Mental / Compulsive Eating Willpower…
You can know exactly what you should be eating, but still find it difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan. 54% of all people feel that they’re unable to control their food consumption even when they know it’s unhealthy.
Food addiction or compulsive eating is a very, very common problem. Sometimes it’s emotional, filling some sort of need, and sometimes eating is just so incredibly pleasurable, you can’t stop.
Here’s some words I wrote after I received several emails in a matter of weeks from sad, frustrated, over-eaters:
I’ve got to address an issue that comes up again and again: unplanned, spontaneous, overeating. As in, “blowing everything” amounts of food. How can this be stopped? How do you work on breaking a habit or a desire that’s so firmly etched in your brain (literally)? By changing the way you think about the food you’re putting in your mouth.
If food is just about calories and fat grams, THAT’S NEVER ENOUGH TO STOP THE BINGES or OVEREATING. Why? Because you can reason that if it’s an excess of calories, a momentary splurge, you can: exercise harder, eat less later, not eat at all later, not eat tomorrow, start the diet again tomorrow, or even take laxatives or extra fiber in hopes of “flushing” it through you. Sorry, but these methods never work. That’s just the Diet Ferris Wheel calling you: “come on, do it, it’ll be okay, you can make up for this later…”. But it’s not okay. The Diet Ferris Wheel makes you feel terrible about yourself. It’s time to hop off.
How? It’s all about how you view food. I’ve already said that if you think of food in terms of calories and fat, you’re doomed. Actual statistics for Regaining Weight Lost through dieting is 95%. I’ve seen several weight loss experts quote much higher numbers, as in 99% of all people who lose weight, gain it back.
Dieting, Food Restriction, Pills, Potions, Diet Foods, Diet Gums, Diet Patches, Diet Shots, THEY DON’T WORK. I just had someone say to me last week that she’s going to do Weight Watchers AGAIN because it sure worked for her in the past……….
If you want to lose weight, if you want to improve your health, then focus on how you view food. When you look at McDonald’s french fries, don’t think “oh, should I? How many calories are in a Small? I worked out this morning/I’m starving/I’m running later. INSTEAD, THINK: ugh, the partially hydrogenated fats they fry those in will KILL me. My cell membranes will be damaged, my neuron connections will be damaged, my sex hormones will be compromised, I’ll create a bunch of inflammation, and I’ll damage my arteries and then plaque will have to be laid down to repair it. Disgusting.”
What about digging into a giant bowl of pasta, or cereal, or a box of low-fat crackers or pretzels? Instead of, “hey, this is a healthy whole grain/I can burn this off/I’ll diet tomorrow”, THINK INSTEAD: Ugh, all those carbs will send my Blood Sugar and Insulin Skyrocketing! I’ll damage my nerve ending and my arteries, I’ll create inflammation, plus, I’ll make a bunch of Triglycerides that will be deposited in my stomach. My stomach will stick out a mile after this. Insulin Baby. Who wants that?? Disgusting.”
If you’re in a grocery store, and you see all the “fresh baked goodies” in the Deli section, instead of thinking, “well, I smell food baking, so maybe this stuff is a little healthier than the bagged stuff in the cookie aisle.” THINK INSTEAD :”This is processed, refined crap. It was made in a factory in giant batches with tons of sugars, flours, hydrogenated oils, and chemicals. They ship it here in tractor trailers and pop it in the ovens to make the store smell good. This is no more real than a cardboard picture.”
When you give in to the fries, or the pasta, or the cereal, or the goodies, and tell yourself you’ll make up for this later, you’re REINFORCING NEURAL CONNECTIONS IN YOUR BRAIN. In other words, you’re making your “HABIT” even stronger.
Practice, mediate on, think about, the ingredients in your food. All the Positive connotations you have with foods that make you overweight and sick? Change those thoughts! It can be done and it’s the only way to successfully change your diet, lose weight forever, and improve your health.
For example, if you don’t smoke, and I asked you to smoke a cigarette, or a whole pack, you’d be disgusted. You think smoking is gross. But people who smoke think the taste and the smell and the effect is heavenly. They can’t wait. They’ve developed and nurtured their love and desire for cigarettes. It’s the same with foods.
Focus on the health effects of the every single food you put in your mouth. Focus on the health effects of the foods you put in your children’s mouths. Whether the effects are good, or bad, they slowly add up over the weeks, months, and years. We’re always building our health, or ill-health, and our mental state, through the foods we eat. Focus on that connection. Quit thinking about calories and fat grams and being good or bad. Calories and fat grams and good foods and bad foods are Marketing Gimmicks to sell billions of dollars of products, and it works.
If you’re ready to jump off the Diet Ferris Wheel, and need help, contact me. We all have the power to break bad habits and establish new, healthy habits. You have the power to break bad habits and establish healthy habits.