Obesity has become increasingly prevalent over the past two decades, affecting men, women, children, and teens.Many researchers believe some degree of emotional overeating is to blame for obesity. Mindful eating is one way to help people improve their emotional health and avoid the damage caused by obesity.
Here are some strategies for overcoming emotional overeating and obesity.
Why Do People Overeat?
Negative emotions seem strongly linked to eating too much, eating too frequently, and eating junk food without even realizing you are doing it. Stress, anxiety, anger, and depression related to the problems in the family and job lead people to develop unhealthy dietary habits.
Sometimes, overeating is something of a fluke in the same way an out-of-character drunken episode can be.However, Chronic overeating can originate from unresolved conflicts, low self-esteem, feelings of failure, and more. People reach for the fridge and start eating their junk food favorites, often taking more than one portion and not even recalling consuming their snacks and meals.
What Is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is a proven way to reduce unhealthy snacking and overeating. Combined with a healthy diet (and sometimes weight loss medications), mindful eating can shift eating patterns to the nourishment of the body and true enjoyment and gratefulness of the food available to you at each meal.
People find when they eat mindfully, they crave fewer junk foods, become more aware of the good food they consume, and gradually eliminate large portions and frequent snacking.
Effective Mindful Eating
Strategies for mindful eating and improved emotional health include:
- Thinking about why you are eating before you actually eat (is it true hunger, cravings, stress, habit, or something else?)
- Assessing if you are truly hungry by postponing a snack or a meal for at least 15 to 30 minutes before you eat
- Avoiding processed foods that contain sugar rushes and subsequent fatigue and depression (the after-lunch crash)
- Eating more protein and whole grains, which truly satisfy the appetite
- Drinking white or green tea instead of food
- Staying well hydrated because sometimes hunger pangs are really thirst
- Enjoying the color, texture, and taste of every bite of food
- Putting your utensils down on your plate as you chew (don’t shovel your food into your mouth)
- Be thankful that you have food to eat
Obesity Treatment in Winter Springs and Oviedo, FL
At the Diabetes & Weight Loss Center, we assist our valuable patients in identifying the reasons for their overeating patterns and show them ways to eat mindfully, i.e., to attend to every meal they eat carefully. Our nurse practitioner, Adriel Perez,develops individualized health programs to help people set goals for improving their wellness, losing weight, making nutritious food choices, and eating mindfully to lower negative emotions associated with overeating.