Today’s post is an interview with Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of a number of books on mindful eating that we’ve been happy to promote over the years. In this post, she tells us about her newest book Eat Q: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence.
What does Eat-Q mean?
Eat-Q is not a phrase that many people would recognize.
“My motto is: EATQ—Eat Mindfully, Avoid Overeating, Tackle Cravings and Quit Feeling Guilty. When you boost your EatQ, you see all these things begin to happen.”
My favorite recent story of EatQ at work is about a woman who craved peanut butter, a comfort food from childhood. She put peanut butter on everything and anything from crackers to mixed in yogurt. Her goal was to break this habit and still be able to eat peanut butter and enjoy other comfort foods without overeating them. She also wanted to stop wresting with an internal tug-of-war between pleasure and guilt/regret.
By reading EatQ, she was able to begin eat more mindfully and tackle her cravings. The food you crave or seek for comfort may not be peanut butter. However, you might identify with feeling guilty or wanting to be more in charge of how much you eat. Wouldn’t it be nice to just eat these foods without feeling regret! (Ed note: A resounding YES to that!)
You’re known as a big proponent of mindful eating through your popular books on the subject. What does Eat-Q provide readers that your previous books haven’t done.
EatQ offers four new things!
- More exciting tips on mindful eating
- Fascinating, cutting-edge clinical research that explains why mindful eating really works,
- New stories about my clients and how they made transformations.
- I also share more about my own journey as well.
It’s interesting that most of the Amazon reviews and feedback people give echoes almost the same thing. “I wish I read this book ten years ago.” It shows how easy it is for time to slip by while getting further stuck in old habits.
What role does mindful eating play in your Eat-Q system?
This is NOT a diet book. I repeat. Not a diet book. Mindful eating runs throughout the entire book. I talk about new and exciting concepts. However, don’t worry. If you’ve read my previous books, this follows along lockstep. It’s taking mindful eating to the next level.
Who does this book speak to? Is it a different audience than those who would benefit from your mindful eating books?
It’s for the person who says, “I’m more mindful of what I eat, now what?” The goal behind writing the book was to answer that exact question.
So, raise your hand if you want to eat more mindfully? If you answered yes, this book is for you.
Emotions = food decisions. We all struggle with eating when we are stressed out or feeling overwhelmed. EatQ is mostly for people who are emotional eaters. However it’s also for the “emotionally driven eater.” Those are people who make a decision about what to eat based on what they are feeling at that very moment. What they order at a restaurant, for example, may be healthy or unhealthy depending on their mood at the time it’s happening.
It’s likely that anyone who comes to or is interested in Green Mountain has begun to recognize the connection between emotion and eating. They key is taking care of yourself and making yourself a priority (easier said than done). My hope is that this makes it do-able.
I see clients in my office at the Cleveland Clinic every day that struggle with eating healthier and losing/managing weight. I know that the process is HARD and at times incredibly frustrating. Yet, it is critical. Wrestling with your eating robs people of so many opportunities to enjoy life to its fullest from being uncomfortable in your clothing to doctor bills for medication. I’ve seen people make successful changes—and you can do it too!
You have a whole chapter on “pleasure seeking” in Eat-Q. Why did you devote that much space in the book to that concept?
One of my clients, a college student, told me that she could order hot, mammoth sized cookies on the internet and have them delivered to her door by bike within a matter of a few minutes. Given that yummy food is all around us 24/7, we have to figure out what to do with it. Good food is everywhere!
“My goal is to teach people how to eat the foods they love without overeating it.”
You’ll learn in my books that I love food (yes, I am not a food hater). In fact, my goal is to teach people how to eat the foods they love without overeating it (yes, even chocolate and mac and cheese).
Tell our readers more about your EAT method that you say can help in virtually any eating situation.
EatQ is an easy, 3-step program to help you eat more mindfully. I created this concept because many of my clients are whiz kids when it comes to nutrition knowledge. In fact, many of my readers could rattle off the fat grams and sugar content of every food you could imagine. But what they don’t know is how to talk themselves into making the healthy choice. I’d like to invite people to come to my website to take a free quiz. It will help you determine what your EatQ level is and will provide you with a free kit to boost your EatQ today.
Through your books and your practice, you’ve been helping people who struggle with eating for quite some time now. Do you think people today better understand the underlying reasons for eating and weight struggles, or are they still stuck in the dieting paradigm that generally fails to consider individual differences and needs?
“Research has highlighted that diets can be dangerous when they trigger disordered eating. But, the good news is that people aren’t buying it anymore!”
Unfortunately, the media keeps sending us the same old message over and over again that dieting is the answer to all our eating struggles. It’s interesting that diets are like fashion, different ones keep coming back up in popularity. And research has highlighted that diets can be dangerous when they trigger disordered eating. But, the good news is that people aren’t buying it anymore! They are starting to catch on that it’s a much deeper fix than cutting out sugar or dairy. How we eat is connected to our emotions. They want psychology, not pop fad techniques.
What’s Inside EatQ?
It is my pleasure to give you a sneak peek inside EatQ. There are 10 LIFE CHANGING FOOD LESSONS you don’t want to miss. You will learn:
- Why you can be smart, educated, successful, and know a lot about nutrition and STILL struggle with eating mindfully and choosing healthy foods.
- How to make healthy food decisions and avoid regretting your choices later.
- The secret to why you’ve tried to change your eating and it hasn’t worked so far (and what to do about it).
- Why your friends and significant other may unknowingly be nudging you toward overeating and how to put a halt to it.
- How to enjoy the foods you crave without overeating them.
- Tricks to boosting your impulse control, particularly around pleasurable food and at holiday parties.
- How to avoid stress eating (or stop it in its tracks!).
- Ways to talk yourself through self-sabotaging thoughts and excuses so you can get back on track.
- The neurochemistry of why being able to talk about your feelings is key to eating healthier and losing/managing weight.
- 25 new, innovative, radical tools for changing the way you eat.
Learn More About Our Mindfulness-Based Healthy Weight Program