Planning to lose weight in the New Year? That’s great, and you probably have an action plan similar to mine. But a recent study(1) showed that that 2 out of 3 people who lose more than 5% of their total weight will gain it back, and the more you lose, the greater your chance of gaining it back. “That’s not surprising,” according to the study, as “Most people focus almost entirely on the physical aspects of weight loss, like diet and exercise. But there is an emotional component to food that the vast majority of people simply overlook and it can quickly sabotage their efforts.”
- Keeping a food diary, including what you eat, when, with whom and how you were feeling at the time. Then, using that to look for unhealthy patterns or places you are using food as a crutch.
- Identify any foods that have an emotional attachment for you. Do they make you feel good or bad? Invoke a memory or a feeling? Or provide a way to deal with sadness, loneliness, stress or something else? How else could you address these discomforts?
- Before you eat anything ask yourself, “am I eating this because I’m hungry?” if not, look for what’s driving you to eat that, then. Write it down and consider the underlying emotional needs. Look to see if there are healthier ways you can get those needs met.