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OVERCOME EMOTIONAL EATING

Emotional easting, basically, means that we eat when we are not motivated by physiological hunger. Instead, we eat due to emotional motivators, or stress, to eat. This obsessive eating distracts our psychological attentions from our anxieties to the flavor of the food that is craved, thereby easing our psychological distress.

A variety of emotions can be the root driving force of our emotional eating. We reach for robust/pleasing (usually fattening) foods that are a powerful distraction for emotions, like, anxiety, fear, loneliness, anger, guilt...

Think about what makes you reach for food to calm your emotional eating engine.

1. Do you ever find yourself eating, when you know you are not hungy?
2. Do you wolf-food-down, as if you were in a hurry to be somewhere?
3. Do you find yourself, "self-medicating," to make yourself feel better about life's callenges?
4. Do you find yourself eating more when you're having a stressful day?
5. Do you instinctively seek out food in an effort to, "feel good," about yourself or any given situation?
6. Do you find yourself desiring food because you're feeling sad, angry, anxious, down, bored, or lonely?
7. Do you seek out food because you're feeling lethargic, and food will give you a burst of energy?
8. Do you find yourself mindlessly feeding-your-face while watching a movie, or in front of the TV?
9. While self-medicating with food, do you hide your binge eating, or food cravings, from others?

If you've answered, "Yes," to any of the above questions, you may well be sufferring from emotional eating.

Maybe - just maybe - it does make a difference, what kind of food it is that you are reaching for, when emotional eating. Sure, many of us reach instinctively for chocolate, but are we reaching for the right kind of chocolate?

Believe it, or not, there are different kinds of chocolate and one kind of chocolate, in particular, can actually help you with your urge to eat emotionally. Simply, you must seek out healthy chocolate. Healthy chocolate is dark, has a high percentage of cocoa (45%, or more), and preferably cold-press processed.

Dark chocolate contains far more nutritional content than its milk chocolate counterpart. And since many of the nutries are processed-out of chocolate by alkalizing and the, "dutching," process, chocolate that is cold-pressed has the highest nutritional content and ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) ratings that top-out far above other high-ORAC-rated foods that provide us with powerful antioxidants.

Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage -- the common pathway for cancer, aging, obesity, and a variety of diseases.

According to the ORAC measurement of a food's antioxidant strength, dark chocolate at a rating of 13,120 stands high above other high-ORAC foods such as Acai berries (5,500), raisins (2,830), blueberries (2,400), spinach (1,260), broccoli (890), and red grapes (739).

Also, when looking for more healthful chocolate confections, consider one without added sugars, caffeine, milk fat, fillers, waxes, preservatives, and sport a lower calorie count.

Instead of reaching for a Hershey bar, next time, reach for the more healthy, dark chocolate alternative.

Xanthines found in chocolate create a sense of well-being. Theobromine opens the lungs and increases flow in blood vessels. It calms nerves and has a little stimulatory effect to give some additional energy without the addictive and negative stimulatory effects of caffeine.

This healthier dark chocolate actually helps to suppress the appetite while preventing fat metabolism and storage. Plus, due to its mood elevation chemicals, people feel better so they are more motivated to move and continue to lose weight.

The high-cocoa content, cold-processed, dark chocolates act, not only as an anti-depressant promoting a feeling of well-being, but also as a powerful appetite suppressant, thereby quelling the undercurrents of emotional eating.

For many people, chocolate's weight control benefits extend from the suppression of appetite to the enhancement of mood. According to Dr. Steve Warren, research suggests several explanations as to how chocolate might aid in weight loss

1. Optimizes Nutrition: Much of today's common diet is comprised of empty calories. If the body is not receiving the nutrients it needs, it produces the urge to eat more. Cocoa, on the other hand, provides the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals the body needs, thus decreasing the urges for added "fuel".
2. Balances Blood Sugar: Coca and dark chocolate help stabilize blood sugar levels, reducing hypoglycemic episodes and binge-eating behaviors. They also promote healthy insulin sensitivity and proper glucose metabolism, which minimizes the conversion of glucose into fat.
3. Normalizes Appetite: One of cocoa's active compounds - anandamide, also called the "bliss chemical" - helps block the brain’s appetite center, Anandamide "tricks" the mind into believing something sweet has been consumed, which satisfies cravings without the added food intake.
4. Fights Depression: Coca stimulates the dopamine and norepinephrine pathways in the brain, which lessen depression and are associated with decreased appetite and weight loss.
5. Delivers Phenylethylamine (PEA): This chemical produces effects similar to those of amaphetamine, which makes one feel giddy, euphoric and excited. Researchers also believe that PEA stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain's pleasure center, Such emotions counter the depression typically associated with dieting and restrictive dietary intake.
6. Increases Fiber: Surprisingly, cocoa is an excellent source of fiber, which helps block fat absorption, creates a feeling of fullness when eating, and is associated with decreased weight.
7. Boosts Endorphins: Cocoa increases the body's endorphin levels, which naturally decreases the need to eat high-sugar, high-fat foods, The "high" one gets from the dark chocolate supersedes any enjoyment one might get from eating, so the focus shifts to eating for nutrition rather than pleasure.
8. Increases Serotonin: This calming neurotransmitter helps promote a balanced mood. Carbohydrates like chocolate help stimulate its production, and the alkaloids found in cocoa also help raise serotonin levels.
9. Relieves Inflammation: Cocoa's primary compounds help relieve low-grade inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with low leptin levels, which increases appetite.
10. Delivers Theobromine: Similar to caffeine (though not as strong), theobromine may produce a mild, pleasant stimulatory effect.
11. Substitutes Good for Bad: Instead of consuming high-calorie chocolates loaded with sugars, bad fats and other harmful ingredients, look for chocolate products that are high in cold-processed cocoa, provide high levels of cocoa’s flavanols and other nutrients, and are sweetened with natural sweeteners. This substitution will decrease bad fat, bad sugar, and calorie intake and increase consumption of nutrients essential to the body.
12. Increases Energy: An added benefit of cocoa's accumulative effects seems to be added energy, which can improve one's ability to exercise and lessens the desire to seek out unhealthy food and an energy source.

Think back to the last time you were on a diet... Remember everyone watching what you ate? The grapefruits, pre-packaged (obviously labeled) frozen (or suspended animation) TV dinners, homemade diet soup(s), powdered drink mixes, etc… You just knew those people were pointing, talking about you behind your back, saying, "Oh, look! She's on another diet, and this time..." blah, blah, blah...

But now that you're on the Chocolate Weight Loss Diet - what will they think when they see you eating chocolate? They'd never guess you could possibly be on a diet. Nonetheless, if you follow the simple rules, your excess pounds will continue to drop.

Nobody makes fun of a weight loser eating chocolate, although they may become jealous and ask: "How did you do it?" because they, too, would like to eat chocolate, lose weight and be healthy.

There is certainly no negative diet stigma related to those who embrace the - Chocolate Weight Loss Diet - in fact, it is the-diet that an overweight America has been craving, err... waiting for.

Note: Any quotations lifted from this site must include the following credit: David M. Masters, author of The Chocolate Weight Loss Diet. No other use is permitted without direct authorization from the author.

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