In today’s issue of FUN, HOT, NO B.S. Fitness Magazine!…
VFT’s Featured Fitness Expert Sue Heintze – Transformation Coach, Mum and Natural Figure Athlete discusses compulsive or emotional eating…
If you’ve ever found yourself completing a personal workout / program challenge: you eat right, you train hard for weeks and then once you’ve reached your goal, you find yourself eating anything and everything in sight… then you’ll relate to today’s lesson.
I hope you enjoy today’s edition. PLEASE leave your feedback BY CLICKING ON THE COMMENTS box below, we love hearing from you!
VFT – Fun, Hot, NO B.S. Fitness!
Q: I’ve recently finished a 12 week program with great results, but compulsive eating is becoming a real issue for me. I thought it was all under control until a few weeks ago. Any advice on conquering such problems?
This is a GREAT question – and unfortunately a lesson that many of us, myself included, have learned the hard way. You train, you weigh and measure those portions, you learn to pass on seconds when at the dinner table – all the while focusing on that finish line. When the day or event arrives and all of that has hard work and planning has come together you feel great, you look great and you think “Now – time to celebrate!”
And celebrate you should! It takes a great deal of commitment and planning to successfully complete a 12 week challenge. But what we all need to remember is that a 12 week program (or any well structured program) is not a simple quick fix with a start and an end date. It’s about learning the tools necessary to make smart choices when and wherever possible to keep us from slipping back into our old habits. If we allow ourselves to return to our old patterns and choices our bodies will reflect this very quickly.
Compulsive (consuming large quantities of food) or emotional eating is usually in response to feelings, instead of actual hunger. Some experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.
Most of us learn early on in life that food can bring comfort, at least in the short-term. Think back to when you were a child – birthday’s = happy = cake. If we were “good” at the doctor’s office we’d get a lollie! As a result, we often turn to food to heal emotional problems. Eating becomes a habit – instead of what it really is – fuel.
Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems at work, at home, relations with family friends and negative thoughts can all result in overeating and ultimately unwanted weight gain. By identifying what our triggers are, we can substitute more appropriate techniques to avoid this unwanted weight.
Situations and emotions that trigger us to eat tend to fall into five categories:
Social: Eating when around other people. ie, 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. ie, 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. Ie, scolding oneself for looks or a lack of willpower.
Physiological: Eating in response to physical cues. ie, increased hunger due to skipping meals or eating to cure headaches or other pain.
Once you identify your own personal triggers you will be able to develop a better plan for dealing with the challenges the next time they present themselves.
Life is all about choices. What I like to focus on when I feel the urge to snack/binge is how I will feel after the meal, or the next morning when I wake up. I know if I had a bucket of ice cream I would be very upset with myself for it, I’d feel terrible physically and I would be cranky because I feel that way. I’d get sleepy and lethargic, and put off my gym sessions, and I would not have the motivation to do anything productive. That’s how it affects me, and I know that is how it affects many others. I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel and I just don’t want to go back there. That’s my compelling reason to keep me on the straight and narrow most of the time, and it works because that is what I want. I don’t do it because I have to, or someone told me to, or because I have a function coming up. I do it because I want to feel good physically, and feel happy within myself mentally as well.
Sue Heintze is Owner and Managing Director of Body Transformation company www.idealbodiesonline.com. As a Body Transformation Specialist, Sue has an absolute passion for helping others achieve their fitness and fat loss goals. As Australia’s premier online training facility, the Ideal Bodies Online team has helped an enormous number of people from all walks of life totally transform their bodies and lives.
Sue has competed at State and National level as a natural figure athlete for the past 10 years, and at the age of 41 recently became a first time mum. She writes regularly for Australian Oxygen magazine. Sue recently developed a cutting edge range of instantly downloadable fat loss programs at www.idealbodyblueprint.com.