On Tuesday's show, Dr. David Katz, "Good Morning America's" medical contributor, discussed a new study that identified seven eating patterns associated with overeating and obesity. This prompted questions from viewers about what they should do if they recognize their own behavior in any of those patterns. Below, Katz answers some of the questions about eating that were submitted via e-mail.
I would like to know how to control my emotional eating habit. I especially need help between 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., which is is one of the most demanding times of my day.
Katz: First, take stock of what emotions are making you eat and then figure out if you can address them in some way other than with food. Perhaps you can meditate or listen to music? Don't ignore your emotional needs, but don't let them force an undesirable response on you, either.
Second, be sure to have nutritious snack items handy from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., such as fresh fruits and vegetables so until you can address your needs with a way other than food, you can at least address them with the most wholesome foods that get the job done.
I've determined that I'm a food fretting overeater. How do I change these habits?
Katz: Food fretting means feeling guilty about eating. Instead of feeling guilty, take stock of why you are eating more than you can feel good about. Is it hunger, bad food choices or emotional need? Figure out the problem so you can determine a good solution. If you are hungry all the time, try having food handy all the time -- just make sure it's nutritious and filling food that's low in calories, such as whole-grain cereals, vegetables and fruit. If emotion is what's making you eat more than you should, then you should identify the sources and try to address them.
The bottom line is that overeating and weight difficulty do not make you a bad person! They are nearly universal. Stop beating up on yourself. Be as forgiving of yourself as you would be of your best friend if they were in this situation. Take a deep breath and try to get to the bottom of this problem, rather than wasting time and energy blaming yourself for it!
My husband insists on using the kitchen table as a desk. This leads to tension, as well as to having no place to enjoy a meal. I feel as if I am in the middle of his office! How can I convince him that having a pleasant and mess-free table will lead to better eating habits and help us lose weight?
Katz: I have a couple of suggestions. One, surprise him with a really nice dinner set out on a beautifully laid table. If you both enjoy the serenity (and perhaps romance) of a nice dinner, it may make your case for you. Another option would be to talk to your husband about buying a desk. Only you know what will work given your space, time and finances, but I hope these tips prime the pump of your creativity.
I have a tough time eating breakfast and I eat a lot at night. I was told that if I ate breakfast, my night cravings would subside. I did it for two months and gained 12 pounds, so it didn't work. Any suggestions on how to stop the night snacking? I do great during the day but about 7 p.m. I start wanting sugary snacks, ice cream, chocolate, etc. I don't eat salty snacks very often, as they don't appeal to me.