Most dieters I have met love food and love to eat. Many even think that loving food is a problem and they come in wanting to tame this part of themselves. They want more will power, they want to eat less, they want to not feel so trapped by their love of food. I start with letting them know it’s okay to love food and you can love food and lose weight and keep it off. “But I’m Italian” or “But I’m from Iran!” or “You have no idea my family is Greek” – from what I have seen food is central to all cultures, hence, why so many of us have a lot going on around food.
Most people will nod in full agreement that they have emotional eating going on. But what does that really mean? Emotional eating is a form of disordered eating and is defined as “an increase in food intake in response to negative emotions” and can be considered a maladaptive strategy used to cope with difficult feelings. (thank you wikipedia). Some people use food to alleviate stress, boredom or negative feelings but it does not negatively impact their life. For those that fall in the category of disordered eating, using food to cope is having an undesired impact on their life. If you want to lose weight, feel good and not feel suppressed by food you will likely need to find more peace and flow in your life around your relationship to food. I have found this does not happen over night but it’s a fabulous path to explore new ways to feel good (besides food).
Personally, I had a phase (10 years at least) where I thought nothing could be better than eating chocolate to feel better. And, I would eat chocolate and enjoy it tremendously. Sadly, I also would then feel guilty and mad at myself for eating something that I believe makes me fat. And that is the classic pattern for many of us. We focus in on food to feel better and forget that it’s really not a great solution for the bigger picture. Listen in to the podcast for some more musings on this topic.
And you will hear me reference the Beck Diet Solution book and workbook. Click here to buy it from Amazon. The Beck Diet Solution points out that people with no weight issues do not even think of using food to feel better, it’s simply not a go to for them. Isn’t that interesting?!