Kittle: How to take control over emotional binge eating urges

Be patient with yourself as you learn to consider food in a different way.

Are you an emotional eater? Does food seem to control you? Do you feel like your eating is out of control?

If so, you can take charge of emotional eating and find success in losing weight.

According to the  Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly program at, if you struggle with emotional eating you need to recognize that a desire to eat is due to “head hunger” rather than true hunger,you can choose to do another activity to redirect your attention away from food until the urge passes—or until you feel hungry.

By practicing the Stop-Breathe-Reflect-Choose technique you create space between the urge to eat and acting on that urge. Identify and name the feeling you’re experiencing and learn to allow your feelings to flow through you rather than push them away with food

Be patient with yourself as you learn to consider food in a different way. You didn’t arrive at your current weight from a few weeks of over-eating. Nor did food one day suddenly become your enemy.

Food does not control you, unless you allow it to. When faced with a mind that shouts “Bad Food!” or “I have no control!” remind yourself that in time and with practise, you will conquer those thoughts by changing how you think before you eat.

Here is a helpful list to post on your fridge of things to do besides eat.

• Imagine a healthier, energetic you, walk around the block, call a friend

• Make a Top 10 Reasons To Get Active list, read a child a book, make a to-do list

• Dance a little, plan a vacation, get a massage

• Jot a thank you note to someone, go to bed early, read a great book

• Write in your awareness journal, give yourself a manicure or pedicure , plan a healthy meal for your family

• Surf the Internet, finish an unfinished project, walk your dog

• Feel your feelings, volunteer in your community, start a hobby

• Brush your teeth, record your favoirite show to watch while exercising , take a break and inhale some slow, deep breaths

• Practice playing a music instrument, balance your cheque book, plan a party

• Say a prayer, buy yourself some flowers. do a few sit-ups

• Make a phone call, chop veggies for smart snacking , set your priorities

• Try a new hairstyle, give a massage, write about something you are proud of this week

•Clean out a junk drawer, play a game with your kids, try a new route on your walk

• Organize a scrapbook, plant fresh herbs for cooking, drink a glass of water, kiss someone

• Try on some clothes, catch up on your reading, look at old pictures, rent a video

•Smell the roses, wash your car, chew some gum, plan a “date” for someone special

• Swim a few laps, read a magazine, take a hot, soothing bath, Update your calendar

• Get it off your chest, build something, check in on a friend

• Work in your yard, start your holiday shopping list, count your blessings, write a letter

• Work on your budget, take a bike ride, check your e-mail, make a positive statement about yourself and repeat—often

• Give your dog a bath, start a project you’ve been wanting to get around to, send a birthday card, meditate

•Try a delicious new recipe, play cards, set your goals, freshen your make-up, hug someone, re-arrange some furniture

• Take a hike, help with homework, do some housework, scrapbook a photo album, meet a friend for coffee *

• Try a new relaxation technique, talk it over with someone, get a head start on your taxes, do a “Honey Do” list, say what’s on your mind

• Go pick up your mail, straighten a closet, do something nice for someone anonymously, check the stock market, plan a romantic evening

You are not powerless over your weight and health when you breathe, think and choose.

Kelowna Capital News