Recent studies indicate that “emotional eating” affects up to 83 percent of people trying to lose weight, yet only about one in 10 Americans think having an emotional connection to food is a factor in being overweight.
A new survey conducted by Orlando Health finds the key to losing weight may lie in snapping the emotional bond that people have with food.
That’s why so many people fail to lose weight or quickly regain it, despite trying new diet and exercise routines. Dr. Bradley Nelson, author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Code, has trained more than 2500 healing practitioners in 62 countries to uncover and release “trapped” negative emotions, which he calls a top cause of obesity and weight problems.
“The trapped emotions that we develop from experiences that we have been through in our lives oftentimes manifests as fat, which is like armor that protects us from negative people and negative circumstances. Getting rid of your emotional baggage can actually help you to lose weight.”
Dr. Nelson joins Dr. Friedman to explain why your emotions may be getting in the way of a healthy weight. He also offers these three tips:
1. Discover Your Triggers: Get out a piece of paper and spend some time considering what it is that actually triggers you. What is the source of your emotional discomfort? Think about all the different life situations you’ve been through, especially the ones that left you feeling hurt, upset, angry or alone. Your emotional eating triggers are rooted in these upsetting events and traumas from your past, even if they occurred long ago. Beginning to become aware of the emotional baggage that you carry will help you to recognize when some of these old issues are being activated by events in the present. This is the first step to altering how you respond to these triggers in the present.
2. Keep an Eating Journal: Many weight-loss programs suggest that you write down what you eat. This is similar, but instead of simply writing down the food you are consuming, write down what you were feeling and thinking when you ate it. What inner voice were you trying to silence when you ate that tub of ice cream or that whole box of cookies? What stress were you trying to deal with? Making the connection between your eating habits and your emotions is a huge key to breaking away from unhealthy eating patterns.
3. Start Listening to Your Body: This is the most important step of all. Believe it or not, your body is constantly communicating with you and telling you what is helping it and what it hurting it. The trick is to tune in and pay attention to the signals it is giving so you can provide it with what it really needs rather than covering up the emotional hurt or aches and pains with unhealthy foods.