I had a fascinating lunch recently with one our editorial advisors, Ellen McGrath, Ph.D. about emotional eating. Here's this top expert in the psychology field along with me, the editor in chief of Shape, swapping stories about our own emotional eating pitfalls. For Ellen, it's coming home to an empty house at night after a long, stressful day at the office (her kids are grown and moved out). For her, there's sometimes nothing better than nibbling her way through the evening in front of the TV. For me, I come home to a house full of kids and a husband needing me--and no time for myself, which I'm fully aware is the reason I reach for an extra helping or two of cookies or brownies. Two opposite ends of the spectrum, two real women who struggle with emotional eating. The one tip I've found that actually helps: know your pitfalls; don't allow yourself to go near the kitchen if you're stressed, angry, sad, or just plain upset.
One daily change: Next time you know you're heading for an emotional binge, go sit in your living room and take 10 deep breaths in and out--or go out for a walk around the block. If after you do that, you still want that cookie, brownie, or chocolate, have it. Chances are, though, you won't.