I read a really great quote by actress Magda Szubanski on the weekend. When interviewed regarding the lessons she has learnt to achieve her admirable 36kg weight loss, she said, "Chocolate is not your friend. Your friends are your friends. Chocolate is just fat and sugar".
Let me just say first of all that tucking into a Lindt chocolate bunny over Easter is totally fine, but emotional eating is a whole other kettle of fish. Emotional eating is about eating large quantities of food (usually junk food) in response to feelings such as boredom or loneliness, instead of actual hunger. It's when people eat to fill an emotional void as comfort rather than looking to see what the real problem is. This consequently results is weight gain.
I went to an eye opening seminar in Noosa last month where the naturopath spoke at great lengths about the emotional habits people create. This isn't just about chocolate, it can be alcohol, smoking, drugs or even shopping. All these things feed addictions to distract the person from what they're really feeling by giving them a little high. These substances increase the levels of dopamine in our brain, a neurotransmitter that gives us a feeling of reward, well-being and pleasure. However these effects are short lived and our levels drop lower than they previously were.
But there's hope. When you get the urge to grab some more chocolate out of the fridge, make another purchase on eBay or pour an extra glass of red of an evening, ask yourself what emotion you're feeling and actually feel it, instead of numbing it. Then go for a walk, or have a bath, or give your friend a call to create a new positive habit. When you don't have a large amount of something on a daily basis you begin to appreciate a freshly made latte or a row of quality 70% dark chocolate here and there.
What are you overindulging in?