I spent the past few days in all day meetings and am now reaping the benefits of poor eating, caffeine overdose, dehydration, lack of sleep and no exercise… I look like crap and am coughing up my lungs… lovely. I found myself eating for no reason other than that food was available and accessible. I was loading up on coffee, eating the chocolate kisses and Oreo cookies, and even found myself opening a can of Dr. Pepper that's where I drew the line, what the heck am I doing?! I realized that even though I knew better, I was falling into the trap of "Emotional Eating", and so was everyone around the room. As people ate their cookies and drank their sodas they continued to say they never eat like this and can't figure out why they just want to eat. Unfortunately it happens to the best of us. Experts say that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions. Emotional eating doesn't mean you are heartbroken and on the couch with a tub of ice cream, it means that you are eating in response to emotion rather than hunger. Emotions could range from joy, boredom, sadness, stress or distraction. The first step is to identify eating triggers by keeping a detailed food journal documenting thoughts, feelings, stressors, situations and emotions associated with when and what you eat, quite often they fall into one or more of the following 5 categories:
Situations and emotions that trigger us to eat fall into five main categories.
- Social. Eating when around other people. For example, excessive eating can result from being encouraged by others to eat; eating to fit in; arguing; or feelings of inadequacy around other people.
- Emotional. Eating in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety, or loneliness as a way to "fill the void."
- Situational. Eating because the opportunity is there. For example, at a restaurant, seeing an advertisement for a particular food, passing by a bakery. Eating may also be associated with certain activities such as watching TV, going to the movies or a sporting event, etc.
- Thoughts. Eating as a result of negative self-worth or making excuses for eating. For example, scolding oneself for looks or a lack of will power.
- Physiological. Eating in response to physical cues. For example, increased hunger due to skipping meals or eating to cure headaches or other pain.
A common situation is eating to procrastinate or stay alert at work. I learned from experience this week that it doesn't work (at least not for me). With each Oreo cookie I ate, my attention span decreased and I had a huge headache from the sugar!
Once you know your patterns, the next step is to break them by finding alternative ways to manage your emotions. Sometimes it can be as simple as substituting the junk food for more nutritious food. The most important thing to remember is not to make yourself wrong for giving in to comfort food. As always you are one meal away from getting back on track. Recognizing your habits is key to changing them, as with everything you can't get where you want to go if you don't know where you are starting.
** ANNOUNCEMENTS **
All our Nutrition Education documents are now available for you to download. This info includes everything from the basic education, shopping lists, empowerment tools, and more! Click on this link to access them: http://crossfitunlimited.typepad.com/Nutritionize%20Docs.zip
- BODY FAT TESTING! We are bringing out the dunk truck again for you to see how your hard work is paying off. The truck will be there on FRIDAY MARCH 26 from 12pm to 5pm. The sign-up info will be posted in the cell soon.