Many of us face a common challenge in trying to lose weight – the emotional baggage that we attach to many foods. We’ve all heard the words “comfort food” used to describe high-fat or sweet and rich foods. We have all seen the images on television and in the movies where the jilted single woman sits alone with a carton of ice cream to mend her broken heart – and we have also seen the beer commercials that show us that the only happy man is one who is drinking beer with his buddies!
If you ever find that you gravitate toward some kind of food when you are unhappy, stressed, bored or upset – or there are some times of the day when you must go to the fridge to find something to munch on – you may have found one thing standing in the way of permanent weight loss. You are being sabotaged by your emotions!
One way to battle this is to create a food journal and write down everything you eat outside of regular meals. When you write down the food, also write down how you were feeling when you ate it. After doing this for a week, go back over your entries and see if you can see any common triggers. If you don’t see any patterns, keep going for another week and then review again. As recipes often state, “repeat as necessary!”
If you do see some common threads of behavior, look for more positive ways to deal with those trigger events in the future. How about grabbing your water bottle and having a good long drink. Often, when we think we’re hungry for “something,” it’s a signal that we’re dehydrated. If all else fails, get away from the cupboard and fridge by going for a walk until the feeling passes.
While it can’t be stated enough – the only two ways to achieve permanent weight loss are eating less and exercising more – it is worth paying attention if you aren’t achieving your goals and you think you’re doing everything you can. Often your frustration is due to the weight loss wild card: your emotional triggers.