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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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Why Diets Fail: Emotional Hunger


The average dieter begins and breaks four diets a year. Only one in every 100 people succeeds in losing weight permanently. Obviously, no one who begins something and fails feels good about it. When you break your diet, you probably feel defeated, discouraged, or even disgusted.

Where dieting is concerned, it's a story of frustration on a mass scale, and yet, the futility of dieting doesn't deter those that are determined to shed pounds. People think this time it's going to work, this time I'll stick to it, or this new diet, pill, or surgery will do the trick. Maybe you can relate to that kind of hopeful thinking.

The question is, why is it so hard to stick to a diet?

In my private practice I encountered so many people who were in pain because they couldn't diet successfully, that I decided to conduct an Internet interview with 17,000 dieters. It revealed that 99 percent of people broke their diets because they were stressed, depressed, or bored. Essentially, it's emotions, not lack of willpower, that keep you from succeeding with your diet plan.

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Recent Posts
Food Addiction & Food Obsession


If you are addicted to food, then a lot of your day is probably spent thinking about what you are going to eat, when you're going to eat, and whether or not you will have exactly the right food in front to satisfy your food addiction. In your mind's eye, you are looking at food as much more than something that tastes good, or gives you energy to survive. In your mind's eye food is the substance of soothing and relief. In your food-addicted view, you believe food can do for you what we all wish our mothers had done for us when we were infants: provide loads and loads of unconditional love.

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Overeating: A Habit to be Broken


If you're just realizing that you're an Emotional Eater, you're probably starting to see that your diet failures haven't been due to lack of willpower but something deeper. Rest assured: overeating is a habit that can be broken.

There are two reasons that people eat. They eat for health: to nourish their bodies and minds. And they eat to soothe their emotions. When a person learns to eat for emotional reasons, food becomes a necessary component of dealing with the stresses and strains of everyday life.

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Emotional Hunger


When you experience emotional hunger you feel truly hungry, and at the moment when the craving for food grips you, you can't tell that your hunger originates in your mind, and not in your belly.

If you want to stay on the lose-some-pounds-and-gain-them-back cycle for a lifetime, go on a conventional diet. But if you want to stay trim for the rest of your life, you need to stop focusing on what you should eat to lose weight, and instead ask yourself why you overeat when you really aren't hungry.

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