Overcoming emotional eating is the piece of the "Lose Weight" puzzle that's relatively undefined. In fact I read an article just a few days ago to conquer emotional eating where the author shared that anger was the issue that caused her to over eat. She learned that if she took that anger and converted it into exercise she stayed away from food.

I would suggest that this is only a band aide for her and anyone else who attempts overcoming emotional eating by converting it to something else. Emotions are a message that is important with which to deal. It's like telling your mother you're angry and she deals with it by going shopping. The anger still remains unresolved and will only build up to a point where there will be a breakdown. In this situation the breakdown is a binge resulting in a further breakdown in self image, further resulting in weight gain.

Her second bit advice was to make an agreement such as, "If I stick to all the healthy foods, at the end of an agreeable period of time, I'll have a treat."

Again this technique totally ignores the existence of emotions and what we do about them. It's the type of agreement that works for a limited period of time and then falls apart.

Her third suggestion for overcoming emotional eating was to use determination to fight off temptation. Again, this technique doesn't address the issue of emotions. In fact all three suggestions are very much more of the same that have been used for decades to deal with eating from habit.
What's important to know is that there are two basic types of eating--eating out of habit and emotional eating. Her techniques may work well for eating out of habit, but will fail miserably to conquer emotional eating.

So what is the answer to conquer emotional eating?

We have a crisis, most overeaters suffer from an emotional eating clinic disorder. And this is because the only known techniques to control eating address those of eating out of habit. For example eating out of habit is being at a certain place and time and eating as in eating a mid morning snak.

To overcome emotional eating, it's important to learn to embrace the emotions instead of converting them to something else, ignoring them, or pretending they don't exist. Yet, this is what most of us have been taught to do with emotions since childhood.

How does one embrace emotions? The first step is to acknowledge the emotional feeling whether it be frustration, confusion, anger, uncertainity, anger, happiness, excitement, the feeling of being loved...

Instead of looking at emotions as good or bad, look at emootions as different energy levels and you can let the energy level do you damage or you can use the energy level to your advantage. Sailors in the Indian Ocean might encounter whirlpools. The inexperienced sailor gets sucked in whereas the experienced sailor knows how to use the energy of the whirlpool to throw himself free. Likewise some can get stuck or become emotionally crippled (usually with one particular emotion) for years.

Leaning how to effectively feel the emotion allows the individual to be thrown free of being emotionally crippled and somehow benefit or learn from the experience in a beneficial manner. Overcoming emotional eating is to ultimately stop diluting emotions with food. This builds confidence and self worth.

A progressive approach to lose weight 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 and using techniques to deal with change eating habit 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