Starting Off

Food photo

Photo by FootMassagez

Be aware right now that you are not the only one with eating habit challenges!

Recognizing that there are literally millions of people around the world today, all suffering from emotionally-driven eating disorders, can help you to understand that you are definitely not alone. The widespread nature of the problem reminds us that we really can face the challenge successfully – because so many others have achieved success before us. That’s a powerful message to start any campaign and one of the first habits to cultivate in any programmer of change – it’s the unconditional expectation of success.

Recognizing the origins of the problem

Once you realise that your eating behaviours are often driven by emotional influences, you can begin to develop awareness of how you’re feeling whenever the urge to eat inappropriately emerges. Sometimes it’s an event. Sometimes it’s an individual. Sometimes it’s simply a set of circumstances. As you become aware of what triggers your eating responses, you discover one of the great keys to changing your old patterns of behavior. Awareness is an immensely powerful habit to cultivate on the road to a fitter, slimmer, healthier you.

Keeping track by keeping notes

We need to reinforce our great new habit of awareness by keeping notes of whatever it is that triggers those urges to overeat or to tuck into the worst possible food choices. Keeping notes reinforces your awareness, encourages your brain to spot the precise events that cause the problem and builds the first foundation for taking control of your life and of your future, healthier behavior .

Acknowledge those incredible eating urges

As you make notes of whatever triggers the urge to eat, it’s incredibly helpful to acknowledge the fact that you’re really feeling those urges. Too many people pretend that nothing’s happening as they reach for the candy and cookies, ignoring or excusing their feelings as they pile into the chocolate and sugary cream cakes! Go on. Admit it. Tell yourself loud and clear that you’re craving those toxic treats. Understand what’s happening. Write it down. Stop pretending that everything’s fine when the pounds keep piling on. It’s OK. Acknowledge the problem and tell yourself that you’re taking exactly the right steps to fix it.

Learn to find out why you eat like you do

Do you have a guilty preference for one bad food rather than another? List your favourite comfort foods. Write them down. Now take a few minutes every day to think about each item on the list. Write down how you feel when you think about each of those foods. What memories are triggered by those particular goodies? Write down everything you think and feel. Join the dots. Understand how one kind of food could be associated with comfort or reward. Uncover the origins of the habit.

Food Addictions

Comfort food photo

Photo by Michael Stern

Finally Learn how to tame your Food Addictions

We owe much to the pioneering behavioural scientists who have dedicated their careers to examining the underlying forces that govern human behaviour and whose work has shed light on the most effective ways for humans to take control of their lives. There are countless examples of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds rising above the limitations of their circumstances by changing their behaviour and learning to control their aggressive impulses, focusing their energy on positive activities such as learning, diligent study and developing their cognitive faculties. So we know it’s fully possible.

The same methods apply to any aspect of our behaviour that needs a little help or modification. Addictions can be tamed. Behaviours can be mastered. Make a list right now of your three most important behaviours that you would like to change. Think about the list for a few minutes. Now write down the steps you can take to change those behaviours for the better. What do you need to do? Start now. Take the first step. Take control. It feels good, doesn’t it? It’s supposed to!

Discover YOUR strategies for success

Change lies entirely in our own hands. But how do we apply this knowledge to daily activities such as our eating habits? How do we tame the impulses that flare up unexpectedly, especially when we’re stressed or under pressure, emotionally vulnerable or just craving the wrong kind of comfort? Executive function holds some of the best answers. So it’s time to open up your personal success plan and start the deeper process of personal transformation.

We’ve identified all the key ingredients for success so let’s reveal your personal strategies for totally effective weight control.

Strategies for Success:

1. Belief Systems

2. Consequences

3. Building the Vision

4. Checking the Go impulse

5. The If-Then Technique

6. Controlling the Environment

7. Support Systems

Know your belief systems

Belief Systems – We and the world that we perceive around us are very much what we believe them to be. Our belief systems exercise enormous influence over our lives and over what happens to us. All those thousands of self-help books are really trying to focus on one simple message – that your beliefs are the key to so much of what happens in your life.

That’s the message.

As soon as you realise that your beliefs are only a product of your conditioning, an extension of what you’ve been taught by your society and your culture, a reflection of whatever limitations you’ve absorbed since early childhood, you’ll understand in a flash that you really can choose the kind of beliefs that are completely in tune with your new weight control intentions. Can you lose weight? Of course you can. You only have to choose right now to join me and believe absolutely that it’s possible and you’ll start to reframe patterns in your brain that will lend themselves to your goals. Beliefs are vitally important.

If you wake up believing that you can’t do something – you’re right. Most conflicts are decided before the battle is even joined. When you wake up with the light of belief in your heart, everything begins to reflect the new possibilities. It’s one of the greatest gifts that humans possess. And now is the moment to put it into practice. Choose to believe in your power to take control of your weight.

These methods initiate change at the most profound levels of our consciousness. This a powerful and deliberate extension of the prefrontal cortex’s ability to plan and achieve goals. And despite the calming, contemplative nature of the PFC, it feels really good! So, your first task on the journey to total weight control is to decide what you want. Take a moment to think about what you intend to achieve from this programme. Now write it down.

Eat Right

Eating photo

Check what kind of an eater you are in this quiz!

Uncontrolled Eating can be very well described via the following statements:

We eat to suppress our feelings of fear, guilt, resentment, worry, irritation etc.

We chose comfort food like cakes and biscuits and sweets because we felt we needed/deserved it and then feel guilty about it.

We eat badly to punish our bodies for some imagined failure in our lives.

This is a great moment to work through a simple quiz to determine whether you are in fact an emotional eater or someone who uses food to cope with the stresses of life.

Are You a Bad Habit Eater?

To find out if you’re an emotional eater, answer the following five questions.

The last time you ate too much:

  1. When you needed to eat, did you feel a desperate and urgent need to eat something right away?
  2. When you ate, did you enjoy the taste of every bite, or did you just stuff it in?
  3. When you got hungry, did you need a certain type of food to satisfy yourself?
  4. Did you feel guilty after you ate the same day or the next day?
  5. Did you eat when you were emotionally upset or felt that you “deserved” it?

Let’s see how you did…

  1. Physical hunger begins slowly, then it becomes stronger and finally it evolves into hunger pangs, but it’s a slow process, very different from emotional hunger, which has a sense of urgency.
  2. There is a major difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger and it involves a degree of awareness.  To satisfy physical hunger you normally make a deliberate choice about what you eat and you maintain awareness whilst you’re eating.  If you have emotional hunger, you won’t notice how much you are eating or the taste and you will still want more food even after you’re full.
  3. Emotional hunger often demands very specific foods in order to be fulfilled.  If you’re physically hungry, even a salad will look delicious.  If you’re emotionally hungry, however, only your specific and possibly toxic choice will seem appealing.
  4. Emotional eating often results in guilt.  Physical hunger has no guilt attached to it because you know you ate in order to maintain energy.
  5. Emotional hunger results from some emotional trigger.  Physical hunger results from a biological need.

Find out The Real Reason You’re So Hungry – It’s Imaginary Hunger!

Did your answers to the five questions above reveal that you might be an emotional eater?  Did you discover that you’ve been confusing emotional hunger with real, biological hunger?  If so, the first question becomes – why?

The best way to explain what’s going on is to consider that when you eat when you aren’t really hungry, it’s because you have two stomachs – one is real, the other imaginary.  The hunger in your stomach is a signal to your brain that you need to re-fuel. It occurs when your system has a biological requirement for food.  If that was the only signal of hunger you received, you’d be healthily slim.  It’s the imaginary stomach that causes the problems.  The imaginary stomach sends out a signal demanding food as a result of complex and possibly negative emotions and unsolved problems. This is the moment when your stress and personal issues begin to assert themselves and you feel compelled to eat. Or, more accurately, to stuff yourself and anaesthetise the feelings of discomfort.  Imaginary hunger exerts such a powerful influence that it compels you to eat almost anything to satisfy it.

There are certainly moments when each of us doesn’t really know what to do with ourselves. It can happen after work, when we are alone, late at night or even over the weekend. Does that sound familiar or do you have other triggers that compel you to sidle over to the fridge?  All emotional eaters have specific issues that they want to avoid and, when those issues arise, the imaginary tummy howls with insistent urgency and you suddenly find yourself possessed by an out of control urge to eat.

This knowledge can be immensely helpful in casting light on our deeper drives and behaviours. Releasing judgments about ourselves because we’ve been conditioned to see ourselves as failures is an important step in conquering our stubborn weight issues. Learn to understand why you’ve behaved the way you have in the past and resolve to introduce the changes that will put you back in control of your weight and your life.