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Is Your Relationship with Food Causing Weight Gain?

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Success with your fat loss and weight loss program will depend heavily on your compliance with your meal plan. It doesn’t do you much good to burn 600 calories during a workout and eat four snickers bars afterward. That would ruin a great workout. That example is a little exaggerated but I hope you get the point. It matters what and how much you eat.

It sounds strange to talk about a relationship with objects. There are many situations in life that trigger emotional eating. Some examples are depression, stress, transitions, confrontations, promotions, births, deaths, successes, failures, marriages and divorces. Its easy to use something that tastes good to help us feel better (even if for a short time). And, this could be a habit that starts early in life.

Research on Emotional Eating

There’s ample research which has studied how emotional eating is triggered by poor coping skills. In one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2008, participants who said they were most likely to eat in response to their emotions (and least confident about being able to control their eating) were over 13 times more likely to be overweight or obese than those participants who reported the least emotional eating.

In the study, the participants’ perceptions of their ability to cope with emotions and stress were strongly linked to excess weight. The inadequate coping skills included lack of strategies to change stressful situations and manage emotions.

In my experience with clients, I have seen these two situations:

1. The client has had a lifelong problem with emotional eating. In one instance, a parent would unwittingly “help” the child feel better by giving her food. It appears that honest conversations about the situations is what was really needed. This habit followed her into adulthood and she still struggles with situational comfort eating.

2. I have seen several situations with men and women where significant weight gain followed painful divorces.

Poor Meal Planning and Eating Patterns Contribute to Emotional Eating

According to Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc.

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EmpowHER Guest

When you are eating to fill a void that isn't related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you're open to options.
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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