emotional eating, over eating, snacking, leahgaspar.com

Are you a snacker?

Are you eating because your body actually needs food?  You might think that sounds silly, but sometimes we snack for other reasons too and don’t even realize it. 

Could it be emotional eating?  Stay with me, emotional eating doesn’t always have to be so dramatic like we’ve seen on tv. 

Did your mind just flash to one of those after school specials we used to watch?

There’s a girl on the ground with piles of torn bags and boxes of food all around her.  She’s crying shoving mass amounts of cookies into her mouth in a frantic speed. 

Well ok, yes, that is emotional eating but that’s NOT the only description. 

Emotional eating is actually eating for any reason other than hunger. 

This is really important and I’m talking about this with you today NOT to make you think you have something wrong with you. 

A big reason why many people struggle with their weight

Emotional eating is a huge reason why many people have extra weight on their bodies. 

Every time I say emotional are you might be thinking sadness, crying or a situation that seems extremely negative? 

I used to think that too, but that is NOT the case. 

Emotional eating is also when you’re sitting at your desk working and “need to get a snack”  or you’re searching for some chocolate to “take the edge off”

It’s also when the kids come home from school and there’s papers everywhere, the dog is barking, you need to cook dinner and cookies seem like a great idea. 

At 3pm when you have a slump and decided to get a cafe mocha something or others topped with whipped cream and caramel. 

It’s even walking into the break room and it’s free donut day! We think Woooot!

Emotional eating is when we use food for entertainment, celebration, for a break and even to unwind at night. 

Anytime we eat other than to give our body fuel it needs, can lead to excess fat storage.  Let’s call it what it is, fat on our body and weight gain. 

Our brain loves some hit the spot food to give us some zone out time.  

When we eat our body actually releases “feel good” hormones.  Eating is pleasurable, but if we have too much fat on our body, we need to start looking at why.

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We use food to celebrate too! 

Happy Birthday, pass the cake…. (ever really hungry when we are diving into that cake?)  

Catching up with friends, let’s share some apps and drinks.

Congratulations, pass that huge platter of food my way. 

Movie time, where’s my popcorn, soda and candy?

I’m so very sorry,  here have food to make it better.  Great day, I’m treating myself to ice cream and wine.

We live in a society where we use food for celebrations, consoling each other, rewards.

I'm NOT saying you can't have treats

Ok, stay with me, take a breath,  I’m NOT saying you can’t ever have these non fuel foods just because.  

You CERTAINLY CAN!

Have a fun occasional indulgence is perfectly fine, in fact I highly suggest to my clients do this each week. 

It’s not about fearing food.  

This is a huge reason DIET’S DON’T WORK

When we pick a diet and change everything you’re doing, without understanding why you’re doing it, it sets us up to fail.

Here's what you CAN do

Start looking and learning.

This is always skipped when we pick a diet, meal plan or program.

Understanding why you have the results you have now is #1 most important.

  • FIRST look in to see what you are doing now.  Really understand where the obstacles are for you now.
  • NEXT think about where you want to be. What results do you want that you don’t have now?
  • THEN it’s making a plan with doable actions you can keep long term.  That’s how you lose the weight and also KEEP IT OFF.

Look into to see if you’re eating when you’re not hungry.

Identify the times where we are grabbing the food and not even thinking about why.

The more you do something, the more the brain will commit it to automatic memory.  That’s a habit. 

Having a snack just because it’s snack time? 

Take this quiz to see if you’re emotional eating

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Start paying attention to these and learn.

Do you need it? What will happen if you don’t snack?

Packing the kids lunch and popping crackers into your mouth? Did you even notice it?

How about making dinner?  How much tasting are you doing?

Walking by the candy dish at work? Did you grab 1 or 2 (3 or more?)

At night, are you always sitting down with a snack?  Find yourself standing in front of the fridge looking for “something”

Start noticing these.   That’s the first step. By finding and looking into the times you’re eating just to eat you can begin to question why. 

Don’t skip this part.  So many women try diets to lose weight, but if you have a habit that is ingrained into your brain,  dieting won’t fix the habit.  

This is where I start with my clients.  You have to find, understand and correct a problem to fix it. 

Do you emotionally eat? Take this quiz and find out