Remuda Ranch Reports Many Struggle With Emotional Eating During Holidays

December 16, 2008

PHOENIX, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ — Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and
Anxiety Disorders (http://www.remudaranch.com) reports the holidays are an
extremely difficult time for those suffering from emotional eating.

“Emotional eating is using food to meet emotional needs,” said Juliet
, registered dietitian at Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety
Disorders. “Emotional eaters use food to either avoid or attempt to change
emotions ranging from slightly uncomfortable to deeply painful.”

The reason emotional eating is used by many people is that it works in the
short term (http://www.remudaranch.com/general/emotional/index.php). The
temporary relief experienced from binge-eating acts as negative reinforcement
for this behavior. The long-term consequences, however, may include
inactivity, depression, weight gain, lethargy, joint pain, Type II diabetes,
high blood pressure, heart disease, self-loathing and hopelessness.

“To successfully treat emotional eating involves using better alternatives
than food to meet legitimate needs of safety, love, competency, connection,
meaning and acceptance,” adds Zuercher.

The upcoming holidays may be an especially difficult time for individuals
suffering from emotional eating not only because food is so prevalent and such
an integral part of celebrations during this time of year, but also because
many Americans are experiencing more stress than usual due to the economic
problems the country is facing. More stress leads to more emotional eating,
and this is only compounded when delectable foods are everywhere.

Since emotional eaters don’t have a healthy relationship with food,
they’re unable to experience freedom in eating. They don’t consider food as
neutral — it’s either friend or foe. This attitude sets up a rigid, “all or
nothing” type of thinking.

Remuda recommends the following tips to help individuals with emotional
eating cope during this particularly difficult holiday season:

— Focus on holistic well-being and seek out activities that nurture mind,
body and spirit.

— Instead of following rigid rules around food, relax. Select moderate
portions of foods that taste good and are satisfying, then walk away
from the food.

— Resist the urge to feel guilty about what or how much was eaten.

— Take any opportunity to be active. Walk for 10 minutes in the brisk
fresh air, build a snowman with the kids, dance, and play with the dog.

— Give your time and talents to others. Volunteer at your favorite

    -- Take the focus off self-loathing, failed diets and deprivation.
    -- Make memories in meaningful ways to rewrite past holiday anxiety.

“There is hope for emotional eating,” adds Zuercher. “Finding freedom
with food is entirely possible. Reconnecting with mind, body and spirit is
the first step to overall well-being. Keeping food in its proper place in
life and dealing responsibly with emotional pain is key to restoring balance
in life.”

About Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders

Remuda Ranch offers Christian inpatient and residential programs for
individuals of all faiths suffering from eating or anxiety disorders. Each
patient is treated by a multi-disciplinary team including a Psychiatric and a
Primary Care Provider, Registered Dietitian, Masters Level therapist,
Psychologist and Registered Nurse. The professional staff equips each patient
with the right tools to live a healthy, productive life. For more
information, call 1-800-445-1900 or visit http://www.remudaranch.com.

SOURCE Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders

Source: newswire

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