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I am sure that you have heard the term "emotional eater" before...  There is significant hard data now that explains why we tend to eat or not as an emotional response for both psychological and physiological reason.

Let's start with the physiological reasons.  First of all, when it comes to the brain you need to know that proximity is king!  What that means is that your brain is so complex that how close or far things are from each other really matters.  When it comes to emotions the majority of the work happens in the Limbic System which is located directly above the brain stem (essentially right where the spine stops and all of those nerves penetrate into the brain).  This is where the start of most of you emotions come from.  Right next to the Limbic System rests the Hypothalamus, and it is the Hypothalamus that controls hunger signals in your body.  The proximity of one to the other is very important because they have such easy channels of communication. 

This would not be an issue because most everything in our brain is basically a software program and only responds how we have trained it to. BUT, we tend to treat ourselves when we have emotional strife.  Remember when you were a kid and broke your arm?  What did mom and dad do but take you out for ice cream.  Happy birthday, here is some cake!  The list goes on and on and the problem is that we programmed our brain to respond to emotions with food so that later on in life when those programs dictate our behavior we are emotional eaters.

The good news is that just this dependency is a chemical issue and just like breaking most chemical dependencies in our body, like smoking or drinking, we can reprogram our circuits to some extent.  The beauty of exercise is that it releases a very powerful chemical known as "endorphines" and these can, over time, help rewire your brain to respond to stress with the desire to move/exercise.  This is how we were initial programmed with the "fight or flight" response but we reprogrammed ourselves.  The answer is that if you are feeling emotionally charged, before you eat that gallon of ice cream, try to get to the gym and sweat it out.  Replace those chemicals before they ask you to eat.  It will take will power to do this at first but science says that eventually you will prefer exercise to food when you are stressed!

Now, let's quickly address the psychology of eating.  We all know that anger, depression, anxiety, boredom, and loneliness are triggers for reaching out to the cookie jar. You can also view eating as a means of asserting yourself. Nobody tells YOU what to eat!  The issues are obvious

In order to get the most out of your body from a diet you need to first get the most out of your mind. This is how you do it.

Start with a positive attitude. It has a lot to do with the final outcome, more so than the popularity of the health club, the drive of your trainer, and any miracle foods that you may be banking on. Do not whinge or rationalize lapses in your commitment. It will only distance you from your objective. If you have it in your head to do what it takes to achieve success, you will outdo yourself and achieve superlative results regardless of any shortcomings in genes or resources.

Plan for the long term. Treat getting into shape as an event forever and not just a temporary activity to lose a few inches. Equate wellness with a healthy lifestyle. I always tell my client that "FITNESS IS JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION!"  If it involves making some tough decisions then please take those tough decisions. These will most probably be about your self-control, eating habits, and exercise routines.

Be practical and push yourself to achieve those practical aims. Do not start something that you may not be able to finish. Follow through on your decisions. If you become a member of a health club then do go there every day. Complete the entire course of a diet or an exercise plan; do not give up mid way.

There is never a “best moment” to start exercising. The best time is NOW. Do not procrastinate. You have to will yourself to achieve what you wish. Things “hardly” attained are better retained and you owe this not only to yourself but also to your loved ones. Take control of the situation and do not make excuses or shift blame for never being able to get started. Get mentally prepared for some tiredness and inconvenience. The soreness factor is largely a function of your own perception.

Accentuate the positive and focus on what you are gaining. Giving up those cheese and chocolate cakes is actually adding years to your life.

Remember that a target, any target is achieved by focusing on the final deliverable at all times. It is impossible to stay highly motivated all the times and the process will appear tedious at times but do not yield to the temporary relaxations. You do not have forever to get started. Work on
and the solutions are too, but here you go from now and enjoy the fruits forever.

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