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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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Five Tips to End Emotional Eating

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2007 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

Emotional Eating is the number one reason that diets fail but the good news is that it's a learned behavior that can be stopped.


1. Become aware of the moments when you overeat.
Notice the difference between the times when you eat in a controlled way and the times when you overindulge. Is it when you're alone or in groups? At night or in the afternoon? When you're angry, tired, stressed or bored?

2. Pause.
Take a time-out when you're tempted to overeat and ask yourself the following questions: What am I really hungry for? Is food going to help me get what I really want? What else could I do besides eating?

3. Develop an inventory of other sources of comfort.
You eat to feel better because it works. You do feel better for a few moments after you eat, that is until the guilt settles in. Your mind offers it as an option because you haven't learned better, more effective forms of comfort. When you learn new ways, you won't need food.

4. Put the pieces of your life in order.
The more you know how to manage the details of your life (your past, your self-doubts, your finances, your relationships, your household, your family) the less you'll need the comfort of food.

5. Be happy now.
People are under the false pretense that when they lose weight they'll be happy but it actually happens in reverse. When you are content with who you are and how your life is going you're in a place to make mindful food choices and finally lose the weight you want to lose.




 
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Top 5 Things That Make You Fat - True or False

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2007 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

1. Carbs make you fat

False: Carbohydrates are actually a necessary part of a balanced diet. However, carbs have become the new scape goat. The French are thin and you don't see them giving up their baguettes.

2. Thyroid problems make you fat

False: While thyroid problems do contribute to a lower metabolism there are many people who have hypothyroidism and maintain a healthy weight.

3. Fat makes you fat

False: Fat is actually your friend. Just like carbs it's important to have good fats in your diet—fats that provide Omega 3 and 6 like flax meal, salmon, olive oil and avocadoes.

4. Genes make you fat

False: While genes can give you a propensity to be overweight they don't make it an absolute inevitability that you'll be fat.

5. Feelings make you fat

True: There are over a dozen studies that were conducted over the past fifty years all over the world that say negative emotions are the number one factor in weight gain.


Some of these answers might make you feel defensive. Genes and hormones are really tricky. I know because all of the women in my family are overweight or obese and many of us (indcluding myself) have hypothryroidism. Those two factors have made it more difficult for me to lose weight and maintain an optimal weight but not impossible. The thing with genes and hormones is that they can make you feel powerless. If your genes or your thyroid dictate that you're more likely to be overweight you might feel defeated. The whole thing is just too hard, so why bother. Right? I know I used to feel that way. If you fall into one of those categories, please don't make the mistake of believing that you have no other choice. It's just not true.


 
Weekends Can Be Rough for Emotional Eaters

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2007 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

Weekends can trigger emotional eating for two reasons.

1. If you're a social person you may find yourself in situations where there is a lot of eating and don't know how to control your urges.
2. If you wish you had social engagements and don't, the weekend can be a time of loneliness and isolation.

No matter which category you find yourself in, it all goes back to remembering to pause before you eat and ask yourself if you're really hungry. If you're not hungry, what are you hungry for, and how can you take a step towards getting it?



 
What Excuses Do You Make?

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2007 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

There are a thousand excuses to hold onto your emotional eating patterns. The first step to breaking them is to admit you're making them. Below are some of the most common excuses people make to keep overeating.

  • Eating right now will not really impact my weight loss efforts.
  • I won't feel any better if I lose weight so there's no point to controlling what I eat.
  • Even if I lose weight I still won't avoid health problems so it's a waste of energy.
  • It's not worth 'depriving' myself like this today -- trying later will work better.
  • I can't really control my urges in the long run so I might as well give up now.
  • There's no point in trying to lose weight, since I give up on all my diets anyway.
  • I don't feel ready to make a big dieting effort.
  • In this moment, I just don't care anymore.

What excuses do you make? Identifying the excuses you make to justify overeating is an essential step towards successful weight loss. Awareness is essential when it comes to excuses. Only through insight and awareness can you stop them from being a problem.




 
The Ten Habits of Every Successful Dieter

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2007 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

There are 10 habits that every successful dieter must practice. How many are you struggling to master?

1. Listening to Your Body
Listening to your body means that you carefully observe yourself when you are eating to determine when you are physically satisfied. If you practice listening to your body, you can greatly decrease the amount of food you eat. Many people overeat because they feel like they have to clean their plate or because they want to feel stuffed. But these people aren't listening to the signals from their body telling them that they are physically full.

2. Hunger Management
Many people overeat because they don't properly manage their hunger. Some let themselves get too hungry and their hunger forces them to eat too much when they finally see food again. Or, they eat unhealthy food to quickly satisfy their hunger. The best way to manage your hunger is to strategically plan meals ahead of time so you don't get too hungry. The other trick is to carry around healthy snacks so your hunger never gets out of control.

3. Bouncing Back
Let's face it - indulgence is inevitable. If you don't indulge yourself, at least occasionally, you'll eventually feel deprived. And the fact is, you can't feel deprived your whole life. Besides there's no reason to feel deprived. You can lose weight without depriving yourself! You just have to be flexible. If you eat too much one day, you have to compensate for it later by eating less or exercising more. Being flexible and bouncing back is the name of the game. Don't let one little indulgence prevent you from managing your weight for a lifetime.

4. Keeping My Weight In Mind
Keeping your weight in your mind when you're choosing what to eat and what to avoid is a big part of winning the weight loss battle. If your weight loss goal slips out of your mind at the sight of your favorite foods, you'll find yourself sabotaging your own weight loss efforts. It's important to stay focused. You need to understand that weight loss happens in the present. If you tell yourself, "This time it's ok," and go overboard on your favorite food, what will prevent you from telling yourself the same thing the next time, and the time after that? Keep your mind on your goal, but always remember that what you do right now will determine how quickly you reach your goal, or whether you reach it at all.

5. Avoiding Junk Food
I don't have to explain why this is one of the 10 Habits because eating too much junk food is a surefire way of keeping your ideal weight out of reach-that's why it's called junk food. But junk food has a powerful hold over some people that can be hard to break and that's why it deserves special attention.

6. Exercising Enough
Exercise is absolutely essential to weight loss. It doesn't matter how few calories or carbs you eat, if you don't use up that energy throughout the week. Getting out there and getting your heart rate up at least a few times a week is key.

7. Using Portion Control
Consciously controlling how much you eat is important. It means you are in charge of what you eat, rather than food being in charge of you. If you know something's fattening, eat a smaller portion. Eat half of something instead of the whole portion. Cutting back on the portion means cutting back on the pounds. Eating smaller portions will also make listening to your body much easier.

Binge Prevention
People complain of their inability to control binging almost more than any other essential weight loss habit. No matter what they do, people just can't seem to stop the urge to binge. Whether they binge when they're frustrated, unhappy, or faced with their favorite foods, almost everyone who struggles with weight loss is faced with this foe. Conquering the urge to binge is a necessary step in lifelong weight management.

9. Savoring My Food
Eating slowly and attentively enables you to prevent overeating. Not only does it help you listen to your body and enforce portion control, it makes you take note of what you're eating. If you're eating donuts, you'll recognize that and be able to stop yourself before you eat too many, that is, more than one. If you eat quickly or inattentively, you might not really realize that you're eating too much until it's too late.

10. Choosing A Balanced Diet
Choosing a well-balanced diet is key to weight loss. There is plenty of information out there for you. It's not the ability to find a balanced diet plan that's the problem - it's sticking to it. Try to find a well-balanced diet that fits your personal tastes.





 
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