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    ICON Meals Blog — emotional wellness

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    Five Steps To Stop Emotional Eating

    Five Steps To Stop Emotional Eating

    Let’s be real for a minute and talk about a problem that many face on a day to day basis: emotional eatingIt’s an issue I’ve personally dealt with on and off for almost as long as I can remember, and according to a national survey is a struggle for an estimated 2.8 million people. [1,2]

    The Mayo Clinic says emotional eating is a coping mechanism to deal with negative emotions. Major life events and daily hassles can trigger these emotions. We experience many such triggers every day — relationship conflicts, stress at work, money worries, and rejection to name a few.

    The foods we search out when emotionally eating tend to be high in carbs, sugar, and fat. They give us an immediate serotonin boost (the “happy hormone”), but the response is short-lived. Sugar is highly addictive and your body begins to crave that sugar high, creating a vicious spiral that is difficult to break.

    Why is this a problem for so many?  Most do so out of habit. Years of associating food with feelings — a mindset that isn’t going to get better overnight. To break the emotional eating cycle it will take practice, willpower, and determination plus a healthy dose of trial and error.  

    Let me share with you five steps that have helped me break this terrible cycle. Give them a try before throwing in the towel!

    1. Recognize Your Triggers

    What sets off your emotional eating frenzy?  Work? Relationships? Money? Make a list of everything causing you to eat and keep it in a visible place. When these triggers appear, you can make a conscious mental note that they’re setting you off towards the fridge.

    Triggers are not completely avoidable, but you do have some control over how often they show up in your life. One of my favorite quotes is, “Starve the distractions, feed the focus.”  Saying no to possible stressors can be freeing, opening up the door to positive changes.

     

    1. Consume Healthy Fuel

    Nutrient-dense foods provide your body with the fuel it needs to run properly and can help curb cravings. Sugary foods and drinks cripple your weight loss efforts and often create a binge eating snowball effect. Guess which types of food we gravitate towards when we’re stressed? 

    Keeping your water intake up also helps keep cravings at bay. Hunger, dehydration and stress are a recipe for disaster when it comes to emotional eating.  

     

    1. Find Healthier Ways to Cope

    When I’m stressed, hitting the weights is my number one coping mechanism. I always feel better after leaving the gym. Your healthy coping mechanism may be yoga, reading a good book, listening to music, or hanging out with people you love.  

    Whatever puts you in your happy place, do that instead of reaching for a carton of ice cream next time you feel the urge to emotionally eat.

     

    1. Make Your Kitchen A No-Junk Zone

    If junk food doesn’t exist in your fridge and pantry, you won’t eat it. Instead, keep your kitchen stocked with nutrient-dense foods, like:

    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Lean proteins like chicken
    • Cottage cheese
    • Greek yogurt
    • Whole grains
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Nutes

    I also keep some of my favorite protein bars on hand for when I’m craving something sweet.  

     

    1. Phone A Friend

    Friends make any struggle easier to overcome, and they may even have similar problems. Confide in those close to you. Ask them to keep you accountable, share your goals, and reach out when you’re feeling tempted to emotionally eat.

    Support is a huge factor in successfully overcoming any personal demon. Lack of support itself can be a serious trigger for many people.

    Most importantly, recognizing that emotional eating is a real, difficult problem many face  can make it easier to deal with. Knowing you are not alone can be helpful in overcoming this obstacle. 

    You Can Do It

    It took time and patience, but I learned to minimize emotional eating through practice, goal setting and tenacity. You can overcome this challenge, and getting past self-doubt is often the first step to success. Wake up each day reminding yourself: Be strong and courageous, and keep Livin’ Fit. 

    For more helpful training tips, workout ideas, macro-friendly recipes and more, follow me on Instagram @aprilimholte

     

    April M. Imholte, RN

    NASM Certified Personal Trainer

    Certified Sports Nutritionist

    Nationally Qualified Figure Competitor

    LivinFitWithApril@Gmail.com

    Facebook.com/LivinFitCamp 

     

    [1] Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG Jr, Kessler RC. [Published correction appears inBiol Psychiatry. 2012;72(2):164.] Biol Psychiatry. 2007;61(3):348-358.

    [2] Howden LM, Meyer JA. US Census Bureau Age and Sex Composition: 2010. US Census Bureau. May 2011

    Don't Take Action, Make Action by Ian Lauer

    Don't Take Action, Make Action by Ian Lauer

    Time and time again you have heard people say, “take action.” This advice meant to get you off your keister and on your way to achieving your goals. Though these words of wisdom are spouted with the most positive of intentions, they are repeated at nauseum and frequently leave us wanting. In the end, we are no closer to achieving our ambitions than we were before. Our enthusiasm fizzles and we are right back where we started.

    Why is this? Is it because “take action” is said so frequently that it becomes white noise? Is it because you don’t know what action to take? Is it because what you think is the right action to take isn’t available when you’re geared up and ready to take it? Bear with me for just a moment longer on this train of thought. I want you to think back into your past and answer the next question honestly. Have you ever found yourself eager to take action only to see no opportunities available and when an opportunity finally does presents itself you are no longer charged and ready to grab life by the scruff? If you’re like me and many others, the answer is a resounding YES!

    The question then becomes, “What do you do about it to get off your butt and strike while the iron and inspiration are hot?” I’ll tell you what you do, you change ONE LITTLE LETTER. You no longer say to yourself “Take action.” Instead, you tell yourself to “Make action!” “Semantics,” you say. “What can changing one little letter do for me?” That one little letter is the difference between charging forward and achieving your goals or spinning your wheels and finding yourself in the exact same position a year from now.

    Can you guess why changing the phrase you tell yourself from “Take action” to “Make action” makes such a huge difference? Go on, think about it for a moment. Ok, I can’t wait any longer. I must tell you. It’s because when you “take” something, it has to be provided by SOMEONE ELSE. When you try to
    “take” you’re at the mercy of someone else’s timeframe. When it’s finally there for the taking you’re no longer charged and ready to make the most of the opportunity. This is why you must MAKE ACTION.

    When you “Make action” you are no longer waiting on someone else. You are in charge. You start the momentum rolling. You set the small goals and action steps in pursuit of your ambitions. There’s no waiting on someone to give you permission or provide an opportunity. Make action immediately. The size of the action is not as important as making it now. Do it while your inspiration level is high, and you will quickly find that formerly unavailable opportunities will naturally present themselves. What’s more is that they will appear to you either of your own doing or from outside. At that point it doesn’t matter because you are already underway, and these opportunities will meet you in stride adding to your self-created momentum.

    I’ll leave you with this final thought. When we think of people in history of significant accomplishment, trailblazers like Washington, Lincoln, Franklin, Edison, and Ford come to mind. How did they accomplish so much? I can tell you without doubt these men didn’t Take the path of least resistance to achieve greatness. These men decided to Make a path where none previously existed.

    What is it that you want to do that you’ve been putting off? Quit waiting. Start doing. Blaze your own trail. Make action today!

    Stay connected with Ian on   

    Want to be featured as an "Everyday ICON?" Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    What Human Pattern Is Holding You Back? By Ann Marie Lawrence

    What Human Pattern Is Holding You Back? By Ann Marie Lawrence

    People have so many patterns they follow which hold them back from succeeding! I am not here to call you out on your “bad” patterns, but I am here to help you identify them so we can acknowledge and move forward. 

    Which of these patterns is holding you back?

    1. Putting others first and yourself last. When you do this, you lack the ability to give to others around your full potential! If your cup is empty, you can’t fill anyone else’s.

    2. Controlling others. Focusing everything on other people and trying to perfect them before you have even started working on yourself. Note: Don’t be a hypocrite.

    3. Assuming the worst. The reoccurrence of negative thoughts brings consistent anxiety in your life leaving you unable to grow. 

    4. Playing small. You’re not living up to your true potential!

    5. Perfectionism. The socially acceptable form of procrastination that we regard as high standards. Note: TAKE ACTION! Making imperfect progress is better than doing nothing at all with the obsession of "perfection" holding you back.

    6. Doubting your higher wisdom, heart, or your intuition. Our intuition knows best, although our primal mind thinks it's unsafe. When you aren’t taking risks, you kill your soul! Take uncertain action everyday! Do something that scares you everyday. 

    7. Addiction. Anything that is negatively taking time away from your purpose. Addiction and obsession are two very different things. Know the difference! This is distracting you from your true potential.

    8. Procrastination: not taking the actions you know you need to because you’re SCARED. Scared of either failure OR success.

    9. Toxicity. Holding on to anything that doesn’t serve you!

    10. Need for approval or acceptance from your peers and family; most likely fear of isolation.

    Identify your old “bad" patterns and begin to make a shift! YOU are responsible for your results in life.

    Stay connected with Ann Marie Lawrence on IG at @annmarielawrence

    Want to be featured as an "Everyday ICON?" Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

     

    Tips to Boost Your Mood with Team ICON Member April Imholte

    Tips to Boost Your Mood with Team ICON Member April Imholte
    I would venture to guess that most of us feel pretty amazing when we are taking care of our bodies and allowing time for some R&R. Unfortunately the busyness of life can sometimes overtake prioritizing what we need most. Stress consumes our days, which in turn can lead to a decrease in mood and energy. If you find yourself struggling, here are just a few natural ways to boost your mood and overall well being.

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