2010 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD

Studies have shown that only about 12% of New Years Resolutions are actually achieved. However, people are more likely to be successful when they make their goals public and get support from their friends. Since diets fail most of the time, and will power doesn't seem to work for very long, what makes a good New Years Resolution?

Breaking the emotional eating habit is the only way to lose weight and keep it off, but to do that you have to be willing to deal with yourself honestly, which includes feeling your feelings and understanding your emotions and facing your problems.

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Important Insights for the Holidays

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2010 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD

There are two kinds of being overwhelmed and two kinds of sadness during the holidays. One kind is appropriate and realistic, the other makes you eat too much or binge.

It's easy to be overwhelmed during the holiday season. There is so much to do and so many people to see and so many relationships to monitor. If you can stay in the reality of the 2010 Christmas season, you can be overwhelmed and still have a lot of fun. You might need to put out more energy and devote more time to make it all work out, but you won't feel powerless, which means you won't have to eat too much.

The same thing is true about sadness. Realistic sadness is about the people who are missing this year, as well as about the passage of time and the realization of another year passing by. That kind of sadness does not lead to overeating.

But if you begin to slip back into strongly felt memories of the past, which is what always happens this time of the year, you may lose your realistic perspective, and end up feeling so powerless that you are compelled to eat too much, and then you beat yourself up, and certainly that is not fun.

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Quick Tips for a Happier Holiday

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2010 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD

These are hard times for everyone. Even though there is a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the country, it's still time to celebrate with family and friends. It's not just foreign affairs that challenge us, it's issues much closer to home. "Modern Families" the T.V. show, says it all with humor. There are more modern mixed families than traditional families. What's Christmas like when your children go to your divorced spouse's celebration and you go to a friends house? What's it like when you don't have enough money to buy presents? And all the other challenges that come with the territory this time of year.

We created a short program to help you create a four part plan that helps you face this season's difficult challenges. We want to help you face something rather than hide in food. We want to give you a gift, a better opportunity to have a joyful Christmas season. Holiday times can be joyful but they can also breed depression, and depression leads to over-eating, and over-eating or binging causes self-contempt, and self-contempt leads back to depression. There's the potential for a vicious cycle, and here's one way to make sure you don't go there.

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Holiday Health and Emotional Healing

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD

There is a nursery rhyme that begins: Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man's hat! As we talk about the holidays, let's hope that only the goose is gaining weight, and that your insight into emotional eating keeps you from going off track during this very special, very tempting time.

The Thanksgiving holiday is over and just a memory. But the temptation for an emotional eater continues to gain momentum for the rest of the year. Because anticipation causes more overeating and binging than an actual holiday celebration, the best thing you can do to deal with the prolonged holiday season is to keep yourself prepared. If you can remain conscious and proactive, you can defend yourself from your emotional eating triggers and give yourself the gift of time and thoughtfulness. And if, on January 1, you make a resolution to lose weight, it will seem more possible because you have not gained weight during December.

Over half the people who answered our questionnaire about family dynamics identified a very familiar cluster of holiday challenges. These "anticipations" included comparing themselves unfavorably to others, feeling less valuable or loved than other members of their family, and becoming very insecure when around family members. Notice that each of these issues points to some form of emotional hunger.

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