Essential Guide to Emotional Eating

 

emotion_eating

This post is for those of you who are struggling with cravings and/or emotional eating.

I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life… losing weight and then gaining it all back again, trying to break unhealthy eating habits, just to fall off the wagon once again. As a result of my desperate quest to reach my goals of healthy eating and break free of the worry and frustration that came with it, I basically gave up. Yep, I felt like a failure and decided “I am who I am” and I will just live with the feelings of disappointment instead of go thru the cycle of getting my hopes up just to have them dashed again. However, without even looking for it, I found a powerful tool to support weight management that also promotes vibrant physical and emotional health. Achieving your ideal weight can be challenging. If you are one who knows what to eat, proper portions and real foods that are best for your body, yet still struggle keeping with what you know is healthy, it may be an underlying emotional issue that is holding you back. The information I share is not to replace professional help if it’s needed, but for many of us using a few simple tools can create great success.

OUR SUBCONSCIOUS IS SABOTAGING US

Special mechanisms in our brain trigger the feeling of being full or a sense of being satisfied. An emotional state can also trigger a desire for food even when we are not hungry. About 90% of what we do is controlled by our subconscious mind. Often, we know what we should and shouldn’t eat or when we are full, but we are sabotaged by our subconscious mind that may have underlying thoughts and emotions that make it difficult to stick with what our conscious mind tells us. You may think to yourself, “I don’t have the willpower.” This statement is absolutely true, most of us don’t have the “willpower”, thus we get stuck in repeating patterns our whole life and this doesn’t just happen with weight management. Two tools have been highly beneficial for not only me, but for hundreds of thousands of others who have discovered them. FIRST is changing our thoughts and SECOND is using essential oils. Let’s talk thoughts first with some simplified science.  We know now that the moment a thought occurs, your hypothalamus (the control center of the brain) turns that thought into hundreds of neuropeptides, each one associated with the dominant emotion of the corresponding thought.  Those neuropeptides representing your thoughts are actual molecules being transmitted throughout your mind and body. 1 Candace Pert, Ph.D. in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bryn Mawr College, researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health found that neuropeptides are carried through the bloodstream and transmitted from one neuron to another. Each neuropeptide interlocks with a special receptor on the receiving neuron’s membrane, just like a key fitting into a lock. The amino acids in each neuropeptide are then absorbed by your cells. 2

OUR THOUGHTS BECOME AN ACTUAL, TANGIBLE PART OF OUR CELLS.

According to Dr. Pert’s research, the body’s cells develop more and more specialized receptors for the neuropeptides to which they are most exposed. In fact, cells will even begin to crave these neuropeptides and ask the hypothalamus to produce them. Over time, your cells wind up causing you to fulfill an emotional prophecy that affects your health and mood.

In other words, you get what you think about, whether you like it or not.

Our negative thoughts and emotions become a part of who we are if we do not know how to process and release them. They become part of our subconscious thoughts, which control about 90% of what we do. When we are having a bad day, even though our logic tells us we are not hungry or to eat an apple, our subconscious mind tells us something different, such as, “I can never lose weight. I have no self control. Food is my only comfort.” These subconscious thoughts make it nearly impossible to have long term “willpower”. The only way to change this is to replace the negative thoughts  with positive ones that serve us in a healthier, happier way. It’s become increasingly popular to use positive affirmations to guide our thoughts. I’ve found affirmations used in conjunction with essential oils one of the easiest ways to create lasting change.

ESSENTIALS ARE A SIMPLE TOOL FOR CHANGING THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS AND HABITS

Essential oils are an amazing tool that makes it very simple to control not only our cravings for food, but also help our cells to detox from negative thoughts and emotions. Although people of the world have known for centuries that essential oils help balance emotions and brighten mood, science is just now confirming that essential oils have the power to cleanse cell receptor sites from neuropeptides. They help our cells to process the negative thoughts and emotions and allow them to be eliminated. We are then free to replace those sabotaging negative thoughts and emotions with healthy, positive thoughts.

The key is to REPLACE!

We will want positive thoughts that turn into neuropeptides attach to the receptor sites of our cells, allowing new subconscious thoughts to positively affect our behaviors.  It takes about 45 days to create a new emotional habit. My recommendation is to use positive affirmations in conjunction with essential oils. The essential oils clear the cells of negative thoughts and emotions and the affirmations bring in new positive emotions. “Affirmations are positive statements that we say out loud. Affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brains. Much like exercise, they raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of "positive thought" neurons. In the sequence of thought-speech-action, affirmations play an integral role by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and, in turn, negative actions.” 3

RECOMMENDED ESSENTIAL OILS FOR EMOTIONAL EATING & WEIGHT SUPPORT

Weight Support Blend

Common Ingredients: Grapefruit, Lemon, Cinnamon, Lime, Bergamot, Peppermint, Ginger, Basil (or buy pre-made blend)

Application/location: place one-two drops on wrists, back of neck and inhale while repeating affirmations

Emotions addressed: Self-criticism, worthlessness, feeling ugly, disgust or hate for physical appearance

Weight Suppport, Cravings

Oil Protocol:  blend 6 drops fennel, 3 drops ginger, 2 drops rosemary and 1 drop black pepper

Application/location:  pour onto wick of inhaler and use whenever needed to curb cravings

Affirmation: I am totally supporting myself because I am changing my eating habits. I breathe in the air of courage to honor my choices about what is good to put into my mouth. I nurture my body and my heart with good ideas and healthy food. I choose to reflect on good times and I create good times. I own my happiness and my new habits are easy for me. 4

If you are new to essential oils you may want to start here.

Additional Aroma’therapy’ Blends

Use these moment by moment. When you notice negative emotions or feelings with which you have a hard time processing or overcoming. Aromatherapy Blends  Instructions:
  • Use aromatically in an essential oil diffuser
  • Apply 1 or 2 drops in your hands, rub hands together, cup in front of your nose and inhale deeply (do not touch hands to your eyes)
  • Dilute and apply topically to aromatherapy touch points such as the back of the neck, on the wrists, and over the heart.
  • For children with sensitive skin, dilute with a carrier oil and apply directly to the bottom of the feet, particularly when going to bed or waking up each night
  • Add a few drops to lotion or oil for mood-balancing massage
  • Use along with positive affirmation statements if possible

Notes:
  1. Essentially Happy, by Rebecca Hintze, M.Sc.
  2. Dr. Candace Beebe Pert
  3. Does It Really Take 21 Days to Break a Habit
  4. Emotional Healing with Essential Oils by Daniel Macdonald

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