Stop Emotional Eating
Ever have a frustrating day at work, a fight with your boyfriend, then end up cozying up with a nice cold pint of chocolate-chip ice cream? (We thought so.) Try this exercise designed by guru Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., cofounder of The Center for Mindful Eating and a professor of psychology at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. Once you take a breath and realize that there are other solutions to stress besides rampant snacking, you're on your way to overcoming emotional eating for good. --Paula Derrow
Skipped previous meal
I'm RAVENOUS. Since I didn't eat breakfast, I can pig out at lunch.
Eating twice as much as usual to make up for the meal you skipped
Grab a piece of fruit as a snack or a handful of nuts to take the edge off. Wait 15 or 20 minutes, then eat your next meal as usual.
Social gathering where you don't know anyone
Why isn't anyone talking to me? I might as well occupy myself here by the snack table.
Anxious, shy, heart palpitations
Eating when not hungry
Step away from the snack table, look around for someone who is standing by herself and introduce yourself. Or ask the host to introduce you to a few folks.
A birthday at the office. Can you say red velvet cupcakes?
I've worked hard all day. I deserve a treat.
Scarfing down a cupcake (or two!) though you've just had lunch.
Split a cupcake with a colleague. Enjoy it. Then seek out your favorite person at the office and distract yourself with good conversation until the party is over.
Everyone else around the table is having seconds. When you refuse, your mother asks, "What—you don't like it?!"
I can't believe this is happening again! I guess it's better to give in than cause a scene.
Guilt; the desire to fit in
Resentfully agree to another helping, followed by a double helping of regret.
Tell your mom you loved it, let her know you're really full, then change the subject with a smile.
Ongoing problem at work
I feel out of control.
Heart pounding, anger
You go out with friends to vent—and eat and drink way too much.
Make a point of leaving work on the early side for a few nights running, take a walk or head to the gym, then curl up on the couch and get engrossed in a novel or your favorite TV show. Or join a good friend later for dinner and one drink.
You had a bad date. A very bad date.
I'll never find anyone to love!
Can you say chocolate?
Call your most soothing friend to vent, then do something creative—write, knit, draw or whatever floats your boat. Remind yourself that you wouldn't have time to nurture your strengths if you were constantly catering to someone who didn't get you.
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