What do feelings and emotional eating have to do with each other? Answer: Everything! When we speak of feelings we usually mean how we emotionally feel. The problem is that we have lots of practice ignoring feelings and little practice really dealing with them. For instance, how do many people deal with boredom? They fight it, right?

Have you ever heard anyone suggest embracing boredom? No, it's easier to feed boredom with food. That way boredom stays buried and the problem instead of being identified as boredom is eating too much.

Then there's frustration, upset, anger, happiness, excitement... If one is a at loss as to what to do with these feelings, then eating is the answer.

Truth is that you can have feelings and be free of eating them. The key is to move beyond the temptation to eat and identify the feeling.

How does this work? You have a temptation to grab something to eat and you know that you've already had enough to eat for the day. Normally, you'd do some mind talk like, "I shouldn't eat that, but I'll just have a little--how can it hurt? I'll make up for it later or tomorrow."

It becomes an argument about food. The end result is that the food wins and you lose or rather "gain" weight.

Rather than engage in a self dialogue of whether you should eat or not or how and when you'll make up for eating, ask yourself what emotion you are feeling. Yes, stop and ask yourself what you are feeling.

Once you've identified what you are feeling then know that the choice is yours--take the emotion straight or dilute it with food. Yes, just as alcoholics dilute their feelings with alcohol, food alcoholics dilute their feelings with food.

You can conquer emotional eating by first recognizing the emotion you are feeling. Unfortunately, this is not always so easy to do since we've have much training in avoiding emotions.

However, with some basic coaching and understanding of emotional feelings, many of the old beliefs we have which keep us from feeling emotions such as:
"Don't be angry because your blood pressure will go up,"
"Don't be too happy--you'll set yourself up for a big let-down."
"Don't be depressed--you'll be the bad apple in the barrel"
can be countered allowing the feeling to be felt and food forgotten.

An effective approach to conquer emotional eating involves asking important questions "What is missing here? Why are you not getting the results you've been promised?" It is clearly insane to keep dieting when the results are so poor. It's more important to gain a grasp on how to stop emotional eating--eating emotional stress than it is to read the scale. Besides focusing on the scale doesn't empower you to be a better more enlightened person, whereas learning how to overcome emotional eating empowers you in all aspects of your life. If you're a sales person, you'll be a better sales person. If you're an assembly line worker, you'll be a better assembly line worker; a mother, a better mother... Overall, you'll build self worth and find that what you really want to eat is far more nutritious and less in quantity than you ever before imagined possible.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E., NGH certified, a prominent figure in the field of hypnosis with his best selling hypnosis and stress management cds at www.DStressDoc.com and www.PanicBusters.com. His aim is to make it possible for anyone to manage emotional binge eating. For more information please visit www.dstressdoc.com/BingeEatingEbook.htm