Weight Watchers: Feelings Matter
So, it's after Thanksgiving and if I was the gambling type, I would say that most of you reading this probably feel like a Butterball turkey or the Pillsbury dough boy right now. Am I right? What is it about the holidays that make us go hog wild and abandon our good sense when it comes to healthy eating? With their new promotional campaign, aptly called "Help With The Hard Part", Weight Watchers is taking on the tough battle that billions of people deal with around the holidays, and some on a day-to-day basis, and that is emotional eating.
During their new commercial, while the strains of "If You're Happy and You Know It" plays in the background, we're deluged with different images of people eating through their emotions. There's the woman sitting fully clothed in a bathtub with a bag of cheese puffs in her hands, along with the lonely man indulging in the appetizers at a party, and not to mention the young woman standing in the pouring rain, licking the icing from a cupcake. “If you’re human and you know it, then your face will surely show it,” singer Tony Babino croons. “If you’re human, eat your feelings, eat a snack.”
You would think they would focus solely on the negative emotions that lead people to overeat (anger, depression, loneliness, etc), but there are plenty of other shots with happy people pigging out on their favorite foods. Emotional eating doesn't encompass just one emotion – it plays a part in them all. After all, what do we most often do while we're celebrating joyous occasions, like a promotion, a wedding, or a birthday? Well, we eat, of course. It's a time to gather and celebrate with friends and family and nothing makes people happier quite like eating their favorite foods. We don't need the break-up of a relationship, a death in the family, or a failing grade on a school test, to make us overeat, although more often times than not, negative feelings trigger this response more than others.
With their new campaign, Weight Watchers is basically stating, "We understand. Now let us help you through this". And for those of us with a weight problem who struggle with emotional eating, it's a glimmer of hope.
Emotional Eating: The Coping Game
Now only do sensible weight loss programs, like Weight Watchers, help us fend our way through the minefield of emotional eating, but there are other tried and true techniques that can offer relief from this all to common problem, such as:
- Going for a walk. Nothing beats a rush of feel good endorphin's to conquer a bad mood.
- Removing temptation from your kitchen. Like the saying goes, "Out of sight, out of mind". If your "red light foods" are readily available, then chances are you will overindulge during moments of stress. Get them out of your house. Donate them to a homeless shelter or give them away to friends and family.
- Keep a journal. If you're feeling sad or anxious, write your feelings down in a journal (or an online blog, if you have one). Hashing it out through writing (or talking to a friend) can help keep emotional eating at bay.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr. Video courtesy of YouTube).