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How to Eat to Stop Emotional Overeating

When you think of stopping emotional overeating, does it seem like an impossible goal? You’re not alone – many people who suffer from this problem feel imprisoned and helpless. It can seem like you are unable to break free from the overwhelming emotions and habits. But there’s good news – it’s a treatable problem.

Being honest with yourself is an important first step. Emotional overeaters tend to judge themselves pretty harshly, but don’t – you’re not an isolated case or some kind of freak. It’s a sign of strength to seek help! It means you’ve identified the problem.

If you’re struggling with this problem, there are some things you can do to get things under control while you’re seeking professional help. Here are some tips.

Your Grocery List

When an emotional moment hits and you head for the refrigerator or pantry, what kind of foods do you usually go for? Often, emotional overeaters head for high-calorie comfort foods like ice cream, chips, or candy bars. But you can’t eat those things if they are not in your house! Here are some examples of foods to put on your grocery list in place of the ones you may be tempted to buy. (Another tip – buy only the foods on your list. Compulsive buying of food is tempting.)

* Brown rice (instead of white rice)
* Millet (instead of or in addition to rice)
* Fresh fruits and vegetables (rather than canned)
* Low-fat, low-calorie yogurt (rather than ice cream)
* Popcorn kernels for air popping (rather than chips and fatty snacks)
* Lean protein like fish, turkey, and chicken (instead of deli meats and processed meats like hotdogs and bologna)
* Natural, healthy cooking oils like olive and safflower oil (instead of shortening, lard, or unhealthy oils)

Don’t Crash Diet

It’s good to be proactive in solving problems, and emotional eating is no exception. If you try to crash diet, you may find yourself eating more after the crash diet is over. So, rather than stopping eating everything you love, try some of these tips.

* Allow yourself to have a dish of frozen yogurt each week as a treat. This approach tends to be easier than just cutting out all frozen treats. You could use this approach with other “naughty” foods, too – it may be easier to resist if you know you are going to have that food on Saturday (or whatever day of the week you choose to have a small treat).

* Boost your nutrition with a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement.

* Increase your consumption of nutrient-dense foods.

Eat Regular Meals

Experts recommend regular mealtimes as a way to combat emotional overeating. If it’s not “time” for food, then you may be better able to hold off on eating until it is time. Also, eating regular meals helps you to be deliberate about your intake of nutritious foods. And finally, having regular meal times tends to make for a more relaxed eating experience, which is the direct opposite of anxiety-driven overeating.

How to Eat More Whole Foods Each Day

Once you understand what whole foods are, you can then begin to recognize why they are so important to the overall health and wellbeing of your body and mind. Whole foods are intended to be eaten as is and accepted for what their values and benefits are. When you eat a whole food, you offer your body a host of bountiful nutrients and benefits. One of those benefits is to allow your body to function the way that nature intended it.

The old adage that knowledge is power certainly does apply to whole foods. If you know how beneficial they are for maintaining weight loss and boosting metabolism, you will certainly find creative ways to incorporate those whole foods into your diet.

Thankfully, Mother Nature had it all figured out when it came to whole foods. Not only do they have the benefit of vitamins, minerals (being all-natural) and providing your body with the ability to function properly and lose weight, they are also extremely portable.

For example, how easy is it to grab an apple, an orange, or a banana as you are running out the door? We all know female friends who put their makeup on at a red light. How about taking that time to eat a banana or an apple on the way to work? If you wake up ten minutes earlier and put your makeup on at home, then you can use your red-light time for something much more productive like eating a fruit-filled breakfast.

Whole foods such as potatoes and even sweet potatoes can be microwaved as well. Since just about every office or workspace has a microwave, wrapping a sweet potato or two in a paper towel and placing it in the microwave has never been easier. You can achieve the benefit of that whole food with the ease and convenience of the microwave.

Whole foods come in many varieties, shapes, and forms. A skinless piece of chicken breast is a whole food as long as it is not processed nor has anything added or taken away in the process. An egg can be considered a whole food as well. A hard-boiled egg as a snack is better than processed egg whites from a carton that has salt added to it.

With a little preparation, you can take something like leftover chicken breast and turn it into a healthy chicken salad. Even cherry tomatoes make great little snacks you can pop into your mouth.

With a little effort, minimum time, and some creativity, incorporating whole foods into your diet should be a piece of cake.

Healthy Aspects of a Vegan Diet

With all the antibiotics found in today’s meat products, as well as things such as fillers, additives, and chemicals, many individuals are considering making the switch to a vegan diet.

Of course, when making any kind of change, all aspects of that change need exploring. There are many healthy aspects of a vegan diet.

* In earlier days, vegan diets consisted of only vegetables. This is not the case today, however. Vegan diets now include meat-free items such as veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs. Some companies are now developing vegetarian products such as “steak strips” or “chicken nuggets.”

* Going out to eat for a vegetarian used to be a cause for concern. Variety was non-existent or limited at best. Today, however, almost every restaurant has a complete vegan menu from which to choose.

* Studies have shown that eating a diet that is high in animal fats can lead to several diseases such as a higher risk of cancer and diabetes. Vegan diets exclude animal by-products, thereby eliminating these risks.

* Articles have appeared showing that eating a diet that is based on plants can reduce the risk and possibly even reverse progression of chronic illnesses.

* Vegan diets have been shown to reduce cholesterol.

* Vegan diets can be high in protein through eating foods such as nuts and beans.

* Fiber is an extra-added bonus of the vegan diet as many vegetables are naturally high in fiber.

* Another positive aspect of a vegan diet is the mental health benefit, so to speak. Vegans do not use or wear anything that is based on an animal by-product. For example, a true vegan does not purchase leather, some types of makeup and fur. This gives a vegan the feeling that they are positively contributing to a cause.

* Lower blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and lower cholesterol are all healthy side effects of a vegan diet.

* Vitamins such as C and E as well as magnesium, iron and folic acid are found in plant-based foods in a vegan diet.

* Lower saturated fat, a lower obesity rate, and fewer calories are also benefits of a vegan diet.

As you can see, a plant-based vegan diet has many benefits for your health. Vegan diets also have the added bonus of variety. There are so many combinations of soy-based products and vegetables as well as meat-like foods such as veggie patties to keep you healthy and satisfied in your vegan endeavors.

Five Super Grains You Should Be Eating

Whole grains are extremely nutritious offering benefits such as:

* Maintaining weight
* Fighting off heart disease
* Keeping the cholesterol level low
* Maintaining regularity
* Keeping a healthy metabolism

Fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and iron are just a few of the extra value-packed nutritional benefits of grains.

Many people are aware of the most common grains but may not be as privy to the ones that are a little more unusual. If you are aware of the power that these grains pack, you would be sure to include them into your daily diet.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain that resembles a combination of grain and rice. The history of quinoa dates all the way back to the Inca civilization. The Incas considered it to be a sacred grain and for a very good reason. Quinoa is packed with protein. It is also full of fiber. Quinoa is a perfect way to start your morning, and the fibre will help you feel full for the day.

You can add things such as chicken broth and eat it for lunch, or add some honey and maple syrup with cinnamon for a tasty and nutritional-packed breakfast.

Spelt

Spelt is an older form of the wheat crop mainly found in Europe, but since it needs very little in the way of fertilizer, many who are interested in organic eating and growing are bringing this grain back into popularity again.

A great reason to eat spelt is, of course, its nutritional value – ranging from high in protein to high in fiber. Spelt has a deliciously sweet and nutty flavor that when used in bread instead of traditional grain gives it an extra added value in taste that cannot be replicated.

Kasha

Kasha is a traditional Russian meal that once was only used for fancy occasions such as royal feasts and weddings. The Russians knew what they were doing when they served kasha. As roasted, hulled buckwheat, kasha holds the mother load of nutrients and vitamins such as potassium, calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus, and iron. Incorporating this grain into your diet offers you a one-two punch for your immune system.

Chia

Just like the Incas and their quinoa, the ancient Aztecs knew that chia was a powerful substance and main staple for their diet. Chia is super packed with Omega 3s, loaded with protein, and one of the lowest carbohydrate grains. For this reason, many athletes are turning to chia as part of their daily winning game. Being high in antioxidants increases the value of chia in your diet as well.

Amaranth

The ancient Aztecs also knew that this grain was valuable to them. They not only included it into their everyday diets but also offered it as part of various rituals and ceremonies. Plant proteins, amino acids, lysine, calcium, and iron as well as a high fiber content make this particular grain the one that has it all.

As you can see, ancient cultures knew that these grains packed everything they needed to be warriors of their time. We have these grains available to us today and can achieve the same goal of being warriors throughout our day as well.

Emotional Overeating: Knowing Where to Turn

Emotional overeating can seem like a prison with no way out, and when you do think of seeking treatment, it can seem too overwhelming to consider. Sometimes it helps to have some simple steps and treatment programs laid out clearly, so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Following is a list of common treatment options for emotional overeating disorder, as well as some tips on things you can do and some cautions on what not to do.

Common Treatments

First, recognize your problem. Know you’re not alone – the number of people who suffer from emotional overeating disorder is significant.

* Counseling – Individual, group, or family counseling can prove very helpful for people who experience emotional overeating. Counseling treatment usually involves some nutritional and dietary guidelines and treatment of underlying emotional problems.

* Surgery – This is a somewhat controversial treatment for emotional overeating – it addresses the physical aspect of the problem rather than the emotional. However, in combination with emotional therapy and extensive medical counseling, surgery is a viable choice for some sufferers. Usually, surgical options involve decreasing the space available in the stomach, usually by a lap-band or gastric bypass procedure.

* Medication – Under the care of a professional, medications – usually anti-depressants – have been shown to provide relief for many who suffer from emotional overeating. This may be due to the suspected connection between overeating and depression – research continues to point to the relationship between the two problems.

Tips – What You Can Do

* Exercise regularly – Yes, you’ve heard this one, but it’s really an important aspect of managing emotional overeating. Exercise may improve mood, improve energy levels, and increase your self-image – all part of overcoming emotional overeating. You can start with just 20 minutes of brisk walking three to six times a week.

* Eat well – What you do eat is as important as what you’re “not allowed” to eat! Sometimes, emotional overeaters can be overcome by cravings for certain “forbidden” foods, like ice cream, candy bars, and potato chips. But if you’re full of and surrounded by healthy foods, you can dig in without feeling guilty. Keep fresh produce on hand and eat lots of lean protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains.

What Not to Do

* Keep unhealthy snacks handy – If you don’t have the unhealthy food in the house, you will probably be less likely to head for it in times of emotional distress. In other words, make it hard on yourself to get the foods you want to eat when feeling bad – cross ice cream, junk foods, and fatty snacks off your grocery list.

* Crash diet – Trying to starve yourself or go on an extended fast is not recommended. You may compromise yourself nutritionally and/or physically, and crash dieting tends to result in more overeating afterward.