When you were a child, how were you rewarded when you did something good?
If you were like most of us, it was related to food. Whether it was a special dinner, a trip to your favorite restaurant or a special dessert, we began to associate food with celebration and good feelings at a very early age.
As we grew up, this association continued and was reinforced throughout our teens and into adulthood.
Now that we are adults, we may eat when we are feeling down, feeling happy or just feeling bored. This Emotional Eating Cycle continues day by day, year by year.
Emotional Eating has contributed to a dramatic increase in both adult and childhood obesity rates in the United States. Here are the latest CDC statistics on obesity:
- 37.5% of US adults are considered to be obese (BMI > 30).
- 17% of US children are considered to be obese.
- Obesity leads to increases in heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
- Obesity is more prevalent in the southern states of the US
If you are ready to break the Emotional Eating Cycle, take these steps:
Monitor – Start keeping a log of what you are eating, why you are eating and how you are feeling. By including why you are eating and how you are feeling, you can begin to identify triggers that are causing you to overeat.
Acceptance – Accept the fact that you are an Emotional Eater and that you are not alone. You also need to accept that this is not a quick fix process. It is going to take time and there will be setbacks along the way. Remember that eating and emotions have been linked together for many years. It is going to take some time, to break that link.
Reward – Establish a new reward system for yourself. This system should not be food related. It could be a professional manicure, a massage, a long bath, a new book or just taking time out with the ones that you love. This new system will take the place of food so make sure that these rewards give you the same feelings that you previously received from food.
Get into a Group – Weight loss statistics show that you lose more weight and are more likely to keep it off if you participate in a group. The support and accountability that a group offers, allows you to both achieve and to fail without shame and repercussions.
You can break the Emotional Eating Cycle and lose the weight associated with it. It will take some time so remember to be patient. It took you years to put on the weight and it isn’t going to come off in a few days or weeks.
Stay positive one day at a time and you can help reduce Obesity In Children too.