There are many types of diets that tempt us into losing those inches, but sometimes, even though you may lose those extra pounds for a short while, as soon as you come off the diet, the weight starts piling back on, sometimes faster than it took to lose it. Here are some emotional triggers that psychologist, Caroline Heward may help to explain why…

Am I hungry or just thirsty?
You may actually be thirsty rather than hungry and if you drank a full glass of water at least half an hour before eating you may realise that you were actually thirsty and not hungry at all! And you will save on eating those extra calories.

Why does the weight always go straight to my stomach?
Weight tends to gather around the areas of your body where you are not dealing with everyday issues within your life. And the tummy area, above the navel, is a popular place where most people are susceptible to gain weight. The stomach is where we digest our food, but it also where we digest our emotions. That is why we experience ‘butterflies’ in the stomach when we are excited or nervous. Likewise, if you are going through a particularly difficult time in your life you may find comfort in eating food – that is your source of control. This may help to explain why you reach out for that bar of chocolate.

How can I reduce the risk of gaining weight around the stomach?
Look at what is going on in your life. Have you been upset about something? Are you going through a relationship breakdown? Or have you had a recent bereavement? Are you dealing with these issues and working through your feelings about the situation? If not, then the body will express what you are suppressing. In western culture, we often switch off listening to our body. Get back in tune with your body and listen to it. That upset stomach could be telling you that you are not dealing with the emotions that you are really feeling. The best way to overcome this is if you feel like crying, then cry, or if you feel like shouting because you are angry with someone, fully express how you feel. Emotions magnify enormously when we are holding back.

How can I breathe better when I’m stressed?
When you are feeling emotional, your breathing may become shallow and shorter. A good way to overcome this is to breathe so that you fully expand the stomach area, pushing the stomach out as you breathe in through your nose and extend that to the rib cage and lungs and then breathe out slowly through your open mouth, sucking in each area in turn. This should be repeated at least 10 times and you will find that your mind and body will feel calmer, and your emotions will seem far less severe or even disappear.