Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wednesday~ Weight Loss

What are your situational cues?

Situational cues are also a big culprit when it comes to overeating. What kinds of situations do you encounter regularly that cause you to overeat? Some situational cues we have all been guilty of are: “It’s 12:00, time for lunch” or “It’s 6:00, time for dinner”. Situational cues also include the stimulation of our thoughts and senses as we pass Krispy Kreme or McDonalds. Thoughts, images, and smells trigger desires that are tough to pass up, especially when the tastiest of foods are so cheap and easily accessible. When thinking about situational cues, consider the following:

Do I eat because it’s mealtime or because I’m hungry?

Do I ignore my body when it’s really hungry because I’m too busy and then overeat later?

Do I indulge in foods because they’re convenient, smell good, or taste good rather than first considering my hunger level or health?

Are there emotional reasons you overeat?

The emotional cues that cause us to overeat are probably the most difficult to identify and overcome. A big reason for this is that most of us are too busy to tune into how we feel and are often in a state of “numbness”. Most people say, “I don’t eat because I’m sad or lonely. I just eat because I like to eat”. If you have trouble identifying emotional cues (e.g. stress, boredom, sadness) that lead to overeating, you will need to learn to slow down long enough to get in touch with what’s in your head. Your feelings are in there somewhere, though they may have become cobweb-laden in the busy-ness of life. If you often find yourself wanting to eat more even after a big meal, you might consider journaling out whatever comes to your head instead. You may be surprised what surfaces over time. The mere act of identifying a food craving, and allowing it to pass without indulging, is a huge step forward. Keeping a food diary and finding passions are very effective methods for overcoming emotional overeating, and you’ll get the scoop on these later.

By Kathleen Goodwin, RD

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