Many of the clients I work with struggle with “Emotional Eating”. According to 1300+ licensed psychologists my experience isn’t unique. In a study conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center “understanding and managing the behaviors and emotions related to weight management” is the number one stumbling block to their patient’s success. Learning to break out of the pattern of emotional eating is the secret to many dieter’s success.
First we must determine if the client is an emotional eater and to what extent. I suggest keeping a food log for at least 7 days. This gives as a great starting point for knowing what the client eats, when and how much.
Next we dig in deep, we find out why the client is making the food choices that they make. Where, when and most importantly what was going on around and inside of the mind of the client. Are certain foods connected to certain moods? We discover where the emotional attachment is driving diet behavior.
Back to the Future
Finally, we work together to focus on the future instead of the past. We find the “Why that make you cry” the emotional lever that will move the client from old ways of eating to new, supportive habits. In our initial intake we’ll delve into the client’s motivation to lose weight. For many it’s the certainty that the life path they are on will lead to illness or infirmity. For others it’s a desire to be a positive role model to their children. Whatever is the prime motivator, we set that as their emotional trigger point. So , when tempted to find solace in the refrigerator a photo of their kids on the fridge door will remind them check why they are eating at that moment and give them the strength to walk away.
I’m not a psychologist, I’m a coach. If there are deep rooted emotional struggles I can refer folks to a Licensed Psychologist, Acupuncturist or Hypnotherapist to help them work through their emotional issues with food.
Knowing what you eat, why you’re eating it and staying mindful of why you chose to change will keep most dieters on track and away from old Emotional Eating habits.