Your mind and your thoughts are two of the most powerful tools for taking control of emotional eating and the feelings that can trigger it – but probably not in the way that you think.
When it comes to addressing eating, portion control, and weight loss struggles, it’s usually mental strength and finding ways to stay disciplined and in control that are emphasized. This type of approach comes from a belief that you have to deny and deprive yourself if you want to be successful with overeating and emotional eating.
The mindset of denial is a precarious place.
Even if you pride yourself on your mental strength, relying on it requires energy you could be spending in other places.
It’s exhausting to do difficult things. It’s certainly not fun, and most important of all, change experts are now very clear that we have a limited daily supply of willpower and self-discipline. Wouldn’t you like to be using that superpower on bigger and better stuff?
Bottom line: focusing on what you won’t do, or what you can’t do (as in, “I can’t eat after 8:00pm), is not a great strategy to rely on.
Transformation happens when you learn from emotional eating instead of just trying to squash it.
In fact, this is an incredibly powerful way to create a major shift and to make progress –especially if you’ve felt stuck and unsuccessful for a long time.
Instead of pushing back against your eating and focusing on what you won’t do, what you can’t do, and what you need to start giving up, focus your mental energy on what you can learn about why and when you are eating – your Hidden Hungers.
Open the door to a new and better relationship with food by allowing yourself to be curious.
Start asking questions about possible Hidden Hungers (even if you don’t know the answers):
- What was going on before I went crazy with those leftovers?
- What was I feeling when I overate yesterday?
- What was I using food to do for me?
- What did I really need – in addition to, or instead of – food?
Asking the questions will focus your brain on looking for the answers – even if they don’t come right away. Over time, when you repeatedly and gently use your mind and your thinking to understand your eating, you will start to get clear on your Hidden Hungers. These are some of the major reasons we overeat when we don’t physically need food.
Feeding your Hidden Hungers is the real key to creating lasting success with emotional eating. And this is a process that no diet in the world will help you address.
Take the first step to stop struggling and start succeeding – take my Hidden Hungers Quiz and see where it leads.
Take good care,