The Best Weight Management Strategy: Overcoming Emotional Eating


This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but Attitude Reconstruction has the permanent solution to weight loss: honor your emotions.

For the psychological community, the opinion is apparently still out. According to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center of 1,300 licensed psychologists, 44% said that “understanding and managing the behaviors and emotions related to weight management” was important in order for a client to lose weight. 43% thought that emotional eating was responsible for weight gain.

However, it was a relief to read that 92% of the 306 psychologists offering weight loss treatment said that part of their program involved helping clients “address underlying emotional issues related to weight gain.”

I suppose these percentages have increased through the years, but that only 44% of the psychologists addressed emotions when confronted with a client with weight issues, means that 56% of the folks consulting mental health professionals aren’t getting effective information. I’m sure the percentage of people not receiving help is even higher than 56%, because “understanding and managing emotions” rarely means learning to express emotional energy in a physical, natural, and constructive way.

And of course, if physicians were surveyed rather than psychologists, I’d bet my bottom dollar that significantly less than 44% of them would say that they talk to their patients about the emotional component of their eating habits.

Eating Addictions from Unexpressed Sadness, Anger & Fear

According to Attitude Reconstruction, all of our addictions have the same root – unexpressed sadness, anger, and fear. It doesn’t matter if you turn to food, drugs, shopping, or television. You are escaping and avoiding what you are feeling and choosing to numb out instead to provide a bit of comfort.

Say you feel bored or overwhelmed or bad about yourself. You’ve had a hard day, at the office, with the kids, at school. Instead of dealing with the emotions, you find ice cream, doughnuts, potato chips, or fried chicken and rationalize why this moment is an exception to your good resolve.

If you understand emotions are nothing but energy (because the word emotion breaks down to E + motion, or energy in motion), and learn how to release your emotions in a healthy way by crying (sadness), stomping, pounding, or screaming (anger), and shivering (fear), the energy quickly dissipates, and calm and clarity are “magically” restored.

Details about how to physically, constructively, and effectively express your sadness, anger, and fear are in my book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

It sounds silly and oversimplified, but it really works if you do it. And it feels really good to let the energy out of your body. For one week, each and every time you have an urge to eat when you are not hungry, emote for literally two minutes and see what happens.

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