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April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month.

April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month. So what is emotional overeating? Well, we are all emotional eaters. It is something we are taught at a very young age. We celebrate with food .. just look at all those birthday cakes. We mourn with food .. neighbors and friends all come over with casseroles and deserts. We get together with friends at our favorite restaurant. So it's not surprising that we learn to turn to food for other emotions as well. Food becomes a comfort. It becomes something to take our mind off of what we are feeling. Soon we forget to feel and automatically turn to the food and soon it becomes a habit. We all know how hard habits are to break.

While eating and enjoying the food that is all we think about. We don't have to think about our emotions or why we were having them. Then the food is gone, the emotion comes back and with it comes another one - guilt. It becomes a never ending cycle. Not only does it damage us physically by packing on the calories and pounds but it damages us psychologically too. It stops us from dealing with the emotions.

So how do we stop this cycle? The first thing we must do is acknowledge that we are emotionally overeating. This is probably the easiest step. The next step is to figure out what emotion is causing us to eat. What are we feeling and why? Keep a notebook and everytime you turn to food for comfort write down what you are feeling and what caused you to feel that way. Try to determine the trigger. Were you bored? stressed? sad? happy? Take a few minutes to sit and think about things before you start eating.

The final step is to find something to do instead of eating the food. Read a book, watch tv, go for a walk, talk to a friend, anything until the urge passes. This will take time, remember habits are hard to break. Remember to reward yourself with something other than food. Go shopping, get a manicure, visit with friends, whatever makes you happy.

April [Easter] Recipes - Click Here

How Sweet It Is...

Sugar and other sweeteners are ingredients that add sweetness to foods. They can be found in pop, desserts, candies and many other less obvious foods like all fruit juice and soup. Even if you avoid desserts and other sweet foods, you may find it difficult to eliminate sugar and other sweeteners from your diet. If you have a sweet tooth, the good news is not all sweeteners add calories to your diet.

NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS - those with the calories
SUGARRegular sugar
Brown sugar
Corn syrup
Used to sweeten foods and to provide bulk in baking goods
  • Sugar is a carbohydrate and contains 4 calories per gram. There are 4 grams of carbohydrate per level teaspoon of sugar (which means 16 calories per teaspoon)
  • People with diabetes can eat small amounts of sugar when it is eaten with a meal
  • Sugar adds calories to foods, which may affect weight loss efforts
  • No ADI
Used in sugar-free products; sweetens foods without sugar. Example: candy, chocolate, gum
  • Technically, they are not sugars, but they have calories
  • They may contribute to high triglycerides or weight gain
  • Sugar Alcohols have a laxative effect when eaten in excess
  • No ADI determined
Sugar Twin®
(check label)
Sweet 'n Low®
(check label)
Packets, tablets graulated or pre-added to hot and cold drinks, cereals, pop, low calorie desserts, gum and many other foods. Cannot cook/bake over 200 Celcius
  • 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • Aspartame comes from 2 amino acids (found naturally in protein) although very low in calories (2 calories per level teaspoon), it is still considered a nutritive sweetener
  • Extreme heat decreased sweetness
  • Contains phenylalanine; NOT for people with phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • ADI = 40 mg/kg per day
**Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) - average amount/day that is considered safe (based on body weight)

Non-nutritive sweeteners do not add calories to the diet, and have no effect on blood sugar. They are usually better sweetener choices for people with diabetes and those who are restricting calorie intake to lose weight. Non-nutritive sweeteners are added in very small amounts to foods because of their intense sweetener effect.

NON-NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS - those without the calories
SACCHARINHermesetas®Can be used in cooking/baking.
  • 300 times sweeter than sugar
  • Saccharin is found only pharmacies
  • Avoid if pregnant (crosses placenta)
  • ADI = 5 mg/kg/day
generic brands
Combined with other sweeteners in packets, tablets and granulated; added to pre-packaged foods. Can be used in baking/cooking.
  • 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • Combined with other non-nutritive sweeteners to intensify sweetening effect
  • No safety concerned raised
  • ADI = 15 mg/kg/day
(check label)
Sweet 'n Low®
(check label)
generic brands
Packets, tablets and graulated; not added to pre-packaged foods. Can be used in cooking/baking.
  • 30 times sweeter than sugar
  • ADI = 11 mg/kg per day
SUCRALOSESplenda®Granulated, added to pre-packaged foods. Can be used in cooking/baking.
  • 600 times sweeter than sugar
  • No safety concerns raised.
  • ADI = 15 mg/kg per day
Stevia ®Approved only as a dietary supplement. Can be used for cooking/baking.
  • 150-200 times sweeter than sugar
  • Not approved as a food additive
  • Quality of herbal preparations not regulated in Canada
  • No ADI known
**Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) - average amount/day that is considered safe (based on body weight)

Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.

Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.

Click here to read about our readers journey with weight loss surgery.

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