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Emotional eating - can it be beaten?

Discussion in 'Slimming World' started by BubblyLady4, 13 January 2014 Social URL.

  1. BubblyLady4

    BubblyLady4 Full Member

    Hi all, i am struggling so much :( Since April last year i have lost just over the 2 stone mark - it's been quite slow but feel much better for it. I have a lot more to lose and really want to ramp it up this year but i am really struggling to get my head back on it after Christmas.

    However, this is mostly down to emotional eating. I really did have it under control - but recent weeks i have let my emotions rule my eating and it's been bad. I was sad and down so i went and got a McDonalds - which made me feel really crap - then in turn made me eat more.

    Need to get out of this spiral - which i thought i had - but is it something you ever break or is it just something you manage for life?

    Any ideas/words of wisdom?!

    Thanks xXx
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  3. abbey18

    abbey18 Member

    I'm terrible for this ! I get in a bad mood and all I want to do is eat crap !!
    Recently I've done it so when I'm I'm a bad mood and I just fancy something nice Ill have like a Cadbury fudge hot chocolate with spray cream on top (4syns) and some morning coffe biscuits (1 syn each ) so even though I'm having something nice in my bad mood I'm not completely ruining my eating.
    I'm in the process of trying to find nice things that I can enjoy when I'm grumpy! That Dosnt ruin it altogether be side this is one thing that I'm bad for doing
  4. abisaurus

    abisaurus Silver Member

    I struggle with this too.

    I keep anything in the house in a tin with a picture of me before SW on it. Then I can think is it really worth it? If I want something chocolatey to cheer me up I opt for a hot chocolate for 2 syns and make it in a big sports direct mug, that way it lasts for ages (rather than the few seconds it takes to eat a chocolate bar with 5 times the syns)

    When it comes to eating meals I try to go for SW alternatives. I want a burger Ill make my own or do the big mac in a bowl. Cheesey SW chips is another.

    Do you go to groups? Maybe sitting in on the new member talk again would give you a boost and help you back on track.
  5. lickthelid

    lickthelid Lives here....

    I personally believe, and have said before that this is like any other "addiction" and its part of our character to overeat. In the same way that alcoholics are we are always in recovery and we learn to manage our behaviours. But in the same way just a small one might hurt and throw us off track. I was scared that Christmas may throw me off and although it didn't it kind of did too because my body doesn't know what tondo with itself and has totally stalled and now my mindset is in danger of going F-it and I know that down that route sabotage lies so I am trying so hard.

    Don't be too hard on yourself (easy for me to say, I'm so MEAN to myself) and maybe take the time to read a copy of the mag or have a look at the success pics on here. 2 stone lighter is a massive achievement and with the right attitude you could double that this year. :)
  6. Anti222

    Anti222 Full Member

    I struggle with emotional eating all the time, this weekend was a prime example where I got bored and just ate when I didn't need to. Luckily everything in the house is SW friendly so I didn't do too much damage but I still went over my daily syns. I've started making a point of keeping under my syns by about 5 each day during the week as I know that weekends are usually the times I'll mess up so at least I can stay in my weekly syns. Is that something you could try?

    Also, a few years back I gave Paul McKennas weight loss technique a whirl but I didn't give enough of a chance and I failed on that. However, one of the things I remember from it is that positive reinforcement is good at battling emotional hunger. When you feel like eating when you're sad and down, have a think about 3 things you like about yourself. It could be how good you feel after losing the weight you've lost already, how much you like a certain part of your body or compliments you've received from other people that make you feel really good. That could help to turn your mood around and motivate you enough to get rid of those feelings of hunger. Maybe write some things down so you can look at them when you're wanting to eat.
  7. Try this - make a list of things that you really like to do. These must be things that do not involve food or drink in any way.

    Write out the list and pin it up somewhere. Then, when you feel in the need of something to give you a boost, you have a whole list of things to choose from. What is on the list is up to you - a favourite walk, television programme, book, music, talk to a friend - it really doesn't matter what it is.
  8. Cherry-Blossom

    Cherry-Blossom I CAN do this

    I don't know if this will help but it's something I wrote a few years ago on one of my previous dieting attempts.

    I think when we're overweight we find it really hard to say no to food that is offered to us. We think that by saying no, leaving something on our plates, or giving food back, we will insult people. The truth is people will be proud of you if you can say no.

    Look at those people that we're all jealous of because they're 'naturally skinny'. The only difference with them is that they can say no! No thank you I don't want that chocolate bar. Thank you but I'll leave the rest of that as I'm full now.

    By even considering giving back the chocolate bar your mind is going into 'slim' mode which is it's natural setting. It's only societies pressure's that has taken us out of this. I mean how many people on here were told they couldn't leave the table until their plate was empty? It's something that has been so ingrained into us it's hard to stop.

    The problem is that when the portions get bigger, and we still can't say no, we get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. It's something that is really hard to stop though.

    You can almost think of that inability to stop as an addiction to saying yes. Yes I will have that cake, that chocolate bar, that dessert. You can be told what harm your addiction is doing to you but to start with you just can't see it. That addiction to 'yes' is ruling your life. That addiction to yes could give you diabetes, a heart attack, a stroke. That addiction to yes could quite literally kill you. But yes is everything.

    How often do you sit there and all you can think about is that next yes? Yes to McDonalds for lunch. Yes to that bar of chocolate from the shop. Yes, yes, yes!

    Now compare that to your next no. No I don't want to finish that McDonalds. No I don't want that chocolate bar from the shops. No is like the nicotine patch to your yes. And you don't really want that nicotine patch because yes just makes you so happy. For a short time.

    The problem is when you look back and realise you have a problem. The thing is you don't want to admit that yes is that problem so you'll deny the problem. Put it to the back of your mind and pretend you're happy, whilst all along it's niggling at you.

    There is a different thing for each of us that eventually make's us face up to our addiction. Make's us stand up and take notice. For some it will be their kids, watching them grow up but being unable to go out there and play with them like you want to. For some it's seeing the final results of a yes addiction, whether in a friend, family member, or themselves. For some it will just be that that niggling has gotten so insistent it can no longer be ignored. It's different for all of us.

    Now here the problem lies. Yes is an addiction, but we can't give it up. Not entirely. Other addictions, smoking, drugs and the like, can all be stopped completely. But we will have to eat for the rest of our lives. No getting away from it. So now we face the hardest task ever. Facing that addiction, and beating it.

    Again different people will take different approaches to this. Some can fight addiction while still eating normal foods, whilst some will take the food replacement option. Which ever option is taken though you have to work on that addiction, because if you don't, it will just bite you in the ass. The weight loss programs we embark upon when fighting this addiction often only provide half the battle plan. They will tell us what to eat and when. They will tell us where we can say that beloved yes. But we have to have the strength and willing in ourselves to say that other word. No. We have to say no to the foods that have got us where we are. And we have to remember that when is diet is done we need to keep saying no. No, no, no.

    When fighting our addiction of yes we need to look at those people who aren't addicted. The skinny people. We need to look at how they think about food and how they use their yes's and no's. One thing that is often noticed is that no is used a lot. They don't want to finish their meal as they're full so they say no. They aren't hungry so they say no to that chocolate bar. Not because they are thinking about it but because they have formed a habit where no is just part of life. If they aren't hungry it's a no.

    For us to reach our goal, and more importantly, stay there, we need to work on that no. Just say it now. NO! At the end of the day, if we can't learn to say no we can't learn to live. No is the antidote to the venom of yes. Without that antidote we will always have yes ruling our lives.

    So it's out with constant yes, and in with a good balance of no. Every one can do it. It's not going to be easy but one day, we will get there.
    Mini likes this.
  9. liquoricet

    liquoricet Silver Member

    If you're interested in emotional eating can I recommend beyond chocolate by Sophie and Audrey Boss and beyond temptation by the same pair?

    It advocates uncovering the reasons/feelings that cause overeating. The way to do this is to accept the feeling and realise it'll pass. You can gradually learn to sit with the feeling with a timer. Sit for 30 secs, notice what you're feeling and then see if you still want to eat.

    There's a lot more to it and the books have changed my life. Google intuitive eating and you'll see much more. The bad news is none of these plans are keen on diets (even SW!). I was struggling to lose weight with BC so I'm doing sw for a while to try to get to being overweight (not obese).
  10. Gwella

    Gwella Silver Member

    I want to give this or the Beck Diet Solution a go. I have to confess I always hoped that Image Therapy would go into the emotional side of things a bit more and be more like actual therapy! I have read Paul McKenna and he too is anti-diet. It worked for me for a little bit but actually made me think about food all the time and I got stressed about it. I don't actually think his approach is feasible 24/7. Also these books that say not to diet at all I think underestimate the damage we may have done to our bodies, our cravings/addictions, our metabolisms... And the power of the advertising industry which plugs into all those during our busy lives when we don't always have the mental resources to resist!
  11. liquoricet

    liquoricet Silver Member

    I think they'd be a great way of maintaining weight but I reluctantly agree Gwella!

    However, I strongly believe you need to be able to accept your body (maybe not quite love) in order to be able to make choices about food from a place it's not a punishment. When I first learnt about BC I felt very disconnected from my body and emotions.

    This has slowly changed but it's very hard work.
  12. Mrs CC

    Mrs CC Silver Member

    Just wanted to post in here because emotional over eating is something I am currently dealing with. You have to deal with the emotional reasons for why you over eat, as others have said already. I think what Cherry Blossom said is brilliant, it's having the confidence and self esteem to be able to say no.

    I'm currently going through CBT at the moment and from that I'm coming to see my problems stem from low self esteem and low self confidence brought on by issues in my childhood (I hate saying all this, it sounds so woe is me!). I've used food to make myself 'bigger' so people would notice me when I felt invisible, I've used food as comfort because I've felt unloved, I've gorged on food because I was brought up in a house where sometimes it was scarce.

    I'm gradually challenging the negative perception of myself, and telling myself that I am an important, worthy person who deserves to be loved. I deserve to put myself first, to give my body the best and healthiest food, to make time to exercise and relax and to say no to things that don't help me. It's just a matter of telling yoursel that all the time!
  13. FionaMcd

    FionaMcd Gold Member

    I've been suffering with post natal depression and I've comfort eaten like there's no tomorrow :( x
  14. slimminghippo

    slimminghippo Member

    Hi, I suffer really badly with this. A lot of people confuse feeling down and having a chocolate bar with emotional eating.

    The only way I can currently control my emotions is by getting a diagnosis for anxiety and I'm now receiving treatment.

    It's hard but I have to literally have nothing bad in the house and I don't carry money with me so I can't pop into a shop.

    I have 2 st 12 to lose so I have resorted to sticking a picture from 2 years ago when I was a pound off target and then a dress I want to wear in a few months. Could you do the same and have a treat as a reward when you reach your next award and have a visual reminder each day?

  15. Browsie

    Browsie Silver Member

    This is something that I really struggle with as well. I would recommend going to the LIbary and getting a CBT self help book for emotional eating. It really makes you look at the reason why you are over eating and that your not alone. It is just like being an alcoholic but with food you can't give it up completely, we have to eat! Try some of the suggestions on here and be kind to yourself if you have a bad day / meal. Draw a line and carry on. Good luck. x
  16. BubblyLady4

    BubblyLady4 Full Member

    Hi all, thank you to each and every one of you for responding and sharing your wisdom :) It's all helped a lot.

    I am currently having CBT for anxiety so i might mention this and see if they can help with this too....

    Good luck to you all that's struggling.....we can all do it together xXx

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