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What's the best way to overcome emotional eating?

(23 Posts)
tripletipple Tue 29-Jan-13 14:00:03

I know I need to overcome my emotional attachment to food but what is the best way to do that?

I know all about calories and eating less and different types of diet but struggle to do it as I just want to eat more. It has nothing to do with hunger. When I attempt eating along the lines of Paul McKenna I realise that it only takes a relatively small plateful of food to satisfy my hunger, and contrary to what I believed I don't really have a very sweet tooth.

But then I just eat and eat anyway.

Has anyone had any success overcoming emotional eating? If so, how?

HumphreyCobbler Tue 29-Jan-13 14:11:49

low carbing sorted me out

I realise that it was less emotional eating than addiction to sugar. I thought it was emotional eating at the time though.

tripletipple Tue 29-Jan-13 14:14:12

Hmmm. I don't just overeat sugary foods but I do like carbs in general.

Erebus Tue 29-Jan-13 14:21:07

triple, when you say you just 'eat and eat', what do you actually do? Do you just have that small, satisfying food quantity in front of you which you then eat all of, or do you have a larger serve and you recognise your 'full' signal but then disregard it and carry on eating? Til the plate's empty?

Why do you think it's emotional as such? What are your triggers?

Sorry for all the questions but if you detail what you think is happening, we can maybe try and help you unravel why you eat as you do.

FWIW I still personally believe PMC is the way to go. It's 'quiet', unobtrusive, 'social' enough and providing your 'normal' diet isn't wildly 'out there', doesn't require having to totally change everything about your food intake, which removing a whole food group entails, of fasting etc, or weight-loss clubs that require the buying of special foods etc.

I know they work for many and I wish everyone luck, but to me, a mind-re-education is the only way to go!

steppemum Tue 29-Jan-13 14:29:16

what is PMC?

tripletipple Tue 29-Jan-13 14:32:05

erebus yes mind re-education is what I need and I do like Paul McKenna, but to answer your questions I either start off with small plate, eat it then have some more, or start off with large plate and scoff the lot ignoring full signals. I find the full signal so terribly disappointing because I just want to keep eating!

I don't know why I classify it as emotional really, except that I know it isn't hunger driven, so what is it then, just habit?

Worst, worst, worst thing is when I've had a couple of glasses of wine I then empty the contents of the fridge and cupboards in to my stomach. Of course best thing would be to give up the wine, but I find that hard too

Erebus Tue 29-Jan-13 14:34:10

PaulMcKenna whose 'original' work was 'I can make you thin' (book + CD). He's now done a 'virtual gastric band' thing which I'm less easy with (a few threads on this topic about it). I do sort of think that his original idea which is to try and reprogramme your mind to eat like a thin person is more 'valid' than a psychological 'trick' to make you feel you'll throw up if you gorge because of your 'gastric band'.

But again, if it works and the weight loss is sustainable, why not?!

tripletipple Tue 29-Jan-13 14:45:26

Ah erebus! Thought I recognised you from somewhere. I was going to post on your thread the other day as I am in a similar position to you. I am a couple of pounds lighter (than you were at the start), 1" shorter, one year older and drink merlot instead of pinot!

Erebus Tue 29-Jan-13 14:57:53

Oh, the wine, the wine grin. Know exactly what you mean, there! Maybe try buying the small bottles so you have that thing that 'the bottle is now empty', where you have to make a decision to open a second? Or get 5.5% alcohol wine? Just suggestions, as I drink full fat wine, just trying to be wine-free 3 or so days a week, having just one 175ml glass on 2 or so evenings, and then maybe 'overdoing it' on the 7th! (I believe in 80/20 per week as in 80% observant, 20% blowing it! A bit!). But deal with one 'vice' at a time. Cutting down wine and food simultaneously would be too hard for me!

But as for the eating-Hmm. Is there someone you trust eating with you (ie will help you not use your weight or diet as a 'weapon' against you, however unwittingly)? Someone who can step in when you say 'I think I'm full now' who can quietly take your plate away- make that 'break' for you?

Maybe you should only serve yourself what you know is likely to 'satisfy' you, maybe on a smaller plate? Once served, if there's any left, box it up to freeze immediately before you eat your serving? So it's not just sitting there on the kitchen bench! Take it away from your eyeline.

Could you put small pictures or typed phrase as reminders of what your goals are on the fridge door, the biscuit tin? Even placed discretely beside your plate at mealtimes? They might just be enough to make you go 'Hang on'!

Remove temptation from the house at this early stage; no cakes, biscuits, chocolate. If it ain't there, you can't eat it!

I keep Ryvita handy for 'those moments' Whilst I'm not supposed to be 'calorie controlling' my diet, 42 cals for a rather nice cracker's OK by me!

I know what you mean about the 'full' feeling being disappointing. I was literally half way through a delicious roast at mum's the other day and was aware I was getting rather close to being full- but couldn't decide whether to eat the veg or chicken to get me there! I decided one more mouthful of each, then took my plate into the kitchen. I thought to myself 'A thin person would just stop at that, and as I want to be a thin person, I shall make myself do that til I am that thin person and the ability to walk away from 'enough' food, once satisfied, comes naturally'. Doesn't always work but I believe it does get easier with time and repetition.

It sounds very much like habit to me (tho I'm no expert) as you don't appear to be attaching any thought process to it (like 'oh, I may be hungry later, better eat up now'/ 'I must never leave any food on my plate'). Maybe you feel 'anger' at having to deprive yourself of something you love? That it 'isn't fair'? I recognise that in myself! But I try and replace that with the thought that I'm doing myself a favour, not putting in more fuel than I need.

I hasten I don't speak from any high-ground. I am quite 'new' to deciding to lose some weight, and have lost a mere half stone in 3 weeks. I am aiming for a 2 stone loss and am doing it via PMc, soem calorie 'awareness' and 3 x 30mins fast walking on an inclined treadmill!

Erebus Tue 29-Jan-13 15:00:35

over here! Join us!

Italiangreyhound Tue 05-Feb-13 23:32:12

tripletipple How are you doing on the emotional eating front? Hope it is getting better.

I had some amazing prayer ministry which really helped me to overcome my problem eating. I had an overeating problem for over 20 years. This means I do still have plenty of weight to lose but I don't have the impulsive/compulsive problems with food that I used to have.

GoldenGreen Wed 06-Feb-13 16:45:16

I can highly recommend a book called Brain over Binge by Katheyn Hansen which really resonated with me. She had bulimia and had loads of therapy to discover the emotional triggers behind it before basically realising that it was an addictive habit rather than an attempt to satisfy an emotional need. I think Gillian Riley's Eating Less is good too but Brain over Binge is the one that has made most sense to me. I hope you find something that helps x

plecofjustice Wed 06-Feb-13 18:38:22

I'd recommend the 5:2 actually. I'm a comfort eater, I "enjoy" (wrong word, but I don't know how to describe it) the guilt that comes from being so full of food I feel sick. I eat to feel good. I've found that the 5:2 takes the guilt away, it's only one day of not eating, and I can make myself feel better by thinking that I can binge tomorrow. In reality, I don't want to binge tomorrow, because I know I don't need to. It's broken the link between food and happy for me!

tripletipple Wed 06-Feb-13 21:41:07

Ooh! Replies!! Thank you, I thought this thread had died.

Italian Prayer ministry? Tell me more smile

Golden will check those books out

pleco interesting, I did watch the tv programme but didn't fancy the regime at all. Never ever considered it as an answer to my problems. Glad you find it helpful

tripletipple Wed 06-Feb-13 22:05:31

ok, have just purchased Gillian Riley's Eating Less on Amazon.
Kathryn Hansen book is a bit more of an investment! Will need to have a good look in my piggy bank to see what's in there grin

GoldenGreen Wed 06-Feb-13 22:14:08

Triple, have a look at her blog, loads of info on there!

Italiangreyhound Thu 07-Feb-13 18:07:05

tripletipple thanks for asking.

My experience was that I was eating rather impulsively and compulsively and over eating for years.

I had OCD as a teenager and in my early twenties. I think the overeating was a kind of continuation of that in later life after the actual OCD stopped. I felt like I could not control my eating, which is why diets did not work for very long.

A friend told me about a short course for people with eating problems (e.g. too much or two little). It was information and a support group for people with eating disorders from a Christian perspective. The group is called New ID

The course was free and I think it lasted about 10 weeks, meeting just once a week for 2 hours at a time.

The course was interesting but did not give me the answers and after the course finished I joined an NHS thing to try and lose weight, which also was helpful but did not provide a break through.

Some of the organisers of the NEW ID decided about 1 year later to start a meeting and provide support for each other. Towards the end the group was only me and the lady organising who could make it along and she suggested some prayer ministry one to one. We talked about my past with food and things that had happened and prayed about them.

The kind of prayer ministry is called 'Theophostic Prayer Ministry'. It could be described as allowing God to heal you of past hurts. The thinking behind it is that God takes you to the memory he wants to heal and shows you the things you have believed about the situation that are not true, and then reveals the truth to you. If you did not have an active faith I am sure it could still be of some use to people but of course would at least require an open mind to some degree.

The closest thing to what I had might be provided in the UK by a group called 'Bethel Sozo'. I will try and find the website for you.

It depends where you are in the UK (it does exist in other coutries too), I know it is in Bath, Rugby, Maidenhead, and Winchester, to name but a few, but am sure they are elsewhere in the UK.

Good luck, please do tell me how you get on.

By the way I read Eating Less by Gillian Riley and I found it helpful but I just felt I could not control my eating so needed some extra help to provide me with the ability to do it. I do think it is a healing but of course I also have to live it so have to go on and continue to eat sensibly etc. Does that make sense?

Italiangreyhound Thu 07-Feb-13 18:12:52

By an open mind I guess I am assuming some, who knows, you could think it was all wrong but maybe if you were willing to go along and explore you could find it useful. I am kind of imagining it from the perspective of someone who had no active faith, and that is why I know some people might find it strange or not be able to see how it makes sense. No idea what you think tripletipple but I can honestly say it was lovely to talk about past hurts in a very calm way and to feel that things from the past were being reviewed and opened up to the light of God.

The proof of pudding for me, if you excuse the phrase, was in the eating! It worked. But I know also that I need to go on and eat sensibly. The weight does not magically drop off.

I just feel so much better now around food. Very thankful too to the lovely lady who suggested it.

tripletipple Thu 07-Feb-13 22:19:17

Thank you Italian for taking the time to post such a long reply and sharing so much information.

I suppose the sort of thing you are describing is a bit like counselling with a Christian slant? I am indeed a non believer, but recently as I emerged from a shop where I had once again been unsuccessfully trying on clothes, I looked up and saw a church with a sign saying "try praying" above it. So I was intrigued when I saw your original message.

I've had a look at the Bethel Sozo website.

I'm really glad you have found this of so much help. You are right in that you will still have to eat healthily but it must be wonderful to no longer feel it is out of control. I've yo-yo dieted all my life since I was 13 and just never got it under control. I'm so tired of it.

Italiangreyhound Thu 07-Feb-13 23:12:00

tripletipple thank you for your kind post.

I am impressed you found the website. It's this one for UK of course.

I must emphasise that I did not go to a Bethel Sozo but the lady who I saw has also done some ministry with Bethel Sozo so she knows what it is like.

I really hope you will find some answers and get somewhere with your desire to get better eating habits. Have you had any help other than diet clubs?

Erebus Fri 08-Feb-13 18:31:04

Italian thanks for your input! It's really thought provoking. I am of 'no faith' but I fully recognise how the prayer ministry has helped you. When it comes down to it, any way 'in' to our motivations for excess food consumption has got to be a good thing, hasn't it? Do, of course feel more than welcome to join our weigh-in on another thread here The more the merrier!

triple - hi, again! Yes, the horrible feeling when you can't find anything that fits in a 'normal' clothes shop is so dispiriting, isn't it? However, today I walked past an Evans and thought 'I shall never need to darken your doors again' (I hope!!). I think Evans is an excellent shop, incidentally; their clothes are well made and stylish and understand the body contours of larger ladies. There is no need for bigger women to wear sack cloth!

I am still in my size 18 Per Una (crosses herself) jeans with the inner thigh rubbed area repaired as I refuse to buy any more size 18 trousers. However, I do wonder how much weight I need to lose to fit the 16 comfortably- and I do like my clothes non-clingy. I do have an old, practically unworn pair of M&S size 16 jeans which just don't fit! I have quite a few pairs of size 16 jeans etc from other companies that already fit OK but I can only assume M&S use a different sizing to Per Una.

But I have reefed in my belt by a good notch!

tripletipple Sun 10-Feb-13 08:53:27

Italian the only diet club I have ever joined was a Rosemary Conley class which I liked because there was an excercise class included for the fee rather than just a weigh-in and then being talked to about low calorie tins of soup and the like. But I've never had any sort of help in getting to the root of why I overeat. I have had counselling in the past for an unrelated issue which I found really helpful.

Erebus I have managed to avoid the size 18 jeans so far, for me it is the top half that cannot squeeze in to a 16 any longer. Infact, if it was a shaped button up blouse I'm not sure even an 18 would do it, but I just don't go there, opting instead for stretchy tops and baggy sweatshirts.

"Eating Less" has arrived and while my activities were restricted on Friday due to loss of power supply I had a quick look. Recoiled in horror at the bit where she says "only when you understand addiction and how it works" can you implement strategies to overcome it (overeating). Having a fair bit of experience of addicition, both theoretical and practical, I still don't understand it or how it works. I await to be enlightened by this book!

Off to look for the Kathryn Hansen blog ....

Italiangreyhound Sun 10-Feb-13 16:52:19

tripletipple - Rosemary Conley. I joined the Rosemary Classes in about 4 different locations over a 12 year period. Sadly I kept losing and gaining the same stone!

I liked the Gillian Riley book, try and see how you get on.

Good luck.

Erebus thanks so much for the invite to your thread. I will look in on it. I remember you (I think) from the Gillian Rliey - Eating Less thread about 2 years ago??

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