A friend of mine once joked, "Why just eat when you can overeat?" After I laughed, I realized it was a really good question.
How clear is your weight loss mindset? Check out this quiz and the Weight Coaching perspective on these common dieting dilemmas in the answers below.
1) Why do most people say they overeat?
a) I just love the taste.
b) I can’t stop.
c) I just really like food.
d) all of the above
e) other ___________________________________
2) Most people really overeat because:
a) they aren’t paying attention, so they’re not sure
b) they are using food for celebration, reward, or to try and help themselves cope with stress, anxiety, frustration or other emotion.
c) all of the above
d) other ________________________
1) What are some common reasons given for overeating? (d) and (e)
Our minds often operate on unclear thinking by default. (The sayings, “what WAS I thinking?” and “don’t kid yourself”) came from somewhere! It’s a normal part of being human and we all do it at times. So pause, and take a closer look at these answers.
a) “I just love the taste.” There are many people who aren’t overweight who also love the taste of food. So do children. But they don’t overeat. Think of something else you love doing, like taking a relaxing warm shower. Once you’ve had one, you don’t towel off and then go back in for another. And most people don’t have 8 a day. Weight coaching teaches that it’s possible to have a taste of food that you love and not overeat it.
b) “I can’t stop.” I understand it can certainly feel this way when you are in the midst of a pan of brownies or your favorite food or even having another helping of healthy food even though you’re already full. The truth is, you can. If you had a delicious treat in hand, about to take a bite and 1) your favorite celebrity walked into the room and really wanted to meet you or 2) someone offered you a million dollars if you stopped, I’m guessing you’d leap up to say hi, or to make arrangements for the million dollar check to get to your bank account.
So we’re literally able to stop, and knowing this is important. If you’re telling yourself you can’t stop, that will be your reality. Knowing that you can and are choosing not to at any given moment begins a powerful shift that can lead to change.
c) “I just really like food.” This is similar to “I just love the taste.” It still doesn’t mean that you have to eat in ways that leave you feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And the paradox to this is, a lot of eating is done tuned-out and in a hurry, for anxiety or stress relief. We aren’t really paying attention to, much less noticing how much we like a food when we eat on autopilot, in a hurry without really tasting or enjoying our food.
2) Most people really overeat because: (c) and (d)
Most people overeat to consciously or unconsciously manage feeling a certain way. Weight Coaching gives you tools you can use to become aware of this and options to shift your approach. This involves learning to get clear about hunger sensations vs. feelings and using your body’s built-in hunger signals as a reliable way to stop overeating.
The typical approach to lose weight is to go on a diet that we follow from an expert, a book, other people, etc. Diets lead to hunger and feelings of deprivation as we try and eat the type and amount of foods the diet prescribes at the times it says. This leads to discouragement, frustration, and short-term compliance.
The deprivation and looking “out there” to a diet cuts us off from a powerful built-in tool we have ready access to: our body’s hunger sensations. You can learn how to connect to your body’s innate hunger signals which allows you to custom tailor the type and amount of food your body wants based on what your body needs at any time.
Many of us have found ourselves overweight because we learned to use food to meet needs it can’t. That extra pizza, bag of chips, or extra cookie doesn’t really care about helping you with your money, your kids, or your job situation. Learning to take time to get clear about what’s really bugging you and work with naturally occurring emotion: anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness frees you to eat predominantly to honor your body’s hunger sensations, fuel your body with foods that you like that give you energy and health, foods that satiate you, and those that allow you to reach and maintain your natural body weight. When you learn to eat this way, there’s plenty of room for savored treats of your favorite pure enjoyment foods.