Monday, March 1, 2021

Outsmarting Overeating: Boost Your Life Skills, End your Food Problem

Review by Mary Anne Cohen, Director of The New York Center for Eating Disorders
Outsmarting Overeating: Boost Your Life Skills, End your Food Problems By Karen R. Koenig, New World Library, 2015.

Karen Koenig is a psychotherapist, educator, eating coach and author of five books on helping people heal their eating problems. In all her books, Ms. Koenig blends a down-to-earth style with psychological wisdom and effective behavioral strategies. She leaves no stone unturned to help her readers and clients recover. In Outsmarting Overeating, Ms. Koenig explains that people often resort to overeating as their primary strategy for coping with difficult challenges because they lack a set of essential life skills.

Learning and cultivating these life skills will help you better deal with life’s stresses without depending on excess food. Ultimately, using eating as a coping mechanism is a misguided and unhealthy attempt to resolve problems. Ms. Koenig describes the eight essential life skills needed to manage anxiety and achieve recovery. These skills are the missing piece of the puzzle for eating disorder recovery: Physical self-care and wellness are the foundations of healing an eating disorder. Emotions: Forget what you eat and how much you eat and focus on mastering your moods. Notice what you are feeling, name it, and don’t judge it. Experience emotions as merely a “text message” from yourself which will help you detach. Living consciously: Practice living with intent and awareness in the here and now.

When you remain emotionally connected to everything you do, you continuously fill up in small ways, and you avoid the emptiness that might drive you to mindless eating. Building and maintaining relationships. Self-regulation: Rather than being either too rigid or too excessive in eating, exercising, sleeping, or socializing, you need to learn to blend both freedom and structure to achieve moderation. Problem solving and critical thinking. Setting and reaching goals. Balancing work and play. Skills are gained by practicing every single day because this will lay down new pathways in your brain. Practice makes progress!

In this valuable book, Ms. Koenig shifts the focus away from food and explores in great detail and with in-depth examples how you can successfully integrate these eight new life skills into your life to finally “outsmart overeating.”

Outsmarting Overeating: Boost Your Life Skills, End your Food Problems is set to release on 1/13 via Amazon.

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