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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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Taste the Deeper Feeling of Powerlessness


In this blog post I am going to introduce you to the one and only technique you will need to engage in a meaningful conversation with yourself about why you eat too much. You simply have to pause every time you recognize you are about to enter an emotional eating episode.

The first part of the technique is to recognize an emotional eating episode. The second part is to ask yourself why you want to eat too much at that particular moment. That is something you can observe and discover. Not why you want to eat in general, but why you want to eat at that critical moment. Once you get this far in your thinking you will notice that you begin to feel helpless and powerless. This is the space in which to have a healing conversation.

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Recent Posts
3 Signs of Emotional Hunger


Emotional Hunger is what keeps you from losing weight and keeping it off. Here are the 3 most common signs that you are hungry for some emotional insight, confidence and stability.

The first, is the overpowering urge to binge. It is a sure sign that you want to shut off your mind with food.

The second is an intense hunger when you know the hunger is not for food (you may have just finished a meal and are already physically full). This is a sure sign that you are feeling empty about something and are "emotionally" hungry.

The third is having a mind filled with thoughts about food or worries about weight. These are space occupying mental entities that distract you from thinking about what is really bothering you in life. These are boring repetitive thoughts that weigh down your mind.

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Emotional Eating: Blessing or Curse?


When I asked a patient WHY she ate half a dozen donuts, she replied, "what else could I do?" She couldn't figure out a better way of dealing with the demands of her 16-year-old daughter. She temporarily "lost her mind." She was paralyzed. She was unable to think like an intelligent adult.

Losing Your Mind to Food

In one way or another, other patients say the same thing, telling me that the strength of a craving, the lure of a binge, or the power of food over them, is overwhelming, and they too "lose their mind" to food. They told me that their mind was "occupied" by a force they couldn't understand, and what they wanted as much as weight loss was liberation from this preoccupation.

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Eating to Maintain Happiness


Emotional eating is a universal cover up for any unresolved life issue. When we have trouble moving forward in our life, we turn to food for relief. When things are going well, we over eat less. When you don't like your job, or you're frustrated with your spouse, or you're lonely or angry with your family, or not satisfied with the way your life is turning out, then food becomes your best friend. These are the kinds of life problems that we all get "stuck" in from time to time.

However, there is another situation that fuels emotional eating, and that is the challenge of going through a normal life transition, something I have written about in my book, Transformations; Growth and Change in Adult Life.

I recently had an opportunity to respond to three young female college students, who although they were doing well in their life, all presented with what I call the "happiness conundrum." They ate when they were happy, not just when they were frustrated. They asked me what they could do about it. Here's how I responded.

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The Endless Diet Cycle


Lose Weight, Gain Weight, Feel Stuck, Give Up, Try Again...

Studies report that 95% of dieters not only gain their weight back within a year, but usually add on another 10% of what they lost. However, in contrast, 76% of the Shrink Yourself members who completed the twelve week program reported success: 31% lost more than 5% of their body weight and 16% lost more than 10% of their body weight and both groups kept if off for more than a year.

The discouraging failure statistic about diets prompted the beginning of a group called the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) comprised of researchers at Brown University and the University of Colorado. They became interested in determining what brought success to that 5% of people who were able to lose weight and keep it off. What they found was that the people who kept the weight off didn't just change their eating patterns alone, they also changed their life in some significant way.

We have learned how to break the endless cycle. Here's why and how we do it.

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