This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
consciouseating


Physical Signals


One solution is to simply pay atten- tion to what our body is saying. Are we truly feeling hunger pangs? “When we eat in the absence of hunger cues, regularly choose unhealthy comfort foods or continue eating when we’re already full, something is out of bal- ance,” observes Simon at Overeating Recovery.com.


Food & Mood


Solutions for Emotional Eating by Judith Fertig


A


stressful day might have us seeking solace in ice cream, pizza or potato chips. Other times, we may feel a second donut or another high-calorie treat is our reward for a task well done. Occasional food indulgences are one of life’s pleasures, but habitually eating in response to our emotions can cause weight gain and health problems.


Core Issues


“Emotional hunger represents an ap- petite, craving or desire to eat in the absence of true physiological hunger cues,” explains Julie Simon, author of The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual: A Practical Mind-Body-Spirit Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting. “Emotional hunger often feels the same as physical hunger,” she adds, yet it might represent an un- conscious longing for pleasure, calm, comfort, excitement or distraction. It can also have a physiological


basis. A 2011 study from the Univer- sity of Leuven, in Belgium, shows that stomach-based hormones can con- nect directly to the brain, setting up


20 Hudson County NAHudson.com


cravings for sugary and fatty foods, suggesting that we are hardwired to want the foods that provide the great- est number of calories in the smallest quantities. Sugary, starchy, salty and fatty foods also push the brain’s “reward” button, prompting the production of more dopamine, the neurotransmitter of pleasure and well-being. Dr. Pam Peeke, Ph.D., author of The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recov- ery Plan for Overeating and Food Ad- diction, maintains that these foods also create a difficult-to-break addiction cycle. According to Peeke, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Balti- more, the more high-calorie foods we eat, the more we need the “high” they produce. Soon, increased amounts of foods like cheeseburgers, potato chips or chocolate chip cookies are neces- sary to help us feel good again. Handling emotions without turn- ing to food can be a knotty problem, health professionals agree, involving interweaving physical, emotional and spiritual strands.


Identifying “trigger” foods might also enlighten us, advises Peeke. “You’re out of control if you have a particular food in your hand and you can’t just enjoy it, walk away and say, ‘Ahh, that was wonderful.’ Life’s okay without that particular food.” The key is being smart about which foods we need to eliminate and which ones will help us feel good and enjoy an overall better quality of life.


“When you follow a plant-based, unprocessed, whole foods eating plan, your body chemistry becomes bal- anced and your biochemical signals (hunger, cravings and fullness) work well,” explains Simon. “Each time you eat, you feel satisfied and balanced, physically and emotionally.”


Emotional Underpinnings


Once we understand the physical component of emotional hunger, we can address the feelings that cause it. Most famous for their Rescue Rem- edy herbal and floral drops that help soothe anxiety, Bach Flower Essences recently created an Emotional Eating Support Kit that includes homeopathic essences of crabapple, cherry plum and chestnut bud. They maintain that four daily doses can help us think clearly and calmly when we fear los- ing control, plus objectively observe mistakes and learn from them. Some feelings, however, can’t be “gentled” away. “Soothe the small stuff, grieve the big stuff,” Simon advises. Experiencing abandonment, betrayal, domination or violation may require therapy. Lesser stressors can often be soothed by music, being outdoors, talking to a friend, taking a warm bath, walking, meditative yoga or pausing to pray—instead of eating. “No matter how sophisticated or


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48