If a fight with your spouse or a long day the office has you running towards the cookie jar, taking a fifteen-minute time out to journal could help you resist the urge to eat based on your feelings. According to a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science, women who were asked to spend fifteen minutes writing about what they valued most in their life lost, on average, about 3.41 pounds (versus the control group who actually gained an average of 2.76 pounds) when they were weighed again one to four months later. Researchers believe that journaling about their values helped the women feel better about themselves, which may have helped them make better choices that led to weight loss.
If you know you are an emotional eater, journaling regularly can be an effective strategy for coping with feelings instead of trying to bury them with food. “If you turn to food to cope with emotions and stress, you’re not giving yourself an appropriate outlet to deal with and solve your problems,” says Batayneh. “Studies show that journaling has multiple benefits - it can reduce stress, improve immune system function, reduce the symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions, and help individuals solve problems, and it may eliminate the reason for emotional eating (be it boredom, stress, or anger) by helping you to focus on actively solving a problem.”
Your daily game plan: Next time the urge to snack hits you, spend fifteen minutes journaling about something that is important to you or about your feelings in reaction to a stressor. The result? You’ll easily lose one pound (or more) over the next 30 days.