Last Updated on January 6, 2019
Maybe you scratch your head and ask yourself: How can a blog about real food and clean eating habits decide to stop posting about clean eating recipes altogether? Ok, I will admit that this title is thought-provoking, but only half of the truth. So, before you read any further, I won't actually state that I'll never publish any real food recipes again…
However, for the next couple of months, I want to focus on another important aspect of eating habits and weight loss. In my opinion, it could be the key for weight management for many of my readers. Read on, I bet you'll love it!
You can imagine that my blog focus shift doesn't come unexpectedly, but it has to do with YOU and a recent survey on leanjumpstart. More about it in a minute, but let's first recap a bit, shall we?
Survey 2015: wish for more clean eating recipes
My long-time email subscribers have probably realized that I've been regularly publishing quick and easy real food recipes for almost two years. The results of my reader's survey at the end of 2015 clearly indicated the need for more quick and easy clean eating recipes for weight management. So your wish was my command.
Your wonderful feedback further encouraged me to create more lean real food recipes for you. The fact that many of my clean eating recipes went viral on social media inspired me even more. I could have continued with posting simple, skinny and healthy recipes forever.
But then, this year I've done another survey – with eye-opening, surprising results. I'm so grateful for your honest feedback. See for yourself!
Survey 2017: emotional or stress eating is a challenge
In my recent survey, I was asking “What is your BIGGEST challenge right now when it comes to weight loss & clean eating?”.
Over 50% of my readers struggle with emotional eating and stress…
Let's take a closer look at the following pattern in my survey:
- I'm an emotional eater. The evening finds me over indulging in junk food. (14.72%)
- Certain foods bring me pleasure and happiness when everything else is crap, so I'm keeping my comfort food. (14.11%)
- I'm busy, so I eat what is quick and easy which are carbs and sugar. (11.04%)
- When I'm done with work I am tired and so this is where I mess up. Either I eat something on the way home, or all I can think about is eating. (9.82%)
The underlying factors for all those struggles seem to be emotional, sometimes even chemical (sugar addiction). In sum, over 50% of my readers tend to overeat or eat on autopilot when they are stressed or nervous.
This is true in spite of the fact that they are knowledgeable and educated when it comes to healthy habits, real food and clean eating recipes.
Here are some examples how some of my readers further describe their tendency to stress eating in the survey:
- Can't stop myself from eating in the evening if upset, have tried all sorts of ideas
- If I'm in a rush, I end up missing lunch or trolling the fast food places around work.
- I don't know why, but the junk I am able to easily avoid all day long, calls to me from my bed when I am unable to sleep.
- There is emotion in my eating bad habits so I keep going back to my comfort foods.
Are you really hungry or is it only stress?
If you think you might be an emotional eater, rest assured you are not alone. It is estimated that 75 % of overeating is caused by emotions, according to Jane Jakubczak, a registered dietician who runs a weight-loss clinic at the University of Maryland.
Americans routinely experience unhealthy levels of stress. According to a survey, 8 in 10 U.S. adults say they have problems with stress in their lives. Many people turn to food to relieve stress or cope with unpleasant emotions such as loneliness or sadness.
So, there seem to be a huge evidence that our emotions are controlling our mood and eating habits but then also certain ingredients in foods (e.g. sugar) seem to influence our emotions. More about my findings in another blog post, promised.
Let's return to my recent survey…
Most of my readers are busy women over 40 who want to lose or manage their weight with real food and healthy habits. But, for many of them, stress eating seems to be standing in their way.
So here you have it – the reason why I have to shift my blog focus for a while. Your challenge again is my command:)
In the following weeks, I'll dig deep into the “psychology of eating”. You may be looking forward to a series of blog posts in the context of emotional and stress eating.
Most important, I'll also come up with practical solutions and actionable advice helping you manage stress-eating habits for good.
If you need a jumpstart with real food?
For those of you who are among those 16%, who “don't know how to get started and stay focused” with real food I highly recommend to grab my free 52 weeks clean eating schedule and start from there.
It begins with the important SMART goal setting and helps you creating effective strategies to make healthy habits stick. It is also a perfect approach for all those of you (12%), who have a hard time to drink sufficient water/tea per day.
FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful!
Cooking real food with clean eating recipes will always remain part of my daily life. But for the next couple of weeks my blog posts will concentrate on how to cope with emotional and stress eating. Rest assured that I'll handpick my best clean eating recipes for you and publish them as soon as my time allows again.