Linda: A stop sign is something you come up with to use as an instant buffer between you and the food.
One of my clients mindlessly ate handfuls of M&M’s after work every day, all the while not wanting to. She created a stop sign by making a list of three things to do when she wanted M&M’s: eat a stick of gum, take a short walk, or take three deep breaths and tell herself, “I am strong.” Then she made a bright red stop sign and taped it to the cupboard door where she kept the M&M’s.
Explain how you coach clients through emotional eating walls.
Linda: I offer a fee-based coaching program by phone and internet. People usually get amazing results by learning how to change their life coping patterns instead of using food as their friend. I also provide training for groups at weight loss centers.
Awareness is the most crucial point for long term success. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry or is this an emotional desire?” Catching this at the beginning is the secret.
Another technique I recommend is placing a sign on the fridge that says, “It’s not in here.” If you’re hungry an hour after dinner, your need is not food. The sign is a reminder, a literal stop sign.
Food itself is wonderful. I truly believe it is possible to love and enjoy it, while still managing one’s weight. How you do this is what makes the difference. Using food in the place of emotional needs is a consolation prize; it’s better than nothing but not even close to what you really wanted, such as to be appreciated, loved, or nurtured.