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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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From Out of Sight to Insight


The real reasons we overeat or binge are generally not the most obvious ones. Emotional eating appears to be somewhat of a mystery, because the meaning of food is so interwoven with the psychology of each person's unique life. Emotional hunger is unconsciously tied to both current triggers and past dramas.

Everyone who starts and breaks a diet or who wants to stop eating but keeps eating, is in conflict with themselves at some level. Often the conflict is hidden or buried under layers of unexplored issues.

Many members of the Shrink Yourself community report about the part of themselves that they know is rebellious when it comes to eating. They describe their rebellious self in great detail. They don't just describe, they glorify this part of themselves. In a funny way they are proud of it. It's their stake in the ground, a defiant piece of independence, a statement about who they are at their strongest and most immovable. Hundreds of times I have heard people say in their most undefended moments, "No body's going to take my food away from me."

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Recent Posts
An Insight A Day, Keeps the Pounds Away


Last week I said that overeating is an ineffective coping mechanism that keeps you from facing your fears and making the changes necessary to resolve painful life problems. This means that you use food to interrupt your thinking process, in order to avoid something you need to pay attention to. The more you avoid, ignore or deny the challenges in front of you, the more you will continue to eat unconsciously.

The question is, how can we help you get from the wrong but familiar repetitive non-productive conversation you are having with yourself about your weight; to the correct and productive conversation you must have with yourself in order to break the emotional eating mindset?

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Numbing the Mind with Food


Everyone is an emotional eater to some degree, it is built into our upbringing. It's the habitual or compulsive part of that pattern that is unhealthy, not the occasional indulgence.

For many people, in the beginning, it is difficult to acknowledge that there is an emotional component to a weight problem. And therefore anything that makes you feel or think more deeply and personally, seems like an assault. It feels like just another person lecturing you, trying to talk you out of your eating habits by shame or logic or willpower. Someone who talks straight to you can come across as an insensitive or over controlling parent. This is especially true if your weight problem started early in life and was entangled in the family dynamics.

The reality is that life is complex and you have the intelligence to deal with it. Using food to numb yourself in order take away the pain of feeling and thinking means you are shutting off your ability to process information accurately. It means you are overeating because you are too afraid to think about whatever is really bothering you.

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Expand Your Mind, Shrink Your Tummy


What if I told you that there was not only a way to grow new brain cells and lose weight, but that you could also add vitality and optimism to your life? It is possible, however it's not as magical as taking a pill or as invasive as having surgery. It requires doing some serious psychological work. But it's worth it! And it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

There is now enough evidence from neuroscience to proclaim that when you change a "comfort habit" your brain actually creates new cells and new pathways. In our case, this means that when you end your emotional eating habit, your mind will be free to think about love and life in a new way, rather than endlessly obsessing about food. We start this process by "pausing" the emotional eating habit long enough to garner new insight about your own personal development.

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