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The Anti-Diet: Sarah Jenks Tells Us How to Handle Emotional Eating and Get Healthy

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Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sarah Jenks, the creator of Live More Weigh Less and founder of SarahJenks.com. I love Sarah because she has the sanest approach to weight loss I’ve heard about in a while. Instead of cutting out entire food groups or counting calories like it’s going out of style, Sarah advocates a balanced approach to food, which starts with maximizing your enjoyment of life. Sarah took the time to explain her refreshing approach to eating well and maintaining a healthy weight (hint: just don’t say the word diet). 

You’re an expert on emotional eating. What tactics can all women (and men!) use to start having a happier relationship with food?
An emotional eater is someone who eats when they aren’t hungry or continues to overeat even when they’re full. This is driven by feeling lonely, stressed, bored, or lost. It’s important to look at how you feel right before you eat, then see what else you can do to feel better. For example, I used to get stressed out, and I would eat chocolate, cookies, and ice cream to help me feel better. So in the moments I was feeling like I was going to lose it, I would walk down the street and get a ten minute back massage. This helped me relax. 
How do you work with your clients to get them out of the dieting mindset?
Most of us think that losing weight is going to make us feel happy, carefree, confident, and attractive to men, but the constant obsession with our weight just keeps us in a cycle of disappointment. So I help my clients focus on creating amazing lives now, not twenty pounds from now. We work on building their relationships, evaluating their careers, having more fun, upgrading their beauty routine, and decorating their homes. And when we tend to those areas, they feel amazing and no longer need food to make them feel better. 
Your program is called “Live More, Weigh Less,” but you aren’t just talking about pounds—can you explain what you mean?
Of course we all want to look our best, but I think we experience even more freedom when weighing less is more about lightening up and being carefree.
If you’re curious to learn more, you can check out my free training via my website. I actually bring you through a full day so you can see exactly how I live more and weigh less. Once you sign up, you’ll also be invited to my virtual launch party, where I’m giving away some epic prizes—including two 6-month Birchbox subscriptions!
What do you do when you just really want that cookie?
Most of my clients think that meditating or going for a walk is a good cookie replacement. I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose between meditating and a cookie, I’d choose a cookie every time.  So I do things that feel just as indulgent as eating a sweet like curling up on the couch to watch my favorite TV show, getting a back massage, calling a girlfriend, or reading some trashy magazines for pleasure. 
What small things do you do every day to keep yourself on a positive track?
My beauty routine is really important to me, and not because I’m trying to impress anyone else (I work from home). Spending time doing my makeup, experimenting with new looks, wearing a fabulous outfit, and doing my hair gives me a ton of energy. I feel beautiful, grounded, calm and like I’ve already tapped into my creative side. It sets me up for a really productive day and inspires me to continue taking care of myself. 
What are your favorite feel-great foods and exercises?
I drink a green smoothie almost every morning. I also love raw chocolate, fresh herbs from my roof garden, organic meat, and vegetables. I try to move my body every day—not to lose weight but because it’s fun and makes me feel so alive. I love to dance and do yoga. And I just started an outdoor bootcamp which is kicking my ass, but the people are great and it’s so fun to be outside every morning! 
—Mollie 
We’ve rounded up a host of products to help you make tiny tweaks with big results.

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