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How to Outrun Emotional Eating

By Sandy Schroeder

If you have ever found yourself in the emotional eating web, you know what it means to be ravenous for junk food after an exasperating morning, or totally eager for a big dinner after a long day. The pressures of our daily workloads sometimes push us in the wrong direction when it comes to our diet. There is nothing quite as satisfying as a lovely plate of pasta or a big steak and a glass of wine at the end of a trying day, but finding new ways to handle the pressure could make a healthy difference in weight and health.

Breaking Out of the Emotional Eating Zone

Switching into the healthy eating zone takes a little time, but it is well worth the effort. Slipping into those slim new jeans makes it all worth while. Here are some tricks and tips to make it work.

Create low-fat versions of your favorites - Even fettuccine Alfredo can be healthier if you use olive oil, Parmesan and feta cheeses and skip the butter and the cream. Add some jarred sweet red peppers, a dash of hot red pepper and garlic to complete the sauce. Check Epicurious,com for a healthy recipe. Once you get started, you may find many of your favorite soups, side dishes and casseroles are fine once they shed the heavy fats. 

Sweep out the temptations - Don't undermine your efforts with bags of chips or cookies, and tubs of ice cream. Make a clean sweep and restock with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, yogurt and hummus dips. Keep them on hand and pack healthy foods for snacks and lunch at work.

Avoid situations and friends that are just too tempting - After you get a handle on the situation you may be able to return to those familiar temptations. Of course you will be wearing your slim new jeans.

Substitute other activities for food rewards - Go hiking, biking or camping. Learn a new sport or take up a new hobby. Get involved with new groups that have nothing to do with food. Help out at your local animal shelter, library or hospital. When you are tempted to reach for a cookie, take a walk, call a friend, or go for a bike ride.

Ditch your fat clothes -  Slim down your closet, keeping only current sizes and donating larger clothes. If you gain back five or 10 pounds, it can be all too easy to slide into a size larger pants.

Work on eliminating frustrations - Whatever the issues, financial, work, family or health, spend some time looking for alternatives and answers. When you lighten the load you may sleep and eat a lot better.

Celebrate success - Each time you weigh in and record a loss, reward yourself with new jewelry, shoes or hats.

If you lose your momentum, don't give up. One slip-up does not signal defeat. Get right back on track with your healthy foods and keep on going.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downers Grove, Ill. 

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