Advice from a Top Nutritionist
By Lisa Goldberg MS, CNS, CDN
Are you sitting there at home, frustrated that your clothes have gotten tighter in lockdown? More than any other influence, it’s your emotions that sabotage your eating behaviors ,regardless of the fact that your goal is to lose weight. Those are the behaviors that prevent you from losing weight and contribute to gaining the weight back that you’ve already lost.
There are four main emotional eating influencers that seem to be the most prevalent.
1) FOOD AS A REWARD
Often as children when we do something good or when we feel bad, parents use food, usually a sweet treat as a reward. This wires your brain to believe that the food will make you feel better. As adults, we subconsciously continue to use food to lift our spirits and continue the limiting belief that food will make me feel better.
Consider how often you eat something and think “I deserve a reward or a treat” because you had a bad day or because life has thrown you a curve ball that stressed you out.
Remind yourself that food is not a reward, it doesn’t make you feel better and it doesn’t change the circumstances. The only thing that changes when you “reward eat” is your weight.
2) FOOD FOR STRESS RELIEF
Food is too often used to soothe stressful or unpleasant feelings. It is used to calm and relax. This is why the habit of over-eating, often after dinner, becomes a behavior that most people find difficult to change.
But again, the truth is, the food doesn’t relax you outside of the moments it’s in your mouth. If you spend the rest of the evening and next day beating yourself up, where is the relaxation and the calm? Is it really worth it?
3) FOOD IS USED TO FILL TIME AND SPACE
How often do you find yourself eating for ‘something to do”? You are bored or procrastinating on getting something done. Or perhaps you feel lonely and you use food as an activity or because you believe “it’s all that you have in your life to bring you joy”.
What other self-care activities can you create for yourself that doesn’t involve food and eating? I suggest creating a list of at least 5 things that you can do to fill time and space that will bring you true joy and pleasure that has nothing to do with food.
4) FOOD USED BECAUSE OF LOW SELF-WORTH OR SELF-ESTEEM
If we don’t feel good about ourselves, food is used as almost a subconscious punishment.
Have you ever eaten some kind of crappy food and you then think “What’s the use, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter, I’m destined to be fat or I will fail at weight loss anyway”?
If you ever hear yourself say ” it doesn’t matter” when you emotionally eat, what you are really saying is I DON’T MATTER. If this is you, ask yourself if that’s the truth…do you really believe that you don’t matter?
All in all, our eating and over-eating behaviors involve many different factors grounded in our old patterns and conditioning.
One thing is for sure, that if you continue to try to lose weight by following another quick fix or fad diet without addressing the reasons why you eat emotionally, you will eventually end up back where you started.
If you tend to eat for any or all of these emotions, the truth is that food won’t change any of your circumstances, fix your feelings and it won’t soothe you. The only thing that food does when emotionally eaten is change your weight …and not in a good way. Don’t unnecessarily fall prey to the Quarantine 15!
If you can’t put your finger on what makes you emotionally eat and how to stop it, schedule a Discovery call with me here so that I can help you get clear on why you eat emotionally and what you can do to change it.
Lisa Goldberg is a nutritionist and weight-loss accountability coach with a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is an author, certified Nutrition Specialist, a certified Dietician/Nutritionist licensed by New York State, and certified in Adult Weight Management by the American Dietetic Association.
Lisa, who has been coaching clients since 2001, focuses on mindset change, mindful eating and habit and behavior change. She teaches her clients how to break their old patterns around food and eating so that they can end their struggle with emotional eating that leads to yo-yo dieting. Her clients create sustainable lifestyle changes that empower them to change their relationship with food and lose unwanted weight for good.
Lisa is the author of the book Food Fight!! Winning the Battle with Food and Eating to Achieve Sustainable Weight Loss, available on Amazon.
She served as the nutritionist at the New York Stock Exchange where she created HealthCoach, a healthy lunch program that delivered healthy meals to Wall Street traders from 2003-2013.
Lisa is based in New York City. In 2015, she expanded her practice to coach clients remotely and she now coaches clients around the world.
For more information about how to work with Lisa Goldberg, click below: