Roger Gould, M.D.  

Specialties: Mental Health, Wellness, emotional eating

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Controlling Emotional Eating: Your Checklist for Success

Aug 23, 2012 - 2 comments

emotional eating


controlling emotional eating




binge eating


Shrink Yourself


Dr. Roger Gould

Most of our blog posts talk about the habits, challenges and symptoms of emotional eating and how they affect various aspects of our lives. It's easy for emotional eaters to relate to the pain and guilt that comes with overeating, and easy to forget about picturing yourself actually recovering from the grasp of emotional eating.

Here's how a Shrink Yourself member describes her success after about one year of working the Program.

I've lost 64 pounds. Woo hoo!

I've changed my goal from an "ideal weight" goal to a "body fat" goal. I'm 32.1% body fat today. I'm shooting for 29% because my YMCA trainer told me that's the high end of the healthy range for females my age.

I got rid of my high blood pressure, I'm no longer on medications for it.

My high cholesterol, hyperlipidemia, is gone now, too.

Pre-diabetic symptoms are gone.

Even though I'm still overweight, I accept and even pretty much like my body now. I look at other women my age now, the vast majority of whom seem to be overweight or obese, and I generally feel like "my body is okay." I'm not sure I'll make that body fat percentage goal because the last couple of months I've been losing it so slowly, but I at least want to maintain what I've done and hopefully keep making slow progress.

My junk food consumption has gone from daily, to less than once-a-week. Other than a couple of Subway sandwiches, I can't recall eating any fast food in the past year. Primarily I now cook my own natural food.

I now see cooking and meal prep as nurturing myself; not drudgery.

Where I used to see sweets and refined foods as desirable, I now see them as undesirable, and very rarely have cravings for them.

Whereas I used to never get 5 fruits or vegetables per day, now it's probably a rare day when I don't get at least a dozen servings. If I overeat now, it's usually on healthy food and does very little "damage," either to my health, or my appearance, or to how I feel about myself.

I can think of only a handful of 500-700 calorie binges in the past year. Mostly I am doing binge prevention.

I am exercising enough, usually 6-12 times a week (I like to split my workouts up into two 30-45 minute sessions instead of once a day).

I can run now-in fact, I've improved so much in cardiovascular fitness, I can't easily get my heart rate into the cardio range with most exercises other than running now.

I rarely use food as a reward (as opposed to nearly daily before.) I enjoy food but don't tend to think of it as "a treat."

I often listen to my body (but not always). My husband took me out to eat last week for prime rib (which I'm sensitive to) and I said, "What the heck... if I'm going to eat something bad for me I'm not stopping till it's gone." I stuffed myself, and then regretted it. I realized it had been so long since I had had the stuffed feeling that I had totally forgotten how miserable it is and gave myself a "memory booster."

Last night we went out to eat again and believe me, I DID NOT stuff myself, and chose only healthy foods from the all-you-can-eat buffet.

I can usually tell the difference between physical and emotional hunger. I'm getting better at not eating when I know the hunger is emotional, but sometimes I still do it anyway. Sometimes I savor my food and am not the first one finished (this is still the habit that's the toughest for me).

As you can see, even long-standing patterns can change. There is so much more at stake than just a number on the scale. In addition to reducing your weight, you can improve your health, build your self-confidence and live a more fulfilling life!

What will YOUR success story look like?

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by Jaquta, Aug 27, 2012
I've changed my approach.  I'm trying incremental changes and have decided to enjoy the moment versus set myself unrealistic performance goals.  I am trying to visualise how each goal will help me achieve optimal health.  Is hard for me to visualise a future but  ??  I guess visualising each step, over time those successes will compound and I might be able to see a different future for myself.  I guess a bit like how a jigsaw puzzle becomes clearer the more pieces you add.
My goal for this week is to drink 1.5 l of water a day and to walk most days of the week.

by susquehanna, Mar 14, 2013
I've been taking bupropion 100mg 3times a day and venlafaxine mg twice a day for about8-10 years. It doesn't seem to be working any more, and it seems that I'm always looking for something to eat, especially sweets. I told this to my doctor, now I'm being treated for diabetes, giving myself injections each night. It seems the cures are worse than the disease. How do I safely get off the antidepressants? Also, I had a triple bypass operation about twelve years ago and am taking meds for that. I am 66 yrs old.

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