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Eating strategically vs. eating emotionally

Fat People Eat Emotionally and Fit People Eat Strategically. This is the statement made by my mental toughness coach, Steve Siebold. Because of his coaching, I now think about this lesson everyday. Of course, this lesson takes various forms - I think about not only what I eat, but when I am going to eat it. I plan ahead more than I ever did before. But, I'll admit that I am also a person who can be deterred by having to do too much planning. You won't find me in the kitchen for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon preparing meals for the week. Since I'm a public speaker and business coach, my wife and I have to travel fairly often. So, with a busy life (like almost everyone I talk with), I have always needed to find a "plan" that works for me with my lifestyle, and one that requires too much preparation wouldn't be it (I run the other way from these!).

Are you an emotional eater?
Celestine Chua

The plan I follow now fits extremely well with my life because it has become my life, which is so different than anything else I have done in the past. For those of you who are curious, I have one or two high quality, high protein shakes a day along will many of my favorite foods. So, while I do have to plan for the shakes, and think about what I'll be eating, I have a lot of flexibility. I keep healthy snacks at work and at home, that I do take the time to portion into snack bags so that they are "grab and go" as I need them.

When I have an event or a special meal out, I am strategic about my caloric intake for the day and my exercise so that I can still have some of my favorite foods. I do track my daily calories and my water intake, and as long as I'm within those calories, I continue to lose weight. Because of this, I don't feel deprived, I don't feel overwhelmed, and I am confident that I will keep the weight off for the rest of my life since maintenance looks almost exactly like the weight loss phase (maybe adding back a few calories). It's amazing what this has done for me psychologically. I no longer think of this as a "diet," but rather as a "lifestyle." I can't tell you how many times I heard someone say that and didn't believe them - because most "diets" are just that - a diet you will follow until you hit maintenance and then you can have all your favorite foods again only to gain the weight back. A diet is simply what you eat on a daily basis, so yes, in that respect, what I'm doing is still a "diet." But, it's just so different - I don't think about being on a "diet," I just think about the fact that it's now a matter of time before I reach my weight loss target. Pretty empowering, and that has to be the best thing I have gained through this process so far.

Would love to hear your thoughts. How do you eat? Is it primarily for emotional reasons (because you are bored, stressed, tired, or because something just sounds good) or primarily for strategic reasons (because you are hungry, the food is healthy for you, to keep your blood sugar even and metabolism going, or because it is leading you toward your weight loss goals)?

My hope is that this article has provided you with something of value to think about. Wishing you all the best!