If you struggle with overeating or emotional eating, here’s something you need to know. There’s a reason you overeat that likely has nothing to do with food. You aren’t lazy and you don’t need more willpower. Understanding what this really means is the key to losing your urge to overeat.
Do you want to know the key to creating peace with food and freedom from overeating? It’s this: There is a reason you overeat. Always. We reach for food for a reason. Every. Single. Time.
Here’s something else that’s important. That reason – it’s not because you are lazy or unmotivated, or lacking in willpower. Oh, sure, we are all, ALL of those things at some times in our lives, but overeating isn’t caused by these things – and in fact, telling yourself constantly that you don’t have enough discipline or drive or willpower will actually help you stay stuck in overeating cycles.
The truth is, we’re taught to reach for food as a short term coping strategy – in a lot of situations. You might reach for food because you’re tired, you’re bored, you’re stressed or angry, or you’re in a situation where you don’t know what else to do.
Maybe you need a break or a reward or some comfort after a long or challenging day.
The point is, when you have an urge to reach for something to eat and you don’t need fuel, there’s some kind of reason behind it.
Maybe right now you’re saying, “okay, I get what you’re saying, but sometimes isn’t it just a bad habit?” Don’t I just need to suck it up and be strong and knock it off?
The answer is no.
If you just focus on “being strong” and don’t address the reason your urge to eat exists, then that urge to overeat will always come back.
Here’s another important point. The reasons we reach for food when we’re not really needing fuel? Those reasons – things like difficult feelings, or tiredness, or needing comfort, or wanting to zone out – those reasons have nothing to do with food. No food plan or diet will address the reasons we overeat.
As long as you haven’t identified and learned to take care of the reasons you’re overeating, no diet will stop you from wandering into the kitchen when that reason or feeling or situation crops up.
One more thing – while it’s true that if you don’t address the reason you’re overeating, you’ll always be fighting it – and when you’re most tired and stressed or short on willpower, that fight will be the hardest – when you do start learning how to identify the reasons you’re overeating, you can start taking care of your needs in really impactful ways.
And when the reasons get addressed, the cravings lose their power. The urges to go get something to eat go away. You don’t have to fight them anymore!
Here’s my challenge for you:
What do you know about the reasons you overeat? If you’re not already, it’s time to start asking yourself this question. Start looking for the reasons. I have a free quiz you can take that makes this super easy.
Give yourself permission to be curious about the eating patterns in your life. It may seem strange at first not to be focusing on what to eat and to be asking why you’re eating, but I promise you, this is one of the most important steps you can take.