Jane a 53 year-old lady has struggled most of her adult life to lose weight. She was 50 pounds over her ideal body weight and her blood sugar was in the pre-diabetic range. She had seen her mother suffer from complications of diabetes and did not want to suffer the same fate. She was very determined to finally lose weight and keep it off.
She started eating healthy and to exercise. She planned her meals and kept a journal. After 4 weeks, she had lost twelve pounds and felt great. I congratulated her and re-enforced the need to continue what she has started.
She came back 4 weeks later and had regained ten pounds.
What happened I asked? She said that she had been under a lot of stress. Her adult son moved back home. She was not particularly happy about this and did not feel supported by her husband. As a result, she has been reaching for her comfort foods.
Typical. Most people resolve to lose weight and do well for a few weeks. Then life happens. Something goes wrong with either work, or home or friends. Hello chocolate and candies. They use food to soothe the stressful emotion.
Emotional eating is a big reason most people fail their diet. Comfort foods are usually high in sugar, fat and salt. The comfort they provide is fleeting and is replaced by a feeling of guilt and self-loathing and more comfort eating. Soon a vicious cycle is created and you can kiss your weight loss goals good-bye.
Modern life is filled with stress. From money, health, work pressures, kids, relationships to clutter, stress is pervasive. Yet the key to mastering stress is relatively universal. It is the understanding that it is never what happens that determines the degree of stress we feel. It is our perception of what happened. The good news is that we can choose what meaning to give any event – big or small.
The COMFORT Formula™ is an easy to remember 7-step process, that with practice will help you control stress and end emotional eating. COMFORT is an acronym for:
Control your environment
Own your emotions
Food – eat smart
Others- your support network
Resolve and solve the problems with creative problem solving skills
Toughen up. Enrich your life through self-improvement and grow from every challenge
These are skills that can be learned and is the subject of our upcoming day-long workshop on how to end emotional eating. For more details visit kudosweightloss.com or call 315-251-2244.
Ife Ojugbeli, MD, MBA.
Author of The FIX Diet.