Emotional eating usually comes in the form of comfort foods and are typically consumed in response to our feelings as oppose to our nutritional needs or even hunger. Below is an article written by former client and qualified therapist to help us understand a little more about emotional eating and triggers.

 

On eating and sticking to a plan…

 

So you have your nutrition plan and now all you have to do to have the body of your dreams is follow it. Easy right? Well for some people yes and for other people no. You want to make a change, that’s why you’re here. No one is doubting that but for some people that desire for change comes into conflict with other wants connected to food (and drink).

 

One of the paradoxical things about the human mind is that we are perfectly capable of wanting two conflicting things at the same time. Wanting to lose weight and wanting to eat chocolate? No problem. The winner of the resulting battle of desire is often less to do with that mythical thing they call willpower and more to do with the often unconscious drivers behind each behaviour and the hierarchy in our internal value system.

 

We like to think that we are logical beings, that we base the decisions we make about what we do and eat on a rational decision making process. The truth is that most of the time our behaviour is driven by forces largely outside of our conscious awareness and many of these forces have a lot more to do with our emotions and how we feel than with the story that our mind makes up to justify them.

 

Now for those of you who at this point are thinking “I don’t think this really applies to me, I’m not a very emotional person” I’d like you to ask yourself the following “have I felt stressed, angry, fearful or happy over the last week?” It doesn’t matter if you didn’t cry the last time you watched The Notebook, we are all emotional animals and those emotions drive much of our behaviour.

 

So back to food, what does any of this have to do with food?

 

I’m sure you are all familiar with the term emotional eating. Well in truth most of the eating we do is somehow emotionally linked. There are not many of us – aside from personal trainers and psychopaths perhaps – who base what they eat on a purely nutritional analysis. We choose foods for  a number of reasons including enjoyment, convenience, nostalgia etc. and there is nothing wrong with that. Unless there is.

 

Some of these foods – mainly sugar and refined carbohydrates – trigger a complex change in our brain chemistry linked to the dopamine system, also known as the brains reward centre. To all intents and purposes these substances behave in a very similar fashion to addictive drugs and make us highly motivated to engage in certain behaviours.

 

Other foods may have an unconscious association with certain states of mind due to a process of emotional imprinting (learning occurring at a particular age or particular life stage). It is perfectly possible for chocolate – for instance – to have a strong unconscious association with safety or love (perhaps chocolate was frequently given to us by loved ones or at Christmas). In times of uncertainty or stress the unconscious mind may value safety or love as much more important than the goal of sticking to the nutrition plan and the behaviour is engaged before our conscious mind has had the chance to catch up.

 

In order to override these unconscious drivers some work may be necessary to undo the emotional associations with certain food types. This is much easier than it sounds.

 

There are some people for whom failure in certain contexts (dieting for example) has become a way of life and some work may be necessary in the

realms of identity or self.

There are other who simply benefit from really delving deeply into their unconscious motivation for change in order to amp it up a bit.

Most of the work starts around the question of why do you want this change and are you prepared to value this above certain other desires.

What do you value most?

Chips or a sixpack?

 

A world without enjoyment of food for most people is not desirable but it could be helpful to be able to make conscious decisions about what you eat rather than being on autopilot, feeling out of control and filled with regret and shame.

 

We should be able to eat what we choose to and refrain from certain things for a period of time if we place enough value on what we will gain from the process instead of focussing on what we fear we will lose. 

 

Article written by Ben Willens who is a therapist based near to the city of London.

Ben Willens

 

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Pull Ups

Ensure you can reach the pull up bar without jumping. If you’re unable to place a step underneath the pull up bar.

Grab the pull up bar with approximately 1.5x shoulder width.

This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Pull yourself towards the bar, once you’ve reached a position when you can pull no further, this is your end range.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start/end position.

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Y Raise

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Face Pull

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cable Lateral raise

Set the cable to its lowest setting using a D handle attachment, then choose the appropriate weight.

 Stand beside the cable station with an extended arm, feet close to the base whilst leaning away from the machine.

 This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Initiating the movement with your shoulders, pull the D handle from beside your leg diagonally to a position which is parallel with the floor.

 Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Dumbbell Lateral raise

Place your dumbbells at the end of the bench, before taking a seat.

Grab your dumbbells with your thumb facing the same direction as your biceps, sit nice and tall.

 This is your start and end position of every repetition.

 Keep your arm in a fixed flexed position throughout the set.

 Initiating the movement with your shoulders, bring the dumbbells to a position which is parallel with the floor.

 Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Set your bench at 90* (or 75* if you struggle to press vertically).

 Sit on the edge of the bench, feet approximately shoulder-width with the dumbbells resting on your thighs, bring the dumbbell in line with your shoulders and elbows facing the floor.  

 This is your start and end position of every repetition.

 Press towards the ceiling, aiming to bring your elbows towards one another without the dumbbells hitting.

 Pause for a moment whilst your arms are fully extended, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Single arm row

Your dumbbell should be roughly a step-in front of you.

Place one knee on the bench, then take a lateral step to create a wide base (approximately shoulder width).

Whichever knee is on the bench, place its corresponding arm on the bench which will place your torso parallel to the floor.

Pick up the dumbbell with your free hand, the dumbbell should be directly below your shoulder.

This is your start and end position of every repletion.

Initiating the movement with your middle back, pull the dumbbell towards your hip.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Emotional Eating

Place your dumbbell vertically in the head position of your bench.

Grab the dumbbell at the handle with your hands overlapping one another, then create a hinge joint with your shoulder blades and the bench.

Extend your arms so the dumbbell is in line with your head.

Keeping your arms slightly flex (5-10*), allow the dumbbell to move overhead and towards the ground, stopping at a point in which the dumbbell can move no further.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start/end position.

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Straight arm pull down

 

Set the cable to its highest setting, then attach 2 ropes.

Grab the end of the ropes, then take 2 steps back away from the cable station.

Maintaining a neutral spine, push your hips back and pull your chest forward to create a 45* angle with the floor.

Keep your arms fully extended, pull the ropes towards your waist to a point in which you can’t pull back no further.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start/end position.

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Chest Supported Row

Set your bench at approximately a 30* angle, then place your dumbbells at the head of your bench.

Pull your chest into the bench, then grab each of your dumbbells.

This is your start and end position for each repetition.

Initiating the movement with your middle back, pull the dumbbells in a diagonal manner towards your waist till you can’t move no further.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start/end position.

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Leg Extension

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Seated Row

 

Sitting on the machine, make sure your feet are supported.

Reach forward and grip your cable attachment with your palms facing one another.

This would be your start and end position of every repetition.

Keep your torso upright, initiating the movement with your middle back pull your elbows back till you can’t move no further.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start/end position.

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Lat Pull Down

Set your thigh padding to a position that ensures the sole of your foot doesn’t move, whilst standing grab your attachment and secure yourself under the thigh padding.

This is your start and end position for every repetition.

Leaning back slightly and pull the attachment vertically towards your torso.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to your start/end position.

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Push ups

Starting in a prone position, set your hand just outside shoulder width at a 45 degree angle relative to your torso.

Bring your knees and your hips off the ground, so that your body is in neutral (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Press into the ground until your arms are fully extended, then lower your body in a controlled manner towards the floor.

*Your body should be moving in a synchronised manner.

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Cable Press

Pick the handles and take a seat on your bench, your arms should be in a neutral position.

Extend your arms, so your fist is approximately the same height as your armpit but now rotate so that you’re in a pronated grip (this is your start and end position for every rep).

In a slow controlled manner, you’re going to move your upper arm towards the bench. The upper arm should be in approximately a 45 degree relative to your torso. When you’ve reached a point when your upper arm can move no further, press the handles in the opposite direction of the bench until your arm are fully extended.

*Your bench should be central of the cable station.

*Your handles should be should height

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Cable Fly

Pick the handles and take a seat on your bench, your arms should be in a neutral position.

Extend your arms, so your fist is approximately the same height as your armpit. Your elbow should also be slightly bent (this is your start and end position for every rep).

In a slow controlled manner, you’re going to move your upper arm in a circular movement towards the pulley, before returning to your start/end position.

*Your bench should be central of the cable station.

*Your handles should be shoulder height

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Incline Machine

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Dumbbell Chest Press

Sit on the edge of the bench, feet approximately shoulder-width with the dumbbells resting on your thighs then lie back so that you’re in a supine position on your bench.

Your dumbbells should be above your elbows, whilst your upper arm should be approximately 45 degrees to your torso (this is your start and end position for every rep), palms in the same direction of your feet.

Press the dumbbells towards the ceiling, until your arms are fully extended then lower the dumbbells in a slow controlled manner to your start position.

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Change This to exorcise title

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BarBell Chest Press

Sit on the edge of the bench, feet approximately shoulder-width, lie back so you’re in a supine position. Your eyes should be directly underneath the barbell.

Place your hands on the barbell with an overhand grip, approximately 1.5x shoulder width.

Extend your arms to un rack the bar, slowly set the bar to a position perpendicular of your shoulders (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Lower the barbell in a controlled manner towards your chest, your arms should be approximately 45 degrees to your torso. When you’ve reached a point when the barbell can get no lower press the barbell towards the ceiling, until your arms fully extended.

*If you’re training in a facility where you can set the hooks to your preferred height, choose a height in which when you’re un-racking the bar you’re not protracting/over extending to remove the bar.

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Rfe split squat

Find yourself in a staggered stance approximately in front of a step which should be no greater than 6” high, place your toes on the step and your front foot should be flat. This would be your start and end position for every repetition.

You’re going to allow your rear knee to move towards the floor, whilst your front knee is moving in a motion forward towards your toes.

When your rear knee is close to touching the ground, pause then push through both legs to reverse the motion to the start position.

*If your front heel comes off the ground during your repetitions, adjust your stance.

Starting with bodyweight is appropriate for many on a RFE, or holding on to a squat stand to aid balance.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

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Split squat

Find yourself in a staggered stance approximately a step forward/back difference, the front foot should be flat and the rear foot should be on the toes (mobility permitting). This would be your start and end position for every repetition.

You’re going to allow your rear knee to move towards the floor, whilst your front knee is moving in a motion forward towards your toes.

When your rear knee is close to touching the ground, pause then push through both legs to reverse the motion to the start position.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

*If your front heel comes off the ground during your repetitions, adjust your stance.

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Cable crossover

Set the pulley station to above shoulder height on each side, removing any cable attachments.

Grab the left pulley with your right hand, right pulley with your left hand creating a X with the cables.

Retract your shoulder blades, keep your arms in a fixed position then extend your arms to a point they can’t extend no further.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Seated DB curl

Pick up your dumbbells and sit at the edge of your bench.

Pull your shoulder blades together, with your bicep facing the same direction as your knees and toes.

This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Keeping your upper arm in a fixed position, curl the dumbbell until you get to the point in which you’re unable to curl no more.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Cable Extension

Set the pulley station to its highest setting, attaching two rope attachments.

Hold the ropes with a neutral grip, in a flexed position.

This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Keeping your upper arms in a fixed position, extending your arm to a point they can’t extend no further.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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DUMBBELL TRICEP EXTENSION

Pick up your dumbbells with a neutral grips, sitting on the edge of the bench.

Lie back, and extending your arm so that its directly in line with your shoulder.

This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Keeping your upper arms in a fixed position, flex your arm allowing the dumbbells to travel towards the side of your head.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Reverse Curl

Load your barbell in your training area.

Pick up your barbell with a shoulder width grip, and palms facing your body.

Pull your shoulder blades together, with your bicep facing the same direction as your knees and toes.

This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Keeping your upper arm in a fixed position, curl the barbell until you get to the point in which you’re unable to curl no more.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Zotttman Curl

Pick up your dumbbells and sit at the edge of your bench.

Pull your shoulder blades together, with your bicep facing the same direction as your knees and toes.

This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Keeping your upper arm in a fixed position, curl the dumbbell until you get to the point in which you’re unable to curl no more.

Pause for a moment, then rotating your forearm so that your thumbs are facing one another and reverse the movement to the start position.

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Hammer Curl

 

Pick up your dumbbells and sit at the edge of your bench.

Pull your shoulder blades together, with your bicep facing the same direction as your knees and toes.

Rotate your forearm so that your thumbs are facing forward.

This is your start and end position of every repetition.

Keeping your upper arm in a fixed position, curl the dumbbell until you get to the point in which you’re unable to curl no more.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Cable Curl

Set the pulley station to the lowest setting, attaching a cambered bar.

Hold the cambered bar with your palms facing you, then take 3 steps back.

This is your start and end position for each repetition.

Pull your shoulder blades together, with your biceps facing forward.

Keeping your upper arm in a fixed position, curl the bar until you get to the point in which you’re unable to curl no more.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Preacher Curl

Place a dumbbell at the head of your bench, then set your bench at approximately 75* angle.

Pick up your dumbbell then place your upper arm-armpit at the head of the bench, with your palm facing you.

This is your start and end position for each repetition.

Keeping your upper arm in a fixed position, curl the dumbbell until you get to the point in which you’re unable to curl no more.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Spider curl

Place your dumbbells at the head of your bench, then set your bench at approximately a 30* angle

Pull your chest into the bench, then grab each of your dumbbells.

This is your start and end positon for each repetition.

Pull your shoulder blades together, with your biceps facing forward.

Keeping your upper arm in a fixed position, curl the dumbbell until you get to the point in which you’re unable to curl no more.

Pause for a moment, before reversing the movement to the start position.

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Ham curl

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back Squat

Have the bar behind your neck, resting on your shoulders.

Your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. This will be your start and end position for every repetition.

Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reach the bottom, pause then push through your legs to return to your starting position.

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Step Ups

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glute bridge

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Hip Bridge

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45 Back Extension

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RDL

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Trap bar deadlift

Stand in the middle of the hex/trap bar with your feet in approximately a shoulder width stance.

Maintaining a neutral spine, in a synchronised manner bring your hips towards your calves, whilst also allowing your knees to move in the same direction as your toes. You should be able to grab the handles of the bar, if you’re unable to, raise the bar by placing blocks underneath the plates. This is your start and end position

Take a tight grip of the handles and stand, reverse the movement by allowing your knees to move forward and hips down.

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Alternating lunges

With the dumbbell in your hands and to your sides, find yourself in a position where feet are approximately hip width apart

You’re going to take approximately a dynamic step forward, allowing your front knee to move forward whilst the rear knee moves towards the floor. Without pausing in the bottom position, push through the ground to return to a standing position. This is the start and end of every repetition.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

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Goblet squat

Hold the Dumbbell in a vertical manner just below your chin, your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. This will be your start and end position for every repetition.

Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reach the bottom, pause then push through your legs to return to your starting position.

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Hack Squat

Load the weight plates on to the machine, then place your shoulders underneath the pads whilst setting your feet on the platform approximately shoulder-width apart (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Your feet should be a in position which allows you to push through the centre of your feet.

Extend your knees, and take the hack squat off the lock setting. Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reached the bottom, pause then press through the platform to return to your starting/end position.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

*Focus on keeping your lower back on the back pad, if your back comes of the pad you’ve reached your end range-of-motion.

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