We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Health here on FitSugar.By Amy O'Connor
Emotional eating, defined as turning toward food to self-soothe instead of seeking human connection for comfort, is sometimes treated as a pop culture joke (i.e. the image of a woman downing a pint of ice cream on Saturday night, or piling extra helpings onto her plate). But a small new study published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, poignantly reveals the complex precursors of emotional eating and explores the consequences — higher BMI and greater propensity towards obesity, emotional insecurity, shame, and guilt — for emotional eaters and their families.
The researchers interviewed eight women between the ages of 30 and 57; all were self-described as emotional eaters with a BMI of 30 or higher (clinically obese). Their open-ended responses were clustered into 10 overarching "themes" that provide a deeper understanding of why emotional eating is a trap — and so hard to stop.
1. Personal and cultural reasons. Emotional eaters consume food in large quantities for reasons that don't have much to do with hunger. More than half described overeating for traditional or cultural reasons, or because eating was associated with the American Dream.
2. Preoccupation with food and eating. Emotional eaters are fixated on food and often feel consumed by the stressful belief that food will not be available. Two study participants described this well, saying has seductive qualities and that it "draws them in" and "calls to them." For all these participants, the lure of food seemed to grow into something larger than they believed they could control.
3. Relationship history. Many emotional eaters have a history of poor relationships and the fear of letting another person in emotionally. Food becomes a way of protecting oneself.
Keep reading for six more emotional traps that trigger overeating.
What works and doesn't work when it comes to weight loss is often a trial-and-error ordeal, but it's nice to know that researchers are working diligently to uncover more weight-loss secrets. After all, what starts out in the lab this year could just be the next big thing in weight loss. Read on for 10 tips and tricks we learned from this year's biggest diet news!
There’s nothing like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when passing out gifts to the ones you love. Except maybe the incredible, thrilling rush that comes from scoring those gifts during the most invigorating shopping season of all!
This year, our friends at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods are giving you more reasons than ever to celebrate your holiday shopping victories — by creating a series of fun and inspiring gifting “missions” that you can tackle weekly for a new chance to win!
Readers as well as our favorite lifestyle bloggers will be invited to participate in five missions across T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores, then simply share their experience via Twitter using the hashtag #TheGifter. Each week, one winner will be chosen to receive a $500 gift card! You can also visit #TheGifter holiday gifting hub to explore an ever-evolving gallery of amazing gifts at amazing values — check back often for fresh inspiration and fun ideas.
Make this holiday shopping season your most triumphant yet! The missions are already under way, so start making your gifting list, and click here for more details.
Ready to get cooking? Keep reading for this delicious pasta recipe.
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I've been bitten by the race bug, so when I was invited to participate in the Reggae Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 10K (as a guest of the Jamaican Tourism Board) I jumped at the chance. Before I touched down in Negril, Jamaica, however, I wasn't entirely convinced I'd enjoy running a half marathon in Jamaica's well-known hot weather. Here's why I was wrong.Source: Errol Anderson for Reggae Marathon
The simple course: I welcomed the sight of pancake-flat roads gently following alongside Negril's famous "seven-mile" white sandy beach, and if you are a race newbie, you probably will too. The course is not only flat, it's also simple; runners start out in a pack and run 3.1 miles before looping around a large traffic roundabout; from there, 10K runners run back to the start area to finish, while half-marathoners and marathoners continue on to complete the 13.1-mile course loop. Full marathoners run the entire race course twice. The simple plan makes it easy to tune out and run without worrying if you'll miss your turnoff.
The course starts and finishes just steps from the beach, and the views of the sand, sea, and lush greenery are gorgeous, and keep you going when you're fading. Also motivating are the live reggae bands that set up every few miles, as are the makeshift sound systems and cheers from the locals. As soon as you hit the finish village you can rest, rehydrate, and line up for a free massage — or do what I did, which is walk a few steps and soak my weary feet in the warm Caribbean Sea.
Timing is everything: When I first decided to run the half marathon, my first thoughts turned to the heat — and whether I'd collapse from exhaustion on the course. Temperatures hover in the mid-80s in Negril during December, when the race is held. Living in San Francisco, I've become accustomed to temperate weather; when I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October, for example, I was thankful that the city's characteristic fog blanketed most of the course. But, luckily, the Reggae Marathon race organizers keep time spent in the sun a minimal. The race begins promptly at 5:15 a.m., giving participants over an hour head start before sunrise. This is a great strategy, and as soon as you're running the course you definitely don't begrudge the fact that you had to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to make the gun.
Keep reading for more about what I liked (and didn't like) about the Reggae Marathon.
With all the treats and temptations around during the holidays, it's easy to pack on a few extra pounds — but remember, New Year's Eve parties are fast approaching too. If you indulge, remember to work out! Luckily, celeb trainer Ashley Borden created this little black dress workout for us all. Best of all, there are no props required. So no excuses! Press play and get ready to sweat, sculpt, and torch some serious calories.
You've heard it before, and it's true — all the time we spend sitting at our desks can affect our posture and can make us look heavier and shorter. Here are some exercises to incorporate into your routine to combat the hunch by balancing out your body.
Add this move to your arsenal and you'll be working your entire body while focusing on your posterior muscles — from your hamstrings and butt to your upper back. And the move doesn't require any special equipment, just a set of dumbbells, so it's easy to incorporate.
- Start by grabbing a set of five- to eight-pound dumbbells and standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding the dumbbells by your side. Lift one leg back and tip your torso forward so you are balancing on the opposite leg.
- Once your body is parallel to the floor, your arms should be straight, facing the floor. Move your arms in a rowing motion by bending your elbows and pulling them back, pushing your shoulder blades together.
- Complete the row by extending your arms back down to the floor. Come back to standing position.
- Do two to three sets of 10 on each leg.
Bridge PosePhoto: Jenny Sugar
This yoga pose, also called the Half Wheel, opens up your chest and shoulders while giving your muscles and spine a much-needed stretch. Check out more yoga poses for posture here!
- Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, palms facing down. Bend your knees, placing your heels as close as you can to your butt.
- With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips up. Keep your palms on the mat or clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Or you can also bend your elbows and rest your hands on your lower back. If your feet are close enough, you can also hold your ankles.
- Stay here for five deep breaths, lifting your hips up as high as you can.
Keep reading for more ways to strengthen your back.
Lentils are a great source of protein and also help lower cholesterol. Red lentils are high in fiber, which, in combination with the protein they provide, keep you feeling fuller for longer. Make this healthy spin on classic tomato soup for a light dinner that won't leave you going to bed hungry.
See the recipe after the break!