Recognize & Stop Emotional Eating

Jillian shared her steps to recognizing and overcoming emotional eating.

  • When you think you're hungry, you need to stop yourself right off the bat as you're going for the fridge. Just learn to stop yourself and ask yourself in that moment, "Am I even hungry?"
  • Evaluate: Is your stomach growling? Do you feel weak? Are you tired? When was the last time you ate? Was it three or four hours ago? Ask yourself those questions. The first thing to do is write down, "Okay, I'm hungry." On a scale of 1 to 10, I want you to ask yourself, "How hungry am I?" Are you a 5, are you a 1, are you a 10 (10 being the hungriest)?
  • Now, next step, I want you to write down '- if, in fact, you're not hungry, and you've eaten an hour or two ago '- what's going on for you emotionally. Take a look '- explore yourself and your feelings. What's going on? "Well, you know what, I'm anxious, man." "We have layoffs at the office." "I'm going through a breakup." Identify the emotion and what's going on inside of you.
  • The next step is, now that you've recognized it, you need to face it in order to conquer it. So now you've got to look at this and ask yourself, "Can this issue be resolved in the now?" Do you have the ability to deal with it? Did you have a fight with your mom? Can you call her and rectify it? Yet sometimes life just sucks, man. Maybe, you know, your dog died. Who knows, sometimes things just suck.
  • If you're at that point where you can't resolve the issue, you need to find ways of nurturing yourself and pampering yourself that are not food related. Know yourself. Do you collect stuff? Do you like to go on eBay and thrift shop? What are your hobbies? Put together a family album. Write your memoirs. Do stuff that's incompatible with self-destruction and that will help. That's why a lot of the contestants on the ranch '-, when they were working out so hard and taking such good care of themselves '- often, I think, didn't eat enough because they begin to associate eating with being self-destructive.
  • At the end of the day, here's also what I would say: Sometimes, you know what, sometimes it just doesn't work. Make a healthier choice. Have air-popped popcorn, not Cheetos. Have sugar-free Popsicles for 25 calories instead of Ben and Jerry's. When all else fails, make a healthier choice.
  • Jillian's diet and fitness tips for beginners
  • Read an excerpt from Winning by Losing
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