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Day 16 - Nurturing Power of Food

Kelly (aka Kelza)

When you're feeling stressed or sad or lonely, food does seem to make you feel better. At least initially, it calms your anger or anxiety and lifts your spirits. But how long does food keep working?

As you know, the first two bites of any food have the most impact on your taste buds. But they're also the only ones that have any emotional power! Once you finish those first bites, you'll have received whatever benefits the food can do for you. Eating more of it simply won't bring you additional satisfaction or make you feel any better.

You're done!

If you're eating as a way to feel nurtured or calmed, you'll usually experience some level of those feelings right away. But continuing to eat won't bring any more satisfaction or make you feel better and better. In fact, at some point, you'll probably start to feel frustrated and disappointed with your behavior instead of being healed by the food.

Once you understand that eating more won't continue to improve your emotional state, you can actually use this in your favor. With a little effort, you can train yourself to feel better after eating only a small amount of nurturing food.

My comments: I can identify when I'm eating to sooth my emotions, my problem is that even after I identify that I can't put down the food. Where I struggle with is figuring out exactly what is wrong with me and what to do about it. Sometimes there isn't a direct action we can take to feel better except to let time pass. It's during this time that I need to stay away from the food.

I am going to work harder to implement the two bite rule and really pay attention to whether I am satisfied or truly hungry. What are your thoughts and actions?

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  Anonymous Replied:

Two bites - Always a good practice. Graham cracker for me today. I'll eat two bites, enjoy the two bites, and put the rest back into the package. Then I'll think long and hard about why it seems to be important to eat a whole sleeve of grahams.

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  Anonymous Replied:

I don't turn to food to help me feel better or at least I don't feel that I do in the sense of emotions. I turn to food out of boredome or conveinece. It's a habit to say oh look that looks good and since I might be hungry I will just eat it.
When I am upset I turn to games on my computer, blogging or sometimes due to anxiety some medicine.
I think I grab food that isn't healthy without even thinking about it until I have eaten it.
I do hide the fact that I eat that type of food sometimes. I feel ashamed and I don't want anyone to know. I've been trying to just avoid those behaviors by breaking the habit of looking so long term and what I am trying to accomplish. I am really doing it ODAT this time around.
The two bite rule is good for when you want to indulge in something. I will keep that in mind today and everyday. I will also keep in mind why I am eating certain things. Is it to fill a void or is it just habit?

  Gwen Replied:

The whole connection between emotions and food is a huge subject and one I need to explore in order to change how I use food. I would like to say my emotions and food are not connected but they actually are bolted together, are padlocked and I have , until now lost the key...

My goal is to lose weight and to keep it off, so understanding today's lesson and making it part of my thinking and my new eating habits sound good to me.

  Shari (CE) Replied:

I still have a problem with ice cream. It is my number one comfort food even when it's - 10 degrees out =] (it's been on my mind today)
When I find myself wanting ice cream I know it's because I'm feeling some emotion, happy, sad, lonely or whatever. I can't stop at 2 bites so for now I don't go there unless I build it into my daily calories and I don't have enough calories left to fit it into today.
Because I know that I am an emotional eater I always question cravings for any certain food item. Most of the time a cup of tea and quiet time to relax helps.

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  Anonymous Replied:

I am still not really sure about the two bite rule - I don't think I could eat just two bites of a chocolate fudge brownie or a piece of chocolate cheesecake. I still think for me it is better to avoid those foods all together but I will have to give the two bite rule a chance before I will really know for sure.

I should have read this BEFORE I went to the Chinese Buffet for dinner last night - they had some really nice desserts but I avoided them.

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  Anonymous Replied:

I don't go for this two-bite deal. It's like telling an alcoholic they can have one drink. Fatty, salty, sugary foods are addictive. I have broken my addicition. I have no desire for doughnuts, potato chips, any fast food, or ice cream. If I want something sweet I take some fruit, and my favorite dessert if all-natural 'panda' brand licorice, 5 pieces for 26 calories. 0 fat, 10 carbs, .5g protein. For me, eating NO addictive foods = freedom and weight loss. It's working.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.