Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is something we all do.
Grabbing that box of chocolates or pint of ice cream after a break up or fight, finding distraction from that project by finishing off the office candy jar or even just going for that take-out pizza after a fight with a friend.

But what happens when it’s not just an occasional habit but something you find yourself dealing with several times a week?  We all have our coping mechanisms – for some it’s alcohol, drugs, sex, exercise – maybe food is yours.

Let’s first discuss the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger.
Physical hunger comes on gradually and can be postponed.
Emotional hunger comes on suddenly and feels urgent, you absolute have to eat right now.
Physical hunger can be satisfied with any kind of food whereas emotional hungry usually calls for a specific craving such as pizza, chocolate, ice cream – you find yourself wanting foods high in sugar, fat and salt.
When you’re truly hungry you will reach that point of feeling full and satisfied once you’ve eaten enough. With emotional eating you will find yourself uncomfortably full, stuffed even.
After finishing a meal that you were hungry for you feel satisfied, with an emotional eating episode, also called a ‘binge’  you will feel guilty, angry at yourself.

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A question you can ask yourself when the urge to eat comes up is ‘would I go for white fish and broccoli right now?’  If the answer is yes you are definitely hungry!
But let’s say you are not hungry for food, if hunger isn’t the problem food won’t solve it.
So what are you really hungry for? What are you really craving?
When you are used to using food as a coping mechanism and this is the first time you realize this – be prepared to get uncomfortable.
Looking at your true feelings is very confrontational and not a fun thing to do, but then again – how fun is the guilt for overeating and your jeans no longer fitting you?

Here’s a few questions I want you to ask yourself the next time you find yourself ready to finish off your pantry.
What need do you have that isn’t being met? Are you feeling lonely? Sad? Depressed? Angry? Hurt?
What are you really looking for? Are you looking for safety? Comfort? Control? Confirmation? Distraction?

Write down your feelings. Journaling can be very therapeutic and it will help you realize what is causing stress in your life. It doesn’t stop there, what are you going to do to change these issues?
Be true to yourself, find out what is making you unhappy and what you can do to change this.

Next step: we’re going to make a list of activities that you can fall back on the next time you feel the need to ‘eat your feelings’. Examples include:
-take a hot bath
-go for a walk
-practice yoga
-go for a walk or run
-give yourself a manicure
-read your favourite book or magazine.
-call a friend to talk about your feelings

Anything goes here, just make sure to have that list close by when the next cravings hits!

The subject of emotional eating is an extensive one but for now I hope I’ve provided you with a few simple tips to deal with using food a coping mechanism!
If you find your problems bigger than you can fix on your own it might be a good idea to reach for outside help.

PS. Having the occasional stress cupcake is nothing to worry about!

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Butternut Squash, Pea, Mint and Feta Frittata

We know what we’re having for dinner tonight!

Homemade With Mess

I am jumping on the meatless Monday bandwagon with this recipe. We will often have several meatless meals throughout the week but I have to admit they do not usually happen on a Monday. It is however a great day to choose to have a healthier meal, as I find people are more motivated at the beginning of the week to eat well (probably because they have over indulged at the weekend and are feeling guilty for it). Eating a vegetarian or healthier meal does not mean you have to sacrifice on flavour, taste or satisfaction. As I am sure you are aware, I have posted many frittata recipes, most of which contain meat, and in Sam’s words ‘this is the best frittata he has ever tasted’; if you don’t believe him you will just have to try it for yourself!

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Serves 2

–          ½ small butternut squash – cut…

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Meet the trainer – Jonny Osborne

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How did you start working in fitness?
I worked a wide range of different jobs from security to care to software but just never felt that my heart was in it. I wanted to help people and always had a keen interest in exercise and nutrition. 

After completing my training at premier I went to work at kx gym in Chelsea as a fitness advisor where I gained a lot of knowledge and experience. I then proceeded to work at the studio alongside this on my off days which I have been doing now for the past 5 years. 

What’s your personal philosophy?
To make others feel better about themselves and give them more confidence.
To take each level of progression as big step in the right direction and to stay focused and on track.

What keeps people from reaching their goal?
Inconsistency and impatience will hinder you greatly.
In some cases motivation comes from the wrong place.
I often hear people saying ‘oh my wife wants me to get in shape’ or my friends bought me these sessions to help me lose weight.
At the end of the day -if you don’t want to achieve these goals personally then it’s not going to happen. 

 What makes a good trainer?
Someone who practices what they preach and is constantly trying to improve their knowledge and skills. The thing about this industry is that everything constantly evolves -if you don’t keep up then you can’t expect to offer anything special to your clients. 

Eat, sleep, train – pick the most important one?
Nutrition – the saying you can’t out-train a bad diet is so true.
The individuals who can eat whatever they want and still keep and very low body fat percentage are extremely lucky and very rare. So don’t compare yourself with these guys. 

Which of these 3 do you struggle with the most?
Sleep – being a full time fire fighter as well as personal trainer I have to work night shifts which means I lose 2 nights of sleep per week. Grabbing a power nap when I can is invaluable. 

If you could go back in time what would you tell yourself when you started your career?
I wish I’d done it earlier but I believe that you learn from every experience and that gives you greater appreciation for what you have and do. I never find myself begrudging going into work. I would tell myself to keep an open mind and continue to develop both physically and mentally. Attend seminars and constantly pick the brains of those more experienced and wiser. 

What does your workout regime look like?
Minimum of 4 sessions per week through cycles of accumulation and intensification phases.
Accumulation focuses more on muscle building whereas the intensification focuses on maximal strength. I love trying out new systems and protocols!
After all, how can you prescribe a killer program to someone if you haven’t tried it yourself?

Favourite meal?
Really difficult to narrow it down to just one as I love all food but i find it hard to beat a good steak. 

3 best exercises:
Military press, squat and incline bench press 

What advice would you give someone just starting out on their healthy lifestyle?
• Have a solid nutrition and training program, be patient and keep at it.
• Always keep records of your workouts to monitor your progression.
Most smart phones have a notepad which you can jot down your poundage. However, if you can’t stay off Facebook for 5 minutes then keep your phone in your locker and use a simple notepad and pen.
• Take regular pictures of yourself and assess your progress. Scales can be misleading and de-motivating.
• Allow yourself something to ‘train into’
In other words, do not use up all the weapons in your arsenal within the first few weeks.
For example; going low carb, whilst low calorie and doing 2 weights sessions each day topped off with sprints 4 times per week.
Not only will you burn out but where do you go after that?
• Have a goal to work towards like an event or competition. 

‘Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.’ – Thomas A. Edison