Emotional Eating Right

I don’t know if it’s the time of year – or just a coincidence, but there seems to be a lot of talk time being devoted to the topic of emotional eating. We’ve also been getting many emails from people looking for help with this very common issue.

So, I’ve posted a basic, but helpful, article to help people who suffer from the mildest, but most common form of emotional eating. This article has been submitted by health writer, J. Davenport:

5 Steps to Stop Emotional Eating

By John Davenport

Do you ever find yourself eating even though you know that you’re not physically hungry? In nearly all of us, hunger is not only a physical thing but an emotional one as well. We eat, not just to feed our body, but to comfort ourselves when we’re feeling stressed out, sad, angry, or bored.

This is emotional eating and it’s a challenge millions of people face.

The problem is – if you want to maintain a lean and healthy body, all the extra calories you consume by emotional eating will come back to haunt you – in the form of excess body fat and a poor medical profile.

For this reason, I want to present you with a 5 step action plan by which you can stop emotional eating forever:

Step #1 – Avoid Comfort Food

We all have a weakness for certain kinds of food. These are the foods that give us the most comfort (short as it is). Each person has his or her own comfort foods but some of the more common ones include mass-market chocolate, ice-cream, pizza, and sugar or salt rich items (junk foods).

To make it easier for yourself to avoid these foods, you need to go through your kitchen and get rid of these foods. Just throw them out. Once these foods are not in your home, you will have to work harder to get them.

A little here and there is fine, but emotional eaters tend to use these foods as their main ‘crutches’. So there has to be some self-control in order to shift where you get your calories from. You want high quality, nutrient-dense calories first.

Then you can think about eating some of the “bad” foods you enjoy on a limited basis.

Step #2 – Cook at Home

I often see people eating their lunch during their work break. They are so hungry that they don’t even realize how much they’re eating. And the fast food lifestyle teaches everyone how to eat more, not less. So when you combine the stressful demands of work and the comfort found in eating, the combination is a bad one.

The best thing you can do to reduce temptation and overeating when you’re out of your home is to carry food that you’ve prepared in advance with you.

Yes, it’s a bit more work but it will not only save you a whole lot of calories, but some money as well. Cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out every day. And in most cases, it’s healthier.

Step #3 – Reduce Stress In Your Life

The biggest cause of emotional eating is stress. We are surrounded by it at our job, at home, when driving. It’s the hectic modern lifestyle, but you’ve got to find a way to alleviate some of this stress.

Here are a few tips:

– Try some breathing exercises each morning and night. Here is a free video on Breathing Exercises
– Practice basic yoga and/or meditation.
– Take some time for yourself each evening and watch a sitcom. Laughter reduces stress very quickly.
– Avoid people who add stress to your life. (this may be the toughest, but one of the MOST critical)
– Exercise daily, even if you only have 10 or 15 minutes on any given day.
– Try trading massages with your significant other; or go pay for one.

Step #4 – Eat from Smaller Dishes

Have you ever found yourself eating food right out of the bag or box and then finding out that you’ve eaten nearly all of it without even noticing it?

The best way to stop this kind of mindless overeating is to place all your food on a small plate or in a small bowl. Our mind immediately judges the amount of food we have by how it fills our dishes. If the dish appears full, we tend to think of the portion as sufficient.

This is an easy and effective way to eat less, regardless of your mood. And the more you do this, the more natural it becomes.

Step #5 – Practice Mindful Eating

The final step you need to take to overcome emotional eating is to turn eating to something more mindful. Most people eat out of reflex. They don’t put any thought into it. This is how you overeat because most people eat until they are ‘over-full’ in order to feel satisfied.

Before you eat your next meal or snack, stop for a second and ask yourself: “Am I really hungry?”

If the answer is ‘Yes’, go ahead and eat. If it’s ‘No’, then this was an emotional hunger and just by putting a little thought into it, you’ve managed to avoid falling for it.

You’ve just saved yourself some useless calories and have exhibited powerful control over your false emotions.

Use these 5 steps and it will become much easier for you to stop emotional eating, eat healthier, and lose body fat.


Exercise Reduces Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks

One of the biggest things which has surprised me the most, in all my years of doing one-on-one training and coaching, is the number of people who are challenged by general anxiety and panic attacks.

Once I realized how common this issue was/is – I felt the need to explore it further and see how it affects the average person on a daily basis – and what implications it has on one’s health and fitness.

Most of the symptoms are in the list below – although there are other, more severe, symptoms which I have not included here:

- Dizzy spells leading to panic and episodes of fear
– Tightness in throat and chest- shortness of breath
– Racing heart with tingling sensations
– Sense of no control over life/daily matters
– Hot flushes followed by waves of anxiety
– Obsessive worries and unwanted thoughts
– Not feeling connected to what is going on around you
– Overwhelming fear that the anxiety will push you over the edge?

One thing is for sure – the people who made proper exercise a consistent part of their life, experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and panic attacks.

I believe 2 of the main reasons for this are:

(1) you are “in control” of your body, mind and health when you exercise regularly – and any way you can be “in control” is a way to reverse feelings of NOT being in control…

(2) Exercise is a natural stress reliever – and stress is a major underlying factor in anxiety/panic disorders. So, when you reduce stress through exercise you reduce one of the main ingredients of anxiety/panic attacks.

This is why some of the most successful anti-anxiety programs include exercise as one of the critical elements of their program. One of the best-known programs which includes ‘exercise’ in it’s protocol can be reviewed here: No Anxiety – No Panic

When we speak of exercise in this area – there isn’t “one right choice”. There are many – and it truly depends on the client. Here are some options:

– Yoga (there are many types and levels of Yoga to choose from)
– Pilates (there are many types and levels of Pilates to choose from)
– Martial Arts (many choices here too)
– Kick-boxing
– Cross-Training
– Atlas Bodyweight Training (that’s me :-)
– Swimming
– Cardio-Dance

There are more, no doubt – but you get the idea, right?

In addition to the above 2 reasons why exercise is a key component in anti-anxiety/panic reduction programs is another reason…. Exercise has a beneficial effect on various elements and hormones throughout your body.

These elements are extremely powerful and work in ways which are still being studied to be better understood. Some call them ‘internal relaxants’, ‘mood enhancers’ or ‘brain balancers’.

Regardless of what we know them as, or call them – one this is certain… The cause and effect relationship has been proven time and time again: Exercise has positive effects on stress, anxiety and panic attacks.

If you feel you need help in this area – and also believe in the exercise component, then take a look at the demo video at the panic-away website: No Anxiety – No Panic

I think you’ll appreciate all the info there….

If you know someone who can benefit from this, just forward this link to them – they’ll thank you for it.

Your trainer forever – your trainer for life,

Joey Atlas

M.S. – Exercise Physiology

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The Yoga Truth: Does Anyone Benefit from Yoga?

Yoga is big business. VERY big – huge actually. In addition to the practice itself there are clothing lines, franchises, nutritional supplements, resorts – and more – all built on the foundation of ‘yoga’…

But there is an inherent problem that comes with this phenomenon

Just like in the fitness instructor/personal training field – there are dozens of “certification courses” creating new and inexperienced yoga instructors every single month, all around the world. Now – this isn’t a problem if the instructor is well-matched with appropriate students and is skilled in their method of teaching.

But – quite often that is not the case. Don’t get me wrong though – as there are many top-notch yoga instructors in literally every city and town around the globe. The challenge is finding the right “match” – just like when seeking out a personal trainer of fitness coach.

If you are in Jacksonville, Florida and want a fantastic yoga instructor, contact my friend Cari March @ Yoga to Go
If you are in the Orlando, Florida area go see Russ and Kim @ http://www.studionewellness.com

At this point I realize you may be thinking:

“What does Joey know about Yoga?”

…and here’s your answer:

If you’ve been using my any of my home, office and travel fitness programs – you may have noticed some exercises or stretches resemble a yoga pose, move or position… And this would be correct as most of my programs are a ‘fusion’ of exercises and a blend of workout methods…

But – by no means am I calling myself a yoga instructor. Not in the slightest…

Having been in the fitness industry for well over 22 years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the best people in various areas of fitness – two of them are listed above. I have another longtime yoga friend who is on more of a global stage though…

More on him later as I want to answer the original question of today’s post…

“Are there really any benefits of yoga?”

The answer is “Absolutely.” (stress reduction, toning, flexibility, health enhancement, sexual performance improvement, etc…) …BUT – since there are so many forms of yoga – and so many instructors out there – It’s up to you to define your personal needs and then seek out the proper style/instructor which best matches your current abilities and specific goals.

If you are already into yoga – or are interested in getting a good start, then I want to introduce you to Lucas Rockwood<= click here to meet him.

Not only is he the co-founder of one of the most successful yoga/health resorts in Thailand called ‘Absolute Sanctuary’ – but he’s also an international yoga course developer and instructor.

He’s put together a neat little site for anyone interested in yoga. I’m not sure how much longer the freebies will be there so go pay him a visit and let him know ‘Joey sent you’…

As you dig into his articles and videos @ Yoga Body Natural – you’ll see why he’s considered an innovator in his field.

If you enjoyed this article – please give a quick click on the ‘Like’ button just below here. And feel free to share this post with others who will benefit from it…

Your trainer forever – your trainer for life…
Joey Atlas headshot

— Joey Atlas

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