Your predominant emotion is the #1 predictor of weight loss success.
If you allow frustration, anger, irritation to be your predominant mood you’ll become more of those emotions.
Feeling crappy about yourself sucks and sometimes it’s hard to get out of that loop…
…I get it BUT it’s not serving you.
You’ll tend to want to drink more, indulge more in “healthy treats” and eat junk foods to soothe your emotions when you’re upset.
When you’re less emotionally stable you will talk yourself into cheating on your diet more often than you’d like.
Then regret your decisions and feel even worse afterwards.
I repeated this cycle over and over again for years.
Till I got really curious about the connection between my emotions and habits.
For all of you that want to see what I did right now…you can check out the questions that I asked myself in the infographic at the end of this email.
If you’re open to getting the back ground details…read on!
It’s why I refused to work on weight loss with my clients.
My emotions weren’t in check.
Frazzled and overwhelmed was what I created for myself as a doctor in the office day by day.
When you’re “crazy busy” and in a constant state of fight or flight you are in survival mode.
Survival mode = eat what you can get your hands or what you’re craving in the moment.
For me it was smoothies during the day, because I didn’t take the time to sit down and chew a meal (yes, crazy I know!).
And a huge dinner with multiple servings when I got home late from work because I was “starving”!
No control, no rationalizing.
That comes afterwards when you beat yourself up for days for overeating or having that treat you’ve been denying yourself.
At one point my self talk and emotional connection around food was so messed up I was convinced that I had a binge eating disorder and went to therapy for it.
Turns out it was my emotions, my fight or flight cortisol response driving the inability to accept that I ate too much and indulged way too often for my small frame.
Every weight loss program I ever attempted never taught me to connect my brain to my body.
I didn’t know what hungry felt like for years.
Stuffed to the gills full, yes, I mastered that and kept looking for that feeling.
Satisfaction from eating just enough?
Never could figure that one out.
Why do you struggle so much with your weight as you get older?
You never learned healthy emotional cues around food.
Food is often given as rewards and love.
When you don’t have enough of this in your life you present yourself with little “rewards & love”.
Need to self soothe?
Have some more cookies.
Feel crappy about yourself or something not so great happened during the day?
Grab some potato chips.
Tomorrow is another day, you can always restrict those foods tomorrow, or Monday.
Monday is always a good day to start a diet…
…considering it’s the most stressful day of the week, who programmed me to think this?
The things that run through your head when it comes to food!
How do you put your emotions in check around food?
You get extremely curious about your emotions and patterns that lead up to eating.
Journal on your eating patterns and emotions for a week.
- What times of day are you triggered to want to eat?
- What types of foods do you crave?
- Do you sit down to eat or are you eating on the go?
- Do you feel hungry each time you eat?
- What does your belly feel like 1/2 way through a typical meal portion for you?
- What does the belly feel like after you’ve cleaned your plate?
- Do you crave a dessert after a typical meal?
- Do you snack and what triggers you to want to snack?
- How long is it between your meals?
- What happens when you get frustrated, angry, stressed, emotional?What do you grab?
- Do you ever feel like flavors, textures and meals do not satisfy you and you keep looking for more food to get that satisfied feeling?
- Do you feel like you want to keep eating when you feel uncomfortable?
- Do you beat yourself up for eating certain foods?
The more you know about your emotional connections to food the more you can plan around emotional upsets.
You can choose not to eat when you are stressed and take a gentle walk instead.
Yes, this is easier said than done but when practiced it can be mastered.
Same goes for learning your full and hungry signals through practice.
Of course discovering things about yourself will take time to master.
But when mastered, this leads to sustainable weight loss.
How do you put your emotions on a diet?
You choose to live ahead them, by knowing what certain emotions will trigger in your eating patterns.
- Feel overwhelmed, stressed out? Assess what you can do to reduce your work load, say no more often.
- Crazy busy? Say no more often, commit to things that move you toward what you want.
- Confused? What to eat or how to plan for trips, dinners out, time with friends? Stop following gurus & experiment with what healthy foods really feel good to you.
- Anger, agitation or frustration? These are signs you need a break in the day – take a gentle walk or stretch to get away from what’s go you upset.
- Depressed, down, let down? Assess what got you there and how you can change, avoid, re-imagine what provoked it.
- Happy, celebratory? Great – what can you do to celebrate that doesn’t involve food or drinks?
- Bored? What can you do to get out of the house and away from food to distract you?
All of these emotions are what throw you off of eating healthy and getting to health goals.
Emotions are just feelings, they are not truth or fact.
You can change them just as fast as they came up.
Refusing to do overwhelm and scheduling your days to not be stressful is huge.
Planning for going out with friends and maintaining your commitment to your health is crucial.
Decide if you will indulge and be ok with it or if it’s a trigger and best to plan ahead.
If you identify as an “all or nothing person”, this is a statement that you’ve tagged yourself with and you can choose to break this.
Just because you had one treat doesn’t mean you have to blow the entire day.
Emotions come and go, your game plan to keep them in check can be just as flexible.
Being able to roll with your emotions and put them in check as fast as possible is the secret here.
You can’t stop emotions or thoughts but you can choose not to be affected by them and change them quickly if they are negative.
It takes time to unwire your brain from being triggered by emotions as they come and go.
Be patient with yourself and practice taking time to switch them to keep yourself on track with your food.
If you’re over dieting and want to reconnect your brain and body when it comes to food, I can help.
Want to reach your healthy weight and stay there for life?
It will take time.
I’ve gone through the process and know what it takes to walk you through it too.
If you know someone that could benefit from this email, forward it to them.
Here’s to putting your emotions in check,
PS: If you’re open to exploring your health further with me, click HERE to schedule a call.