Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating When we feel difficult emotions, we often look to a quick, easy, convenient, powerful solution to ease, escape, or numb the pain. Emotions such as loneliness, boredom, stress, anxiety, depression, etc., often lead to a desire for quick relief. As members of the church attempting to maintain good standing in the faith, options utilized by many outside the church are not options. Such addictive outlets include alcohol, illicit drug use, gambling, sexually acting out, etc. Therefore, a very common outlet for emotions amongst church members is emotional eating—a quick way to shift feelings that doesn’t typically involve excessive moral guilt.

Emotional eating occurs whenever we eat when we are not hungry, often as we are struggling with uncomfortable emotions. This eating is often binge eating, and commonly consists of high calorie/low nutrition foods like simple carbohydrates, sugary foods, foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, and/or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The problem with emotional eating is that is tends to violently shift mood, glucose, and energy levels, as well as add extra pounds, hurt esteem, and cause health issues. For more information about the health problems associated with obesity and having a high BMI (body mass index) over 30, see: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/index.html.

Controlling and Lessening Emotional Eating

So, if you find yourself struggling with emotional eating, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

*Learn how to eat healthy. This will keep your metabolism going and your mood and energy strong. This will keep energy and mood levels under control and greatly help reduce physical hunger. The rule of thumb is to eat 3 moderate, healthy meals and 3 healthy snacks spread out about every 2-3 hours throughout the day. How often you eat and what you eat will greatly moderate how much you eat. For more information about healthy, research-based eating like this, I recommend the book The New Abs Diet –or—The New Abs Diet for Women, both by David Zinczenko, main editor of Men’s Health magazine.

*Work on your social life. Talking and connecting with friends and/or finding someone to date acts as a great natural way to lessen negative emotions, especially loneliness. Human connection and closeness is not only a great protection against emotional eating and loneliness, but many other psychological and emotional ailments as well, such as depression, stress, and anxiety. A decent book on strengthening bonds and connections with others is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

*Get your mind right. Learn how to psychologically associate food and eating with refueling and replenishing your body only. Trouble follows when food is associated with everything else but refueling and nutrition, such as entertainment, self-soothing, and escape. A great tool to retrain your mind to change your associations with food and eating is hypnosis. I recommend the hypnosis audio recordings from Hypnosis Downloads, which you can check out at: https://www.hypnosisdownloads.com/weight-loss.

*Strengthen your spirituality. Finally, look to spiritual strength to cope as opposed to food. Prayer, as well as reading or listening to scriptures, church books, general conference talks, and church music all act as strengtheners and will give you support and outlets apart from eating. Most resources you may want for immediate spiritual support can be found freely at www.lds.org.

Final Thoughts

Emotional eating is a temptation for most people at least some of the time. Controlling emotional eating usually requires some work, strategy, and consistent effort. It probably won’t happen on its own. Controlling emotional eating is a choice, and skill, and a goal. Work to control the natural man/woman or it will control you. You can control your eating and make yourself as healthy as possible for yourself. Becoming healthier with food and eating will also give you one less challenge to concern yourself with, allowing you to better focus on eventual dating, relationships, and marriage as well--an even greater goal. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).

Dr. G

*To submit a question for a future Q & A column or to request a possible future article subject, contact me at drgilchrist@yahoo.com.

**Do you struggle with pornography or another addictive tendency? Do you struggle with eating issues or want to lose weight? Anxiety issues? Other issues, challenges, or problems? Consider my special custom hypnosis recording service for fellow LDS members only, available worldwide by online delivery. A powerful, effective, convenient tool for change. Learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds or email me questions at drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Completely private and confidential.

2018-10-29 Randy Gilchrist Psychological health, Health and fitness

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com).