A huge mistake that people make when trying to overcome emotional eating and lose weight is that they go on a diet. It’s ironic, because millions of marketing dollars are spent telling us that a diet is exactly what we should do. The truth is, we know that diets don’t work. In many cases, diets can actually take you farther away from the things that you need to be successful at taking control of emotional eating and creating a healthy relationship with food.
Diets do not create long term weight loss. There is evidence that diets can actually lead to binge eating and evidence that long term dieting and yo-yo dieting actually lead to weight gain. Among other things, diets are missing one of the most fundamental tools for taking charge of emotional overeating. In my emotional eating programs and the life coaching I do, I emphasize the importance of learning how to listen to yourself. This is an incredibly powerful tool, because, when you do it well, you are able to access the wisdom only you have about who you are and what your body needs. A diet not only doesn’t teach you that, it can really damage the listening ability you already have.
When you can listen to yourself you can learn from yourself. You can learn to identify when you are hungry and when you are full. You can learn to identify what you are really hungry for—whether it is hunger for food or hunger for something else. When you learn how to listen to yourself appropriately, and when you have the tools, you can tell—and you only get this from listening to yourself—what tool you need to get you through the spot you are in.
Diets don’t teach us to listen to ourselves. Diets tell us what to do. Diets don’t help you to be in touch with your body or your feelings or your needs. They don’t help you learn about your unique individual needs and preferences.
The truth is, there is no one truth that works for everybody all the time. Diets, because they externally prescribe a way of eating without considering who we are, actually put us more out of touch with our body, our appetites and our needs. Diets themselves can create a whole tangled web of complications. Lots of people who have dieted for years (and are still struggling with their weight by the way), tell me they no longer have any idea whether they are really hungry or full. They’ve been trying to eat the way someone told them to for so long, they are out of touch with themselves.
There are ways to overcome emotional eating and there are ways to lose weight and keep it off. The first step to success is realizing that dieting isn’t one of those ways.
Take good care,