Optimize Your Health, Fitness & Vitality with Brien Shamp: Why Are You Eating That?

Goodbye, 2013. Hello, 2014.  Has the New Year gotten to you yet? You know what I'm talking about—that feeling of excitement in your gut as the New Year greets you with the promise that you can turn things around...that you can shake off past mistakes...that you can become better. The New Year renews hope for your dreams.  And if you are like most people then your dream for the New Year has something to do with losing weight. It makes sense, doesn't it?  What better time is there than now to transform your body into the one that you've always dreamed of?

To get you off to a great start I'd like to share with you some food for thought: Why do you eat?  Now I know at first glance the answer to that question seems painfully obvious—but I want you to dig deeper.  You're probably thinking that you eat when your body is hungry to get the energy you need to sustain life.  And you're partially right.  But that's not the only reason that you eat. The truth is that you (along with almost everyone you know) eat too much.  Your body simply doesn't need all of the calories that you consume, and it shows in a physique that is less than svelte.  If we only ate to fuel our bodies then we'd all have washboard abs.  And that's clearly not the case, right?  So what drives you to eat when you shouldn't?

The answer to this question could be just what you need to see results in 2014. Here are the four basic reasons that you eat:

1. Because you're hungry. This one is obvious. You eat when your body tells you that it's hungry and in need of fuel.  Just like your car lets you know when it's time to head over to the gas station for a filler up, your body is great at letting you know that energy stores are low.  Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full is a healthy thing.  Too bad this isn't the only reason that you eat...

2. Because you're emotional. ...but the truth is that you also eat when you are emotional.  Think back—can you remember a time when you turned to food after a stressful confrontation?  Or how about when you've soothed the blues away by treating your sweet tooth?  And it's not just negative emotions that lead to emotional eating—most of us reward happiness with unnecessary calories as well. Emotional eating adds an untold number of calories to your diet—all calories that are unnecessary and turn into fatty deposits on your body.

3. Because you're social. Come on, don't just sit there, have a slice of pizza with us.  No one likes to eat alone, and so you feel obligated to eat with others.  How many times have you filled up a plate just because everyone else was eating? When eating becomes a social activity with no thought to the calories that are being consumed, only one thing will result: weight gain.

4. Because you're habitual.  At the end of each day you relax in front of the television with a snack, and I'm willing to bet that it isn't because you're hungry.  You simply associate sitting down to watch television with eating something.  Or maybe you always visit the vending machine on your break whether you're hungry or not—it's just become a habit.  As humans we love to form habits, and when your habits involve eating extra calories then your waistline suffers for it.  

Here is my challenge to you: Take the time to examine why you are eating, and choose to only eat when you're truly hungry. This small action has the potential to dramatically improve your physique in the coming year.  Remember that improving your diet is only half of the equation when it comes to reshaping your body.  The quickest and most permanent results are achieved when good eating habits are accompanied by challenging exercise. I'd like to see you transform your body in 2014 - simply call or email today and we will get started!

It's well known that stress contributes to fat storage.  You don't need that.  It's important to take a break from the daily grind to enjoy meditation and relaxation.  Want to know another great way to relieve stress? You guessed it: Exercise.

Brien Shamp brings you 22 years of experience as a Body Transformation Expert, Personal Trainer, Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, Massage Therapist, Strength Coach for College & Pro Athletes and Reiki Practitioner. In 2011 he was nominated one of the top ten trainers in the country. Brien has a degree in Biomechanics from UC Davis and extensive graduate studies in Exercise Physiology from SF State. Brien won first place in the Met-Rx World’s Best Personal Trainer Contest in 1999 and was nominated Best in the Bay by KRON 4 for Weight Loss in 2009. He is an active author in Parenting on the Peninsula, Ms. Fitness Magazine and his FREE Blog with thousands of subscribers at www.BrienShamp.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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