We can trust our Liberated Eating path.
Elissa Epel, at The Center for Obesity Assessment, University of California, has been researching the role of stress in overeating. One of the biggest paths to obesity, she says, is high stress, because it changes our appetite, stimulates overeating, and makes us more insulin-resistant, a factor that elevates blood sugar and can put as at risk for Type 2 diabetes.
“Stress affects the same signals as famine does. It turns on the brain pathways that make us crave dense calories—we’ll choose high fat, high sweet foods, or high salt,” says Epel. “When we have a ‘stress brain,’ food is even more rewarding.”
After a study aimed at decreasing stress through mindfulness, Epel says, “We didn’t ask people to change how many calories they ate; we just wanted to know if decreasing stress would have an impact by changing fat distribution, and it did.”
In a more recent study, Epel and colleagues are looking at how mindfulness affects weight loss. The program aims to reduce stress, increase awareness of external and internal cues for eating, foster more self-acceptance, and reasonable nutrition. While data from the study is still being evaluated, Epel expresses surprise by the promising results so far.
“Mindfulness has turned out to be much more powerful than I thought, in its ability to affect weight.”
We could of saved them a lot of time and money – but it feels good to have science back up experience.
What are your thoughts on stress eating?
Why Liberated Eating is our best choice
Let’s face it, what really sounds great is to be able to eat all we want, anytime we want and as much as we want – AND – have that fit body we want all at the same time.
Who wouldn’t want that?
And I wish I could offer you that option but it appears it’s not available.
We do have three other options however:
1. We can diet. It’s fast. It’s easy to understand and control (at first). It’s exciting. It gets results…for a while. Problem is that eventually too little leads to too much and makes us crazy in the process. Roller-coaster going nowhere anyone?
2. We can give up and give in. Eat mindlessly and indulgently. This is fun for a while until our clothes get tight, our capacity to be present dulls, and our good health leaves and takes our energy with it.
3. We can walk the path to our liberation – even when we don’t want to. Yes, it takes courage and honesty and work – but with mindful/intuitive eating we get to have the foods we love, enjoy them fully AND keep our precious health.
This is a win-win! It may not be the easiest choice (the best things never are) but the work we’re doing will bring peace of mind and body.
We may want to overeat for many reasons: advertisements, happiness, procrastination, habit, we see it, we smell it, etc. – not all emotional. But for many of us the impetus behind our overeating is often emotional discomfort/agitation.
Every human being has some God-given legitimate emotional needs. You’ll remember from workshop that they are: safety, love & belonging, fun & recreation, personal power (not feeling powerless), the freedom to be your true self (self actualization). These needs are always calling out to be met. When they’re ignored we become emotionally hungry. This is not our imagination.
If we try to meet our emotional needs with food it creates a temporary illusion of relief. AHHH…all is well…until…the food wears off and then the nagging (or raging) emotional hunger is yelling for relief again, only now there’s food-regret added.
The good news is that we can meet our real needs, not just temporarily silence them with food. There are real solutions. Every situation is workable.
We can slow down, get in touch with what’s gnawing at us, and make some plans that will change things. Not everything can be handled immediately but making plans for change is a huge and helpful step in the right direction.
Each of us has the courage and creativity to see this through. And if we need help, it’s available. You are not alone.
This is an 8 minute audio message of three real-life examples of finding a good way through some tough situations. We all face them – and we can get through them!
Click here for audio: Self Coaching Examples
Our Support Library is full of messages like this that will encourage and strengthen you as you become a more liberated eater. New messages are added each week and will come directly to your email inbox. You can visit the library anytime and listen over and over.
You can sign up for the Support Library on our Liberated Eater website. For a few minutes a week and nine dollars a month you will have regular encouragement as long as you feel you need it.
My goal is to make real support as easy, affordable and effective as possible. Let me know how I can do this better!
I am for you,