According to Julie M. Simon, author, The Emotional Eater's Repair Manual
We all enjoy eating, so we all overeat on occasion. The problem arises when we're turning to food so often that we become overweight or our health suffers. When we sense that our eating habits are out of balance, it's important to look at the emotional issues: Am I feeling good about my life? Can I cope with stress? Am I self-loving, or self-loathing? We all know people who constantly think negatively about food: "I shouldn't have eaten that, and now I'm going to have to work it off." But we really don't want to be overfocused on food and calorie counts. We want to be mindful, to identify what we're feeling when we turn to food, so that we can begin to develop an inner voice that tells us it's OK to need comfort or be stressed out.
Our bodies have complex mechanisms for keeping our weight in an optimum range. And our calorie-counting machinery and hormonal system work best when we eat a diet consistent with our human design -- that is, a predominantly unprocessed, whole-foods, plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. The standard American diet differs from that of our ancestors in significant ways. It's higher in high-fat animal products and in processed foods that are full of animal fats and refined oils. It's also higher in refined carbohydrates and sugar. And, of critical importance, our diets are deficient in fiber -- only 10 percent of American women get the daily amount of fiber they really need. On this type of diet, our hormones get thrown off, leading to an imbalance, which in turn triggers cravings, bloodsugar fluctuations, and an uncontrollable appetite.
Try slowly adding more whole foods to your eating plan. Start by increasing your intake of the plant foods you already enjoy -- fruits, starchy vegetables (like corn or potatoes), and beans. Then try centering a meal around a yam or a wholesome grain like brown rice or quinoa. Slowly reduce your intake of zero-fiber foods like meat and highly processed foods like crackers and cookies. As you eat more whole foods, your biochemistry and palate will change, making it easier to let go of foods that no longer serve your body.
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