What the Biggest Loser Has Taught Me About Emotional Eating


Last night was one of the last episodes of the Biggest Loser for the season. The final four contestants went home for 1 month to do 2 things – train for a marathon and lose more weight. The marathon came, and my favorite contestant, Daris, ran that marathon in 4 hours. It was unbelievable. I think he’s my favorite because of his ability and love of running. Five months ago, he weighed over 300 pounds. Not he’s running 26.2 miles in 4 hours! Unfortunately, when it came time to get weighed, another unbelievable thing happened. He gained 2 pounds. It was disappointing but not totally surprising. There was a video clip of him while he was at home standing in his kitchen at 1am – eating and eating. He said that he wanted to eat something to make him feel better but then he just feels worse and eats something else to try and feel better. I felt really sorry for him and for me because I am victim of the same problem – emotional eating.

Emotional eating is not uncommon. I would bet most overweight people have gained their weight from it. You’re stressed, depressed, sad so you eat. You think that food will make you feel better, and it does but only for a moment. You feel guilty because you ate junk so you decide to eat something else to make you feel better and the vicious cycle begins. Now, there is a lucky population that can’t eat when they are feeling these emotions but many people do, including me and Oprah.

 

Being healthy requires you to eat healthy. Emotional eating does not support eating healthy. How do you stop it? I’m not a psychologist, but I do know that the first step is to recognize that you are an emotional eater. If you don’t know that is your trigger to eating, how can you stop it? The second thing is to find another outlet for soothing those emotions, and shopping isn’t one of them. I know several people who are emotional shoppers. Same situation, buying something makes them feel good so they shop. Unfortunately, they only feel good for a moment, so they need to buy something else. Different problem but same trigger.

I think the best solution to emotional eating is doing other things that make you feel good about yourself. Having confidence and believing in yourself trumps all those other emotions, and then you don’t need 5 cookies to make you feel better because you already feel great. Getting that confidence is actually quite easy. All you need to do is exercise. Exercise gets those endorphins pumping and you’ll get a natural high. Physically pushing your body can be very rewarding. You end the workout feeling strong and powerful. You raise your confidence level because you have accomplished something positive. Now you’ll start a healthy cycle. You won’t want to undo the great workout you just had by eating junk, and you won’t want to eat junk before you workout because you won’t be feeling your best. All you need to do is get off the couch and start moving, even if it is as simple as taking a 15 minute walk. If you find you’re tired in the evenings, set that alarm for 15 minutes earlier in the morning and get moving before you start your day. You’ll find what works for you.

What I love the most about the Biggest Loser is not the physical transformation that the contestants go through but the psychological. They start the season depressed and in emotional pain, sometimes so great that your heart breaks for them. As they shed the weight and gain self-confidence with their newfound strength and physical abilities, they emerge as happy, confident, and strong individuals. They smile so much more at the end of the season compared to the beginning. It is so inspiring to me to keep moving and eating healthy. I hope that Daris can resolve his emotional eating issues before the finale next week. We all slip up once in a while. Despite his setback, I’m still cheering for him.

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One response to this post.

  1. nice site.. very interesting!!!

    Reply

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