In a new, nationally representative survey executed by Google (supervised by Glenn Livingston, Ph.D., author “Never Binge Again”, a national bestseller) 1,500 adults were asked about their COVID-19 eating habits. 39.7%—representing 100 million Americans—said they’d been overeating more since the pandemic began, averaging 1,500 extra calories per episode and 2.8 episodes per week,” said Dr. Livingston.
“That’s enough to put on five pounds per month,” he says.
But Dr. Livingston says dieting is NOT the solution. “Many are planning to fix the problem by dieting their weight off when this is all over. Unfortunately, using food to soothe trauma during the pandemic creates a strong link between emotions and overeating that may last long after COVID ends. Dieting after this experience can stress the individual and trigger the link, thereby creating even more overeating episodes.”
“To correct for COVID-19 overeating, don’t diet right away, instead focus first on modifying the overeating behavior. Working with over 1,000 binge-eating clients has taught me even if you’re bingeing every day, you can quickly retrain yourself to experience those negative emotions without the urge to overeat.” To do this, he urged people to implement the following crucial strategies:
- Create Clear Boundaries Around Trigger Foods
- Keep Your Kitchen Overstocked with Healthy Food
- Make Regular, Daily Socialization Appointments and Turn Your Zoom Camera On: “In my practice, people who don’t Zoom with their video on are having much more trouble with food,” said Dr. Livingston. “That’s because it’s easier to fantasize that you’ll deal with the extra weight later if nobody ever sees you.”
- Recognize It’s Critical to Stop COVID-Induced Overeating Before It Progresses
- Eat and Snack by Design: To sever the link between emotions and overeating, shift from an “eat on a whim” to an “eat and snack by design” structure.
- Wait until you’ve severed the connection between emotional turmoil and overeating before focusing on weight loss, which should become a lot easier and more natural at that time.
For more details on how to stop overeating a free guide from Dr. Glenn Livingston can be found here.
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