Break the Cycle of Emotional Eating

Okay, go grab a notebook or journal. It's time to start getting real about your emotional eating. Sure, it can be a vicious cycle if you allow it to progress, but I'm going to show you a quick little trick to help you understand your behaviors and break the destructive pattern. Let's go.

Below are two questions. For a week, before you eat anything, whether it's dinner or a small snack, I want you to answer these two questions in your journal. Sound easy? Well, you might be surprised. By doing this, you'll be able to quickly tell if you've got real hunger or if your emotions are what's causing you to reach for a bunch of junk you know you don't need — or even really want.

1. Are you hungry?
Are you experiencing any physiological conditions that are signaling to you that you are hungry? Is your stomach growling? Do you feel weak or tired? Has it been longer than three or four hours since you last ate? If you concentrate on answering these questions, it will be very easy to determine whether you are genuinely, physically hungry or whether you are eating for a different reason. If you've determined that you are hungry, then it's time to eat. If not, it's time for the next question.

2. Are you depressed or anxious?
Did you just get into a fight? Are you anxious about a work-related deadline? Whatever it might be, write down what you're feeling and why you think you're feeling it. Getting in touch with your emotions here is critical. If you can't, you're going to have an incredibly difficult time reaching your weight loss goals. Dig deep, and get it in writing.

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