Emotional Eating: Are you Feeding your Emotions?


Eating to feed a feeling, and not a growling stomach, is emotional eating.

When you’re happy, your food of choice could be steak or pizza, when you’re sad it could be ice cream or biscuits, and when you’re bored it could be crisps. Food does more than fill our stomachs – it also satisfies feelings. And when you quench those feelings with comfort food when your stomach isn’t growling, that’s emotional eating.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of the physical symptom of hunger initiating the eating, an emotion triggers the eating.

What are the telltale signs of emotional eating, what foods are the most likely culprits when it comes to emotional eating, and how it can be overcome?


How to Tell the Difference
There are several differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger:

1. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually.
2. When you are eating to fill a void that isn’t related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you’re open to options.
3. Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly with the food you crave. Physical hunger can wait.
4. Even when you are full, if you’re eating to satisfy an emotional need, you’re more likely to keep eating. When you’re eating because you’re hungry, you’re more likely to stop when you’re full.
5. Emotional eating can leave behind feelings of guilt; eating when you are physically hungry does not.


Comfort Foods

When emotional hunger rumbles, one of its distinguishing characteristics is that you’re focused on a particular food, which is likely a comfort food.

Comfort foods are foods a person eats to obtain or maintain a feeling. Comfort foods are often wrongly associated with negative moods, and indeed, people often consume them when they’re down or depressed. Interestingly enough, comfort foods are also consumed to maintain good moods.

And what you reach for when eating to satisfy an emotion depends on the emotion. The types of comfort foods a person is drawn toward varies depending on their mood. People in happy moods tended to prefer foods such as pizza or steak (32%). Sad people reached for ice cream, chocolate and biscuits 39% of the time, and 36% of bored people opened up a bag of crisps.


Overfeeding Emotions

We all eat for emotional reasons sometimes. When eating becomes the only or main strategy a person uses to manage emotions, then problems arise – especially if the foods a person is choosing to eat to satisfy emotions aren't exactly healthy.

If you eat when you are not hungry, chances are your body does not need the calories. If this happens too often, the extra calories get stored as fat and too much fat storage can cause one to be overweight which may present some health risks.

Up to 75% of overeating is caused by emotions, so dealing with emotions appropriately is important.


Recognising Emotional Eating

The first thing one needs to do to overcome emotional eating is to recognise it. Keeping a food record and ranking your hunger from 1-10 each time you put something in your mouth will bring to light if and when you are eating for reasons other than hunger.

Next, you need to learn techniques that help manage emotions besides eating.

Often when a child is sad, we cheer them up with a sweet treat. This behaviour gets reinforced year after year until we are practicing the same behaviour as adults. We never learned how to deal with the sad feeling because we always pushed it away with a sweet treat. Learning how to deal with feelings without food is a new skill many of us need to learn.


Managing Emotional Eating

Here are a few tips to help you deal with emotional eating:
– Recognise emotional eating and learn what triggers this behaviour in you.

– Make a list of things to do when you get the urge to eat and you're not hungry and carry it with you.

– When you feel overwhelmed, you can put off that desire by doing another enjoyable activity.

– Try taking a walk, calling a friend, playing cards, cleaning your room, doing laundry, or something productive to take your mind off the craving – even taking a nap.

– When you do get the urge to eat when you're not hungry, find a comfort food that's healthy instead of junk food. Comfort foods don't need to be unhealthy,

– For some, leaving comfort foods behind when they're dieting can be emotionally difficult. The key is moderation, not elimination. Try dividing comfort foods into smaller portions. For instance, if you have a large bag of crisps, divide it into smaller containers or bags and the temptation to eat more than one serving can be avoided.

– When it comes to comfort foods that aren't always healthy such as fattening desserts, your memory of a food peaks after about four bites, so if you only have those bites, a week later you'll recall it as just a good experience than if you polished off the whole thing. So have a few bites of cake, then call it quits, and you'll get equal the pleasure with lower cost.

– Lastly, remember that emotional eating is something that most people do when they're bored, happy, or sad. It might be a bag of crisps or a steak, but whatever the food choice, learning how to control it and using moderation are key.


Are you having a difficult time losing weight and finding the right weight-loss solutions?


Anyone struggling to lose weight knows just how difficult the process can be. Losing weight and keeping it off can often feel like an impossible task.

If you are truly serious about shedding pounds for good, then the most powerful, quick, effective and proven method is to have a personal Weight-Management Coach on your side.

Most people who are overweight or obese do not realise just how invaluable a coach will be; one who will guide them through the weight-loss process, who provides the proper information when they need it, the encouragement when times are tough, and the reassurance that they will succeed during times of self-doubt.

Having a coach forces you to deal with all of the different issues surrounding your overweight condition so that your efforts produce real results. They will help you discover all of the things that you are doing wrong when attempting weight-loss.

For instance, most people who attempt to lose weight have a hard time staying committed to their goal, resisting food cravings, stopping themselves from overeating, recognising their habits and preventing themselves from reverting back to the habits that cause their weight-gain.

Without having a coach it is easy to get off track because simply knowing what to do to lose weight, what diet plan to follow or what foods to eat or not to eat, does not guide you through the weight-loss process. Nor does it help you overcome any personal limitations or help you change the many habits that caused your weight gain. Having an expert coach is critical if you want to truly succeed at losing weight for good.

A coach has a vested interest in you personally and in the amount of you achieve. Just stop and consider how many failed attempts you have experienced trying to lose weight on your own! The negative psychological effects from failing to lose weight, the blame you direct toward yourself each time you slip off a diet plan or fail to lose the weight you expected, or how defeated you often feel each time you do fail can be devastating and cripple any future attempts to achieve weight loss. Having a coach who is compassionate and ready to lift you up, inspire you to action, prevent you from failing again, and assist you to finally succeed at losing weight for good, is beyond value!


My Pledges to Clients:

– Support: I will motivate, encourage and inspire you to stay committed to your goal when you get discouraged and feel like giving up.

– Belief: I personally invest in your success and guide you towards it.

– Sanctuary: I provide a haven to which you can go during the rockiest times of your weight-loss journey.

– Non-judgment: If you feel self-conscious about your weight and are afraid of what others would think if you failed, you may feel less intimidated by one-on-one support.

– Empathy: You will draw from my personal experience of being clinically obese for many years and successfully losing weight.

– Individual attention: Professional assistance is particularly beneficial if you easily surrender to temptation, lack the discipline to exercise and have tried – and failed – to lose weight on your own.

– Root-cause: Identifying what caused the weight to come on in the first place is a necessary step in permanent weight-loss. Past and current upsets need to be resolved and patterns need to be discovered and corrected.

– Goals: Together we set realistic expectations, manageable goals and achievable deadlines.

– Success: To succeed at losing weight, you need a customised weight-loss plan that fits your needs and relates to your particular circumstances. I tailor weight-loss plans to my clients’ individual daily needs. My weight-loss programmes have a proven record of success.

– Long-term results: I will help you make permanent lifestyle changes, teach you to eat a balanced healthy diet, and make physical activity a regular feature of your day. Clients who work with me are able to easily sustain their optimal weight.


For more information, contact Natasha on 07956 918629 or email natasha@bodyconfidencecoaching.com.

Natasha Fletcher
Health and Weight Management Consultant & NLP Practitioner

“New Year, New You” Health and Weight Management Group

Not just a resolution for a New Year, a resolution for a New Life ..

– Are you concerned about your weight?
– Have you tried almost every diet, yet nothing seems to work?
– Is your weight causing health problems?

If you are serious about losing weight and want to discover how to achieve long-term weight-loss, then look no further!

As an experienced, full-time Weight Management Consultant and NLP Practitioner, I am passionate about health and wellbeing. I work closely with overweight and obese individuals who are committed to working towards permanent weight-loss and leading a healthier lifestyle.

It’s amazing what we can achieve when we are part of a group that is motivated, fun and supportive. Weight-loss can be so much more enjoyable, manageable and rewarding when we share our journey with others who understand and want the best for us. And when we know we are not doing it alone.

Being part of a group where participants’ targets and goals and are in alignment with your own can be extremely beneficial, especially if previous attempts to change your lifestyle haven’t worked and you find yourself repeatedly falling back into unhelpful patterns of behaviour when you feel low or lose morale. Supporting others can also have far-reaching positive effects on our own motivation.

“New Year, New You” Meetups will be more than just get-togethers every few weeks. They are specifically designed for individuals who want to seriously commit to working towards permanent weight-loss and leading a healthier lifestyle, but feel unable to do it by themselves. Members will refocus their personal goals for long-term health and weight-loss by setting realistic but challenging health goals. Together, we will look at what is going to be different this time, ways to make new and lasting changes that we can easily stick to, and how to make weight-loss enjoyable, motivating and inspiring.

Members will also receive a little something to help towards their weight-loss targets!

I will provide advice about exercise and nutrition and help uncover underlying issues that contribute to emotional – or comfort eating, as well as lots of support, encouragement and motivation to help overcome challenges encountered. There will also be plenty of time for group discussion. You will take from meetings valuable tips and tools that you can easily implement, and look forward to healthy weight-loss and feeling great with more energy, motivation, confidence and determination as the weeks pass, knowing you CAN succeed in positively changing your lifestyle.

I am currently holding the group once a month. However, for faster results and structured, on-track weight loss, meetings will be increased to once a fortnight.

Tickets: £10
Date: Monday 28th January 2013
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, Holborn, London EC4Y 1AA

For more information, please contact Natasha on 07956 918629, email natasha@bodyconfidencecoaching.com
or you can go straight to my page on Meetup.com http://www.meetup.com/The-New-Year-New-You-Health-and-Weight-Management-Group/events/100292322/?a=ea2_grp&rv=ea2

Together, we can make 2013 the year of lasting change and excellent health!

Natasha Fletcher
Weight Management Consultant & NLP Practitioner
M: 07956 918629
Twitter: @CoachNatasha

“New Year, New You” Health and Weight-Management Group

Not just a resolution for a New Year, a resolution for a New Life…

If you are looking to lose weight and want to discover ways of achieving long-term weight-loss, please read on.

I am an experienced Weight Management Consultant and NLP Practitioner and will be hosting regular health and weight-management groups called “New Year, New You”. The first group session starts tomorrow evening and I will be running further group sessions over the next few weeks.

It’s amazing what we can achieve when we are part of a group that is motivated, warm, fun and supportive. Weight loss can be so much more enjoyable, manageable and rewarding when we share our journey with others who understand and want the best for us. And when we know we are not doing it alone.

In our first meeting, we will be taking the first steps into a healthy 2013 by getting inspired and excited to take action to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

You will come away from each group session with valuable tips and tools that can be easily implemented and will help towards your weight-loss target. You can look forward to healthy weight-loss and feeling great with more energy, motivation, confidence and determination as the weeks pass, knowing you can succeed in positively changing your lifestyle.

I will advise on diet, nutrition and exercise and help uncover underlying issues that contribute to emotional – or comfort – eating. There will also be plenty of time for group discussion.

Tickets for this group are just £8 per person. Junction 9 Studios is a fantastic venue which is modern, comfortable, quiet, and intimate. The bonus of unlimited refreshments such as tea, coffee and water are included in the £8 ticket.

Tickets: £8
Date: Coming soon! Date and Time TBC
Venue: Junction 9 Studios, Unit 7 St Saviours Wharf, 23 Mill Street, London SE1 2BE

Junction 9 Studios is centrally and conveniently located between London Bridge and Bermondsey, and is within easy reach of both Canary Wharf, the City and the West End.

For more information, please contact Natasha on 07956 918629 or email natasha@bodyconfidencecoaching.com

Together, we can make 2013 the year of positive change and excellent health!

“New Year, New You” Health and Weight Management Workshops

Make your health and wellbeing a priority in 2013 and transform your relationship with food at Natasha Fletcher’s “New Year, New You” health and weight management workshops

Are you determined that 2013 will be the year you lose weight – and keep it off for good?

I have put together a series of five transformational health and weight management half-day workshops called “New Year, New You”. The first workshop will be held on Monday January 14th in London SE1.

If you – or anyone you know – would like more information about how my New Year, New You workshops can help you take charge of your health and wellbeing, please click on the following link:


Make your Health and Wellbeing a Priority and Transform your Relationship with Food at Natasha Fletcher’s Body Confidence Weight-Management and NLP Workshops. (London area)

“I help people regain control of their lives, lose weight, and create a healthy lifestyle” – Natasha Fletcher. Weight Management Consultant, NLP Practitioner, and Behaviour Change Specialist.

Are you:
Unhappy with being overweight?
Frustrated about being stuck in a never-ending cycle of yo-yo dieting?
An ’emotional’ eater?

Do you:
Lack confidence and feel awkward in social situations because you are overweight?
Eat for reasons other than hunger, then feel guilty and unhappy afterwards?
Feel unmotivated, unsupported and alone?

Do you dream of:
Wearing clothes you love and feel good in?
Being fitter and healthier?
Achieving permanent weight loss?

Discovering a way to lose weight, without struggling.
Finding a weight-loss process that is fun and exciting, and tailor-made for you.
Losing weight – and keeping it off for good.

If you have an ongoing personal battle with weight-loss and are constantly dieting yet feel that nothing is working, Natasha Fletcher’s Body Confidence Weight-Management and NLP workshops are here to help you.

Natasha will show you how to reprogramme your weight-loss mindset by choosing positive and empowering healthy behaviour, and you will learn how to regain control of your thoughts, lose weight, and create a healthy lifestyle within a safe, supportive and fun environment.

During the workshop you will:
– Discover why diets don’t work and what DOES work.
– Understand and gain mastery over your unconscious and emotional eating triggers.
– Develop strategies to overcome your ‘inner critic’ weight-loss saboteur.
– Design a personal healthy eating and action plan for immediate implementation.

Workshops combine presentations and interactive sessions such as pair-work, group activities, and open discussions.

You will leave the workshop equipped with a plethora of valuable weight-loss tips and tools so that you can make informed choices about how to achieve and maintain your most healthy weight. With your new insights into yourself and your behaviours, you will be in a stronger position to make positive changes in the way you deal with your weight issues.

Participants of Natasha’s Body Confidence workshops have been delighted with the weight-loss results they have achieved – and are continuing to achieve.

Whether you are a Mum who wants to shed the baby weight, a bride-to-be, have a holiday or special event that you want to look your best for, or just want to kick-start a longer-term eating plan to lose weight but feel you can’t do it alone, Natasha’s Body Confidence workshops aim to motivate and inspire you on a transformational journey to achieve your weight-loss goals.

Natasha will be presenting a series of half-day Weight-Management and NLP workshops throughout November and December across the London area. Tickets cost £40. However, buying tickets two weeks in advance of workshops through the Early Bird booking system will cost just £30.

For further details or if you have any questions, please contact Natasha on
07956 918629 or email natasha@bodyconfidencecoaching.com

Please click on the link below for more information about the workshop
Body Confidence Weight-Management and NLP workshops

Building Confidence Exercise 1: Reliving Confidence

For this exercise you will be using internal visualisation. This will help you change your physiology and internal state into a more confident state.

As with my other exercises, Reliving Confidence is a simplified version of what I do with clients.  However, it is still very effective so be patient and persevere for rewarding results.

I recommend reading through the steps a few times before you attempt doing the exercise for the first time.

  • Stand up and take three deep breaths, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly until you feel relaxed and grounded. Close your eyes. Find your centre.
  • Let yourself go back in your memory to a specific time when you were totally confident. Abundantly confident.
  • Go back to that time now and fully experience it.
    As you remember it.
    Seeing what you saw and hearing what you heard.

   What was the very first thing that caused you to be totally confident?
–   Was it something you saw? (or the way someone looked at you?)
–   Was it something you heard? (or someone’s tone of voice?)
   Was it the touch of someone or something?

  • After you saw, heard or were touched, what was the very next thing that caused you to be totally confident?

   Did you picture something in your mind?
–   Say something to yourself?
   Have a certain feeling or emotion?
–   Or did something else happen?

  • What was the next thing that happened as you were totally confident?
  • After you saw, heard or felt that, did you know that you were totally confident?
    Did you picture something, say something, or have a feeling?
  • Feel the confidence building inside you.
  • Now think of a specific time in your future when you want to have that same feeling of confidence.
  • See and hear what will be there just before you want to feel confident. For example, you may be about to go for a job interview, chair a meeting, deliver a presentation in front of an audience, or make an important business phone call. You may want to feel confident about entering a room where there are lots of people you do not know, such as at a party.
  • Imagine the situation unfolding around you in the future with these confident feelings fully available to you.
  • Take three deep breaths, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.
  • Open your eyes, yawn and stretch.
  • Think again of that upcoming event. You will find you will automatically recall those confident feelings. This means you have already pre-programmed yourself for that upcoming event. You are feeling better about it and it hasn’t even happened yet. When it arrives, you will find yourself naturally responding more confidently.

Simple Exercise to Help with Anxiety, Panic, Fear, Anger and Overwhelm

This is a very effective exercise that helps to relax the mind by slowing your thoughts down and shifting – or diverting – your focus away from unpleasant internal struggles you may experience.

You are going to be using 3 senses:

1: Sight (peripheral vision)

2: Hearing

3: Touch

You can do the exercise speaking out loud or silently.

Do not worry if you find the exercise difficult at first, it will get easier with practice. It is the doing of it that is important – not being good at it. If you lose the thread at any point, just start again.

Here goes:

Sit or lie in a comfortable position and fix your gaze on a certain object in the room. Start by noticing what you can see in your peripheral vision.

Here is an example of what you might say to yourself:-

I can see –
My coffee mug on the table
The plant on the shelf
A magazine

I can hear –
Children’s voices
Raindrops on the window
A car driving past

I can feel –
My left forearm resting on the sofa cushion
The heel of my right foot pressing against the wooden slats of the table
Strands of my hair lightly resting on my shoulders

I can see –
A white armchair
A framed photograph on the wall
A brightly painted wooden chest on the floor

I can hear –
The whine of my neighbour’s vacuum cleaner downstairs
A car door slamming
The hum of the fridge

I can feel –
The silver bracelet on my wrist
My tongue touching the inside of my lower teeth
A light draft coming from an open window in the bedroom

I can see –
The headphones on the desk

I can hear –
My breathing

I can feel –
My left thumb touching my index finger.

(Continue as necessary)

This exercise takes a lot of concentration which is why it works so well. You might find it gets harder to find the words as you go on as your brain (and breathing) slows down and you feel yourself relaxing.

This is a portable exercise that you can do wherever you like such as in bed, in the car (as a passenger), on the train, in a quiet place at work etc. Do it whenever you feel you are struggling. It is especially effective if you are susceptible to panic attacks.

If the place you are doing the exercise is very quiet, you may have to repeat the same sounds but that is not a problem.

‘Feel’ is fascinating as you are not moving and will notice tiny sensations.

NLP Visualisation Exercise to Help Reduce Anxious Feelings

If you are feeling anxious, panicky or overwhelmed, you may find the following relaxation exercise helpful. You might like to ask someone to guide you through the exercise if you find visualisation difficult:-

Get comfortable, close your eyes, and take 3 deep breaths. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly.

Think about where the anxiety is in your body and locate it. Does it have a shape? Does it have a colour? Does it have a texture? What temperature is it? Is it cold, cool, warm, hot? How big is it? Is it moving or is it still? Is it stiff or flexible? Is it light or heavy?

Whereabouts in your body are you feeling the anxiety? Guide your consciousness to the area. Is it in your throat? Your shoulders? Your chest? Your stomach? Your abdomen? Is the anxiety in more than one area of your body?

What is surrounding the anxiety in your body? How does it feel? What colour is it? Is it clear or murky? Clean or dirty? What temperature is it? Is it moving or is it still?

If the area surrounding the anxious shape is angry and stressful and has a colour and a temperature, imagine pouring cool water or liquid into it to dilute it. Fade the colour. Change the temperature. (I have suggested liquid. However, your mind’s eye may give you a different image.)

If the anxious shape persists and resists, imagine moving it around and rotating it. If it is solid, imagine loosening it. Pour on more liquid – or whatever comes to your mind – and repeat the above. Breathe deeply. Take your time.

See the anxious shape slowly dissolving as the area that surrounds it washes over it, enveloping it, making it smaller and weaker and fading the colour until only calm remains where the anxious feeling once was.

And imagine waves of calm expanding into and filling the area where the anxiety was. Take 4 deep breaths, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.

If the image of the anxiety has sharp edges, imagine blunting and softening the sharp edges. Visualise the image getting smaller and weaker and fading in colour as the area surrounding it gently dissolves it.

You may experience new, strange, anxious feelings where the old anxious feelings once were.

You will now need to fill these areas with new energy.

Take 5 deep breaths and imagine a bright golden ball of light gently spinning and vibrating above the top of your head, radiating and shining warmth onto you. Make it as big and as bright as you want.

The golden ball of light slowly comes down into you through the top of your head, down your neck and into your shoulders, gently vibrating, filling and melting into the space where the anxious feelings once were. Imagine that when you breathe in you are taking in its energy.

The golden light now becomes brighter and brighter and the vibrations become stronger and stronger. As you breathe out, imagine that all the anxiety is expelled from your body. Then feel the golden warmth slowly melting into your shoulders, down your upper arms, into your elbows, down into your forearms, through your wrists, into your hands and out through your fingertips.

You feel the warmth of the golden light penetrating your core as it settles into each part of your body. And you can relax as you feel its soothing sensations massaging your body, feeling secure that the golden ball of light will reach every part of you.

Then imagine the golden ball changing to a beautiful golden, warm, orange colour, giving you feelings of safety, calm, peace and tranquillity. The glowing ball very gently travels back up your body and melts into your chest, your stomach and your abdomen, filling the void where your anxious feelings once were. Then the golden orange ball moves into your back, down your thighs, into your knees, down your calves, through your ankles, into your feet and out through your toes. You can trust the golden orange ball of light knows exactly where to go and what to do.

When you are ready, take 5 deep breaths. When you exhale, know that you are exhaling all the old unhelpful feelings. Then slowly count from 5 to 1, open your eyes, stretch and yawn, feeling refreshed, energised and serene with a strong sense of well-being.

This is a useful tool to help you relax at any time. With the help of the techniques mentioned above you’ll be able to help yourself in taking control of your anxiety.

If you find it hard to get into a relaxed state, it sometimes helps to count down from 5 – 1 and tell yourself on each count that you are becoming more relaxed.

Stay with this practice, do it often and be as patient as you can. The more you do it the easier it will become and the more effective it will be.