For many people, losing weight is not a straightforward process. It requires more than willpower or counting calories; in fact, sustained weight loss often has an emotional component that can determine success. Emotional eating is one such example, and it can be daunting or overwhelming to face this challenge alone. Dr. Wolins of Simply Slim Medical is a bariatrician and anesthesiologist whose focus is treating obesity. He understands all aspects of the disease, including the emotional factors. Learn more about best practices for dealing with emotional eating below.
Defining Emotional Eating
Emotional eating happens when you consume food to cope with things that bring up difficult emotions. Food can help distract some individuals from stress, sadness, anger, or other distressing feelings. However, emotional eating is not related to hunger, which means that individuals who are engaged in emotional eating often consume many more calories than they need.
Why Should You Redefine Your Relationship with Food?
Emotional eating can destroy your weight loss efforts. Foods that are rich in fats, sugar, and carbs tend to be the ones that are more tempting when going through a tough time emotionally. When emotional eating becomes a habit, people who are on weight loss journeys can see their weight steadily increase. Redefining your relationship with food can help you recognize these destructive eating habits, establish a healthier diet, and discover new, more productive ways to deal with stress and other emotions.
Getting Back on Track
When it comes to overcoming emotional eating, it is important to recognize patterns that contribute to emotional eating and the subsequent weight gain.
Consider the following tips:
Keep track of your meals and snacks: Keeping a food diary can help you monitor which foods you consume and how much you consume. You might consider writing down how you feel before, during and after eating these foods to help you recognize patterns in your emotions and food consumption.
Explore stress management: If you are able to recognize that certain emotions, such as stress, are a trigger for emotional eating, managing these emotions can also help you manage your eating. Techniques such as deep breathing or meditation may be beneficial.
Making a plan for social eating: Preparation can help you feel in control while at social events where food will be involved. For example, consider setting a limit on sugary beverages, desserts, and appetizers you will consume during the outing.
Successful Weight Loss in Bethesda and Tysons
Even with best-laid plans, many patients still require the help of a professional to see sustained weight loss. Dr. Wolins is eager to help you achieve success in your weight loss efforts. Contact our office today or use our online form to request an appointment.