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Managing Food Addiction & Emotional Eating

Posted Nov 15 2011 8:01pm

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my last post regarding food addiction . I read each and every comment carefully and I really appreciated the wise advice and support from each of you. I mentioned to one reader that the feeling of community is the reason I blog; it’s like having a virtual self-help group!

The overall advice that I received and made the most difference in my thinking about food addiction and emotional eating was that I should learn from the experience and not beat myself up about it. The negativity and guilt is not helpful; thinking about how I will behave differently in the future is more constructive.

One of the most interesting pieces of information on this topic came from my friend Rebecca who is also a nutrition graduate student. She had heard about a researcher at UCSF who developed a program called Emotional Brain Training. If you want to see a YouTube video on it, click here . From what I can gather, the bottom line of this approach in dealing with compulsive eating is that one should recognize his or her emotional state before giving into a drive to overeat. By dealing with the emotion or the cause, then that addresses the unhealthy behavior. The researcher also points out that if you only treat the unhealthy behavior and not the cause, then there is the chance that one may simply move onto another unhealthy behavior (over-restricting food intake is a common one).

This approach makes so much sense to me and, in thinking about the last situation where I overate, I realized that it probably came out of my nervousness in being at a party. I’m by nature an introvert so being around more than a few other people and especially people I don’t know well always makes me uncomfortable. Lesson learned!

Remember I mentioned I was going to San Francisco last week for a meeting? It was a great trip, even though it rained and my flight home was delayed by 5 hours (grrrrr). I even went on an early morning run with a group from my hotel. We ran from Union Square to the Embarcadero and the Bay was so pretty in the early morning light:

Then the rain started:

I spent a lot of time at the Ferry Building:

One of my meals was a salad from Hodo Soy Beanery , it had brown rice noodles with tofu and vegetables and a very spicy dressing. I had their soy chocolate pudding for dessert:

On my way out to the airport, I grabbed this for a snack:

It was not the most delicious thing I’ve ever had, but it was certainly a healthy option. Speaking of healthy, can you believe it’s been a year since I started eating Dr. Fuhrman-style ? To say that following Dr. Fuhrman’s plan has changed my health and my life would not be overstating the benefits of this way of eating. If you are interested in how his plan can affect your health, then now is the time. Starting Monday, November 21st, Dr. Fuhrman is again doing his 6-Week Holiday Challenge . I’m IN and one of my goals is to finally reach his prescribed weight for ideal health (I’m about 10 pounds away). I find maintaining my weight to be fairly easy, but losing it is no fun, but I know I’ll feel motivated by others doing the challenge.

Do you have weight to lose and what’s holding you back from reaching your goals? I say let’s put these last few months of 2011 to work and start out 2012 ahead of the game!

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