It’s true: emotional eating causes us to do crazy things to our bodies. Eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods remains the biggest cause of obesity and weight problems. Despite what the latest detox diet would have you believe, at the end of the day it’s all about energy.
If you take in more energy than you use, it will be stored as fat on your body. Some clients come to me complaining that they are hungry all the time – that no matter how much they eat, they still don’t feel full.
As a result they constantly fluctuate in body weight and find it hard to maintain balance. If there is no physiological reason for your persistent feelings of hunger, then it’s more than likely that the problem is buried somewhere in your mind.
The Secrets Of Your Mind
In my experience working with thousands of clients for weight loss there are two main reasons why people experience excessive hunger. One of them is a need to fill an emotional hole, or a stuffing down of emotions with food.
What if it’s not emotional for you? Once again the answer is in your mind; you have been conditioned to constantly feel hungry. If you don’t have a weight problem then apart from the huge food bill, this may not be an issue for you.
On the other hand of you are overweight, then it’s probably worth some investigation. Think back to your childhood: were you told that you must eat everything on your plate? Were you conditioned to eat even when you were not hungry?
Over time we tend to become governed by accepted eating times (EG: ‘lunch time’) rather than really listening to our bodies and working out if we do in fact need to eat. You can work with a hypnotherapist to break old conditioning that plays havoc with your hunger-response.
Habits Can Be Broken
I have a colleague who told me that many years ago he developed the habit of going to the cafeteria at precisely 11AM each day for a jam donut and a coffee. Soon he discovered that he was carrying extra weight that he did not need…so he decided to cut out the morning donut.
At first, each day at precisely 11AM he felt hungry. His mind had become used to the concept of being fed at that time, so it was sending him false signals. But as time went by, that hunger gradually dissipated until one day he discovered that he no longer needed that donut.
If you have been conditioned to eat even when you don’t need to, this habit can be broken by working with your mind to remove old outdated behaviour patterns. In the meantime, ask yourself the question: do I really need that donut?
I Feel…Therefore I Eat
Back to the topic of emotions: they’re tricky little buggers, and they come in all sorts of disguises. For example, let’s say you had a particularly challenging day at work, where you were under the pump and felt completely overwhelmed.
It may not occur to you that 9 hours later when you’re searching in the fridge for something to eat, that you’re responding to the pressure you felt early in the day. The voice in your head that says: ‘I deserve a treat!’, is really those old unresolved emotions coming up to say hello.
The next time you find yourself engaging in non-hungry snacking, ask yourself : ’What really needs my attention here?’ It may be that you are responding to the previous pressures of the day or feeling out of control and using food to soothe these emotions. You can find healthier ways to soothe yourself without sacrificing your figure.
Emotional eating causes havoc for your health and self-esteem. Work with a qualified therapist who can help you get to the bottom of it, and you will be well on your way to conquering your weight problem.