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Dealing with Emotional Eating, LC tip #128

Monday, September 03, 2012

Knowing how your emotions can steer your desire to eat will help you resist your cravings and, ideally, avoid them altogether. Depression and anger contribute to hedonistic and emotional eating. Your goal: Keep your feel-good hormones level, so you're in a steady state of satisfaction and never experience huge hormonal highs and lows that make you search for good-for-your-brain-but-bad-fo
r-your-waist foods.

Here are 5 tricks to try:

1. Use foods to your advantage. All foods have different effects on your stomach, your blood, and your brain. Choose turkey to cut carb cravings. Turkey contains tryptophan, which increases serotonin to improve your mood and combat depression and helps you resist cravings for simple carbs. Choose salmon to curb blue moods. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in certain fish (including salmon, canned tuna, halibut, and mahimahi), have long been known as brain boosters,cholesterol clearers, and depression-lifters.

2. Savor the flavor. If you're going to eat something that's bad for you, enjoy a SMALL piece, savor it, roll it around in your mouth. Take your time. Perhaps take a piece of dark (80% cocoa) chocolate -- as a healthy stress reliever and as a way to reward yourself with something sweet -- every rare once in a while.

3. Go to sleep. Getting enough sleep can help with appetite control. That's because when your body doesn't get the 7 to 8 hours of sleep it needs every night to get rejuvenated, it has to find ways to compensate for neurons not secreting the normal amounts of serotonin or dopamine. It typically does that by craving sugary foods that will give you an immediate release of serotonin and dopamine.

4. Exercise immediately. Get your heart pumping for 10 minutes to change your brain chemistry. It diminishes anger. Your cravings will dissipate.

5. Meditate. Spend 10 minutes in a mindful practice of your choice. You can even meditate on your craving! Imagine eating it in great detail, savoring all the flavors and textures... just don't stop there. Imagine how you feel afterward -- feel your body relax. Now you are ready to move forward!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ERIN1957
    wow love this info...thanks!
    2765 days ago
    These are great ideas. Number 1 was new info to me. Thank you for sharing it! Turkey will be my new best friend!
    2767 days ago
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