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Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is when people use food as a way to deal with feelings instead of to satisfy hunger. So, let me ask you… Are you an emotional eater? Let’s talk about feelings, friends!

If your eating habits have a direct relationship with your emotions, you need to get a hold of yourself! Major life events like death, heartbreak, and overall frustration can make a person do something crazy like eat emotionally just as a quick escape for the harsh realities of life.

Here’s a tip… Pause for a moment.

You are trying to get/stay healthy. You have been putting the time in at the gym. You have me stalking your calories on, and you WILL have to answer to me if I see Fettuccine Alfredo in your food logs… We are working towards a goal, don’t let your emotions get in the way.

Ask yourself this: Do you feel a loss of control when you are around food?

A lot of times people do things (in this case, eat) strictly out of habit. I remember when I was a kid I used to come home from school and head immediately to the kitchen to annihilate the snack drawer. I was a chubster. Looking back on it, I can’t help but realize I was emotionally eating.

Believe it or not, I wasn’t always this cool and good looking. I got made fun of a lot by kids, security guards, teachers, and pretty much didn’t have any fun in high school, so to make up for it I stuffed my face with sweets the second I got home from school.

Nowadays when I feel like I am about flip my lid and go to Terri’s to buy some muffins (my vice), I immediately try to either do something productive like work out, or pause for a second and find out if I’m really hungry or just being emotional. If I am in fact hungry, I drink some water, think about how many calories I should eat at the moment, and carefully decide on a meal that will nourish me efficiently and satisfy me for the time being before I make a mistake with my diet for the day.

If you eat emotionally through some serious hard times like the loss of a friend, or the overwhelming stress of life, you are more liable to eat emotionally for the not so serious bad times in life.

Being stressed out at work is very common for my NYC clients. Some of them have turned to carbohydrate rich foods like pizza after another 15 hour work day. Why? Because studies have shown that huge amounts of carbs releases a chemical in your brain called Serotonin. Serotonin has been clinically shown to ease tension. This may feel good for the hour or two you are on your carb high, but what happens when the instant gratification of eating an unhealthy and fattening snack wears off and you realize you are now probably going to go over your CALORIC BUDGET for the day and you just NEGATED YOUR WORKOUT?

Boredom is an emotion. You are bored to tears at work or school so you hit up the candy machine and down a snickers bar. 271 calories of crap has just been released into your system, which include about 29 grams of PROCESSED SUGAR into your blood stream and suddenly life isn’t as boring. This is because high concentrations of processed sugar releases the brain chemical dopamine, which is known as “the feel good chemical.” But, once that sugar high crashes you will be feeling down and simply craving more of the same garbage that has put you in your current depressed state.

People at emotionally when they are feeling happy too, but it just leads to the same conclusion!

You just aced an exam or got a huge raise, so to celebrate you go out drinking with your friends. You drop about $50, and consume about 1000 calories worth of alcohol that will make you gain weight/lose strength gains.

Before you act on your emotions ask yourself these questions…

Do I REALLY need to eat that donut, or am I not even really hungry?

Is this hunger, or a craving for carbs I feel right now?

What are the long term effects going to be if I eat this bag of M&M’s?

Count to 10. Think before you do.


Carbs: the Freddy Krueger Approved Night Snack

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If Freddy Krueger was a nutritionist, he’d tell his clients to binge eat on bagels before bed. Why? Because he’d want to sabotage the hard work they’ve put in all day. Then, he’d taunt them in their dreams for negating everything they’ve worked so hard for. He’s so messed-up like that.

Fortunately, I don’t subscribe to the Freddy Krueger School of Nutritional Counseling. So, I’ll try to give you some advice that won’t cause you to be haunted by your bad eating choices.

When advising clients on nutrition, I let them know that their pituitary glands are their best friends. I for one LOVE my pituitary glands and you should too, especially if you are trying to lose weight, or just stay healthy in general.

The pituitary glands secretes a hormone called Human Growth Hormone when you sleep. HGH does a lot of good things for your body, but most popularly… Decreases body fat… WHILE YOU SLEEP!

Do you have any idea what this means? All you have to do is go to sleep and your pituitary glands will take care of a little body fat one night at a time! You don’t even have to do ANYTHING! JUST GO TO SLEEP AND LOSE BODY FAT! When I first learned this my head nearly exploded.

This will never work if you have carbs at night. In order to reap the most benefits from your HGH secretions during REM sleep, your body must have little to no carbs stored up before sleep.

Hey, I’m like you, I love carbs! Bring on the brown rice and whole wheat pasta, as long as it’s far far far away from when I’m going to bed. For example, that Thai dish you have for dinner with all the noodles? Bump that up in your schedule to lunch time so by the time you go to sleep that stuff is practically out of your system.

“Ok… So… As long as I don’t eat carbs before I go to sleep I’ll lose body fat? Ok, that sounds like the most mind boggling easiest possible way to lose weight, so I will obviously not eat carbs before bed!” – You, right now.

Me personally, I have an easier time maintaining my body fat by making sure I don’t eat ANY carbs 4 hours before I go to sleep.

Please be aware that even though no carbs before you go to sleep is very beneficial for weight loss, a good exercise regimen is also necessary. Don’t get it twisted… You can’t be eating Friend Chicken and Twinkies all day long while living a sedentary lifestyle and then switch to a few leaves of spinach 4 hours before you pass out and think you’re going to wake up with the waist size you had when you were in your teens. You need to be exercising too!

So there’s my advice. You can thank me later when the only time Freddy is coming into your dreams at night is to ask you how he can lose 10 pounds before he starts filming his next movie.