This could be a controversial opinion…Will eating when you’re hungry or stopping when you’re full work for weight loss and help overcoming emotional eating?
For one, it’s not just about calories in vs calories out-you’re not a bank. Although I understand the logic of being in a calorie deficit, it’s more to it than that. I don’t teach calorie counting bc it’s more important where those calories come from. While you may be eating cookies and ice cream all while staying below your calories doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
This vicious cycle can continue to increase your risk of insulin resistance, as well as keep your ghrelin (hunger) and leptin (fullness) hormones out of whack so it’s nearly impossible to emotionally battle and have enough willpower to combat the cravings these hormones cause.
Secondly, eating less can only make this cycle worse bc ghrelin increases on an empty stomach making you even hungrier and your cravings worse, not to mention completely plateau your weight loss and even cause weight gain.
Thirdly, Leptin (the hormones that tells you you’re full) is secreted by fat so the more fat, the more leptin. The problem is that the leptin signal stops working correctly, therefore your body doesn’t know when it’s full and to stop eating. And for the majority of people, trying to have enough willpower over this leptin-driven starvation signal is next to impossible.
So what does this mean for you?
If weight loss is your goal, then eating the right amount of nutrients and eating for your health is where you can reduce the cravings and take control of your emotional eating.
Doing otherwise and trying to beat emotional eating without first reversing insulin resistance (bc of our body’s sugar addiction) and the negative effects of ghrelin and leptin, puts the cart before the horse and can set you up for repeat failure, self loathing and self blame for something that’s nearly out of your control, weight loss that’s not sustainable and certainly not disease prevention.