|November 2009 E-News
Emotional Eating: What Am I Really Hungry For?
Emotional connections to food are woven into the fabric of our social experience. Notice how often food is at the center of your celebrations: holiday office parties, baking Christmas cookies with grandma, and sharing traditional meals with your family. Eating is a wonderful way to reminisce, nurture, and bond.
Emotional eating is normal, even healthy—unless it is the primary way you cope with or avoid your feelings. During the holidays, emotional eating becomes magnified. Not only is food everywhere, but you may feel more stressed, lonely, exhausted, overwhelmed, or even happier—all common triggers for emotional eating.
How emotional eating leads to overeating...
Food is a quick, convenient, easy way to manage your feelings (for example, stuffing them or calming them down).
When you’re eating for emotional reasons, you’re more likely to reach for sweets, salty snacks, and comfort foods. In other words, why you are eating affects what you eat.
Emotional eating is often mindless, so you barely notice what you are putting in your mouth or how full you’re getting.
You can eat a lot of food when you’re eating for emotional reasons. If hunger doesn’t tell you to start eating, what tells you to stop?
Emotional eating only gives you temporary pleasure or distraction so you have to eat again when the effects fade.
Food alone can’t really make you happy or less stressed so your emotional triggers come back again and again.
Emotional eating can lead to shame and guilt—ironically two of the most powerful emotional triggers for more overeating.
The way to break out of this pattern is to create a self-care buffer zone to decrease emotional triggers. When it happens anyway (and it will), learn to identify and handle head hunger more effectively. When you do, you’ll feel better, for longer.
Preventing Emotional Eating
Practice Self-Care: Give yourself the gift of adequate sleep, healthy meals, regular physical activity, and unscheduled time to decompress. (Read more in Chapter 8: Self-Care Buffer Zone in Eat What You Love.)
Do what you love: What are your favorite holiday activities? Who do you want to spend time with? Which events are the most meaningful to you? Which ones could you do without this year?
Eat What You Love: Deprivation and guilt are powerful emotional triggers that can lead to overeating so choose foods that nourish your body and your soul.
Love What You Eat: Eating can be a satisfying emotional experience. Savor each bite mindfully, staying conscious of how your body feels as you eat.
Recognize Head Hunger: Whenever you feel like eating, first ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” Look for physical signs that you need fuel.
If you're not hungry, FEAST instead!
Focus: What is going on inside of you? Focus on your physical state, your thoughts, and your feelings. Identify any possible triggers for eating such as fatigue, boredom, overwhelm, or nostalgia.
Explore: Complete this statement: I feel _______ because _______. Peel away the layers by asking “why?” and “what else?” Sometimes “I want a cookie” means “I want comfort,” or “I want rest,” “I want to escape from this conversation,” or “I want to experience the joy I remember from my childhood.”
Accept: Criticizing yourself for your thoughts, feelings, and actions will keep you stuck in old patterns. Accept that your emotions, no matter how difficult or trivial they may seem, tell you something about your needs.
Strategize: What could you do to meet your underlying need? (If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got!)
Take Action: The step you take will depend on your specific need; just make sure it small, realistic, and takes you in the general direction of meeting your true needs.
(From Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle.)
Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!
Michelle May, M.D.
Give the Perfect Gift:
Freedom from the Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle
Eat What You Love is available at bookstores everywhere including Barnes & Noble, Borders, and your favorite independent book retailer (if it's not on the shelf, please ask them to order more!) and Amazon (p
lease post your reviews!).
HURRY! The first 35 people to purchase a copy of Eat What You Love, from our website, will also receive this beautiful handmade beaded Am I Hungry? bookmark!
Are you passionate about helping others discover a fun, sane, long term approach to a healthy lifestyle?
Join me for Am I Hungry? Facilitator Training!
Next class: Tuesdays,
January 12 - March 30, 2010
(6:30 MST, 7:30 CST, 8:30 EST)
Read more info, download info packet, and register HERE
Help us spread the word!
Want to tell your friends, family members, patients, or clients about Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat? Download this one page Eat What You Love information sheet and pass it on!
|Connect with Dr. Michelle May:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eatwhatyoulove Facebook: http://profile.to/michellemay/
Press Room: http://www.michellemaymd.com/press-room.shtml
Make Your Meeting Meaningful and Memorable
Michelle shares her powerful approach to creating sustainable healthy lifestyles with health care professionals, corporations, associations, and organizations across the country. She delivers her crucial and timely message with passion, energy, humor, and insight that transforms the way people view eating and physical activity. Her facilitated mindful eating experiences will engage and inspire your participants to make lasting changes that support a vibrant, healthy life.
Please visit www.MichelleMayMD.com for her preview video, keynotes, workshops, and spokesperson or sponsorship information.
|Where is Michelle?
Banner Health (Arizona)
Banner Desert Medical Ctr
Dec. 5, 2009 9:30a-12pm
Register: 602 230-CARE
Dec. 6, 2009 12-2pm
Psychology of Health, Immunity and Disease
Hilton Head, South Carolina
December 7-13, 2009
Dec. 20, 2009 12-2pm
Am I Hungry? Teleworkshop
Jan. 19 - March 9, 2010
Banner Health (Arizona)
Robson Community Center
January 2010 TBA
Register: 602 230-CARE
Chandler Diabetes Center
January 5, 2010, 7pm
Seattle Study Club Dental Conference
January 29, 2010
Wine and Sign
February 2010 (TBA)
Binge Eating Disorder Association - BEDA
March 4-6, 2010
Ohio Osteopathic Association
April 29-May 1, 2009
Montana Academy of Family Physicians
June 16-17, 2009
Alaska Academy of Family Physicians
June 18-20, 2009
Book Michelle to inspire attendees at your next event or sponsor her to share her compelling message with your target audience!