confidence Archives - Nutrition|Weight Loss|Mindful Eating
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Stop Overeating

Stop Overeating and Binge Eating – 8 Tips of Exactly Where To Start

Stop overeating and binge eating with these 8 tips of exactly where to startMaybe you have been diagnosed with binge eating disorder and just don’t know where to start? Or you tend to binge or restrict and really want to make a change to your eating habits, but don’t know where to even begin? Keep reading, because this blog is exactly for you. I am sharing 8 things if you want to know WHERE TO START to stop overeating and feel normal around food again.

1] Challenge Dieting and Restricting Rules

Research is clear.   The biggest reason people binge eat, over-eat  and compulsive eat is dieting and restricting. Indeed, the core problem is the conditioned ‘food rules’ we create and adhere to.  For instance, ‘Avoid sugar’, ‘Carbs are bad’, ‘Don’t eat gluten’ and ‘Fat is a no-no’.  These are actually constructed notions from society and the diet industry; essentially categorising foods as ‘naughty’, ‘good’, or ‘bad’.    There are so many rules, it becomes overwhelming to know what we actually can eat.  Ultimately, we become scared of food, which is not helpful if we want to stop overeating or binge eating. 

 

Similarly, when you tell a child ‘You can play with any toys you want, except the red truck’ –  what toy do you think this child will want to play with? Well, the red truck of course!   Essentially, adults are exactly the same way with food! If you tell someone they can eat anything except cake , they will most likely become obsessed with cake. The cake becomes the forbidden fruit and very appealing. 

stop overeating

Challenge Diet Rules

So the first step is to challenge these preconditioned food rules. Even if you do nothing else – do this step.  We need to challenge these voices. The eating disorder voices or ‘food rule voices’ need to be quietened. Of course, if you have actual allergies or intolerances, then yes- keep some rules.  But, if your body is OK with gluten, have a little bit of bread. Sometimes the strict rules create so much emotional pain and discomfort, that it causes more damage than just having 1 piece of bread per week.    

 

An Entire Jar of Peanut Butter

So, what food do you have strict ideas about? What food do you avoid without specific reasons other than being scared you will gain weight or eat it uncontrollably? For me, it used to be peanut butter.  I used to have this feeling, that if I ate peanut butter I would eat the entire jar in 3 days (as I used to eat it with a spoon). So, because of that experience I started believing that I can not keep peanut butter at home.  I would avoid it at all costs and I would even ask my partner to hide it! But when I started working on my relationship with food, I started introducing the forbidden peanut butter. Ultimately, this is my first suggestion for you!  

 

Forbidden Foods

I recommend introducing your forbidden food on a regular basis.  Your mind might be thinking, ‘No! I will not be able to stop!”or “I will eat it all!”.  If your thing is peanut butter, start having one teaspoon every day for 3 weeks and see what happens.  Yes, I am really suggesting 3 weeks. And you HAVE to eat it. Your natural response might even be you don’t want to eat it some days. Many of my clients come back and say they did not even feel like eating it.  Ultimately, if we face the fear around the forbidden foods, they will lose their power. Then, you will feel more in charge over food in general.

stop overeating

2] Counter-Condition Yourself to Heal Your Own Body Image

Body image is the second main reason for disordered eating. The pressure we place on ourselves and what we are ‘supposed’ to look like and ‘be like’ is all-encompassing. The bombardment from the media, TV shows, social media and magazines inform our sense of worth and what we are supposed to look like.  Then, we suddenly feel inadequate to live up to these impossible expectations. We think, ‘If I don’t fit into that, then I am not good enough, beautiful enough, successful enough, lovable enough’.  Thoughts that we are a failure creep in. We feel we won’t find a partner who will love us because we are a certain shape.  In our mind, we become ‘not enough’.

 

Unfollow

We need to counter-condition ourselves.  I suggest unfollowing any pages or people who trigger a sense of ‘I am not good enough’.  Unfollow any pages or people who make you feel inadequate or like you need to change. It does not mean they are doing anything wrong, but for now, the comparison is not good for our soul and growth.  So anything that is keeping you in the disordered eating mind frame, let it go, for now.   

 

Further, I suggest to stop looking at paleo, keto recipes or any other food related things for a while.  When we unfollow these things, we create capacity and space to focus on other things. We start focusing on hobbies, people, passions and connecting to what soothes us and fills us up with joy. 

stop overeating

3] Eat Balanced Meals – Give Yourself Permission to Eat Enough Calories and All Food Groups

This step involves eating balanced meals, but not by following a diet.  If you find yourself having food cravings, give yourself permission to eat a little bit more.  It means you probably need more calories or are restricting too much. In particular, it is critical to integrate all the food groups and have enough calories. For example, the perfect balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fats will stop food cravings because your blood sugar will be stabilized.  You will have enough macro and micro nutrients and your body will stop asking for food all the time. Above all, focus on whole foods that give enough nutrients.  For more on exactly what to eat, check out my blog on the Balanced Diet Framework.

 

4] Stop Overeating and Binge Eating by Learning Emotional Management and Self-Soothing Techniques

Emotional management can help us to stop overeating.  Do you sometimes numb emotions when you are sad, frustrated, emotional or tired? Do you use food to comfort yourself and soothe yourself? Maybe almost like a self-medicating technique ? I think we all do this to a degree.  This step is a simple matter of cultivating self-awareness and learning to soothe ourselves in other ways, other than food. 

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, food is one option, but there are other ways.  One technique that works for me to stop overeating is, if I feel sad, connecting to that feeling. ‘Where in my body do I feel sad?”  Close your eyes and feel the feeling …where can I feel it in my body? Take a deep breath.  For me, sometimes it is in my heart. Other times in my belly. And if I feel sad, I gently ask myself, ‘What do I desire? What do I need? ‘. Perhaps it is ….

 

  • Some slowing down time
  • Chilling out in a blanket
  • Watching something light and funny on Netflix – because that is what relaxes me.
  • Chatting to a friend
  • A hug

 

Really connect and acknowledge those emotions and needs.  Connect to the inner child, and become the inner-loving mother; ‘What do you need. I’ve got you, I am here for you. I will be looking after you’.  Self-soothing is very powerful and sometimes we need to re-teach ourselves these techniques as we were perhaps not taught during childhood. 

stop overeating

5] To Stop Overeating and Binge Eating – Break Old Habits and Routines

Look into your routine and habits.  Binge eating, emotional eating and overeating often starts because there was a trigger, or we learnt it from our environment or parents.  Without a doubt, if we binge once, the brain picks up on it and goes “Oh that feels good! I like that!”,  and we feel high from the sugar and processed food. We will repeat this cycle as our brain felt the reward, and it felt good. It solidifies as a habit and a routine. So, it is a simple matter of breaking the routine. 

 

Undoubtedly, we need to integrate new habits. You need to make the conscious decision that if you feel angry you will now do ‘self-soothing’. In this way, you will do something that you consciously decide you will be doing if you feel angry.  It could be a run or walk with music. It could be sitting with the anger and saying ‘this will pass, I will sit with the anger’.   You can easily break the habit and routine by integrating something else into your habitual behaviour.

 

6] Integrate What Truly Matters to You: Hobbies, Connection, Family, Adventure, Friendships, Health and Well-Being

This relates to the previous point. We use food as a drug to entertain ourselves or comfort ourselves.  Sometimes, food is the only pleasure in our life, it becomes our main source of joy.  And that is our ‘go to’. So every time I feel sad, I might eat because I get pleasure. Or every time I am lonely, I eat because I do not want to feel alone. It numbs my thoughts for that moment…

 

It is important we change the focus from food to other things in our life.  For example, integrating hobbies that are meaningful to you. What is something you have always wanted to do? What is something you have always wanted to try, but have had 1000 excuses and reasons?   Go and try yoga, maybe you will love it? Maybe learn painting? When we have pleasure in other areas of life, we don’t require food to give us that. Now, don’t get me wrong, food is a valid source pleasure, but it should not be the only source of pleasure in our life.  We need to have that balance.

stop overeating

7] Address the underlying reasons for binge eating

When we don’t know what’s causing our food cravings, overeating and binge eating in the first place, we can’t target the very specific issue. We end up trying anything that we come across and often nothing seems to work. It’s like shooting with a shot gun. It might work, it might not.

Therefore, I always suggest to indetify the drivers of your overeating and kick those urges once and for all.

To help you understand your hidden reasons for food cravings, overeating and binge eating, I have developed a FREE workbook you can download which will help you identify which of the 6 reasons are responsible for your overeating urges and what exactly you can do to eliminate them.

Eat when bored Stop Binge eating and emotional eating

6 KEY STEPS TO
END BINGE EATING CYCLE &
RELEASE EMOTIONAL WEIGHT

Regain power over food!

 

Binge eating and emotional eating is not a food problem, it is an emotional problem.

 

We can’t rely on will-power to stop binge eating. In this e-book I am addressing the underlying reasons why we use food as a drug and what our body is trying to tell us.

 

stop overeating

8] Open up to a friend or professional

It is critical we stop holding onto emotions around life and food.  Undoubtedly, the more we hold it in, the more we feel like the only one. In this way, we feel bad, disconnected and lonely.  Furthermore, we then use food to make us feel better and more connected. So it is important to find someone who you feel safe to open up to.  Go and talk to a trusted friend or professional.  If you are not comfortable with anyone you know, we have a free facebook group. You are more than welcome to join us.  It is called ‘Finding Freedom With Food MindFoodness Community’. 

 

Success!

I hope these 8 places to start help you on your journey. If you have any questions please let me know.  Feel free to message me directly at Eugenia@mindfoodness.nz  or send me a private message on facebook. Check out this success story with a client of mine who found freedom with food using many of these steps – Client Success Story – Weight Loss and Food Freedom Without Restrictions or Feeling Deprived

Self Love

If Body Love Is Hard, Let’s Aim For Self-Respect ~ 5 Empowering Strategies

self love

Did you know that 91% of women are unhappy with their body and turn to dieting or other means to make changes? That’s only a small minority who do feel content. For most of us, this ‘body love thing’ feels like a complete impossibility and can create pressure which is exactly the opposite of what we want to achieve. So, a lot of women and men ask themselves …. “How can I love my body when I am not happy with how it looks? And where do I start? Do I start with losing weight so I can love myself?”  I am here to tell you that, no, this is not the answer (for the long term anyway).

 

Body Image

‘Body image’ is our perception of beauty or body aesthetics.  It relates to how we see ourselves compared to societal norms or expectations we place on ourselves.   Undoubtedly, the media plays a huge role in fuelling body insecurity.  It is filled with photoshopped and unrealistic images of bodies that we feel pressured to become.  Even so, understanding how to deconstruct or critically view the media representations is only one piece of the puzzle.

self love

Inner Critic

We have all been guilty at one time or another of being overly critical of our bodies.  Too big, too small, too round, too much, too thin. It is never-ending because none of us are perfect.  Further, it can be incredibly destructive when these perceived ‘flaws’ take hold of our psyche and affect our confidence; stopping us from living the fulfilled life we deserve. Moreover, the reality is that we can not make long term change (in any aspect of our lives) from self-hate or lacking compassion. This will merely sabotage our efforts as the negative self-talk will fuel behaviours that do not serve us (such as using food for comfort and self-medication). 

 

Body Love Empowerment 

I believe that the aim for body love can be a hard thing to achieve at times. So, what if we aimed for self-compassion, self-respect, and self-kindness first? What would we do differently if we treated ourselves as if we fully respected ourselves? In this blog, I am exploring 5 empowering ways to cultivate self-respect. Ultimately, body love is a process that is birthed from self-compassion and love.  

self love

1. Compassion and Self-Respect

Self-respect and self-compassion are the key ingredients to cultivate body acceptance. For me, I used to believe that once I was thin enough I would suddenly love myself. A magic moment would appear and I would feel perfect enough and whole enough to be loved.  Hint, this ‘magic moment’ never comes. The power is in meeting our body and ourselves where we are now. It does not mean we settle or give up, it simply means to see what is as it is, knowing we want to improve, feel healthier, be fitter, have more energy, etc. By meeting ourselves as we are right now, we can create a thriving environment for growth and improvement. Self-criticism does not create a motivating environment.

 

Imagine, if you went to a rugby game and the audience kept calling out to the team: “You guys suck! You might as well give up! You will never succeed!” Do you think the team will perform well under these circumstances? Well, this is what we are doing to ourselves in our own head!

 

Imagine for a moment if you started motivating yourself, cheering yourself up, celebrating your successes! What would you do differently? Would you show up in the world differently? Would you pursue your goals differently?

 

2. Protect Yourself from Comparison

We need to stop comparing ourselves to inaccurate representations, particularly on social media.  If you follow someone on Instagram who makes you feel awful after viewing their profile, unfollow them immediately. They do not represent reality. We should not and can not live up to impossible standards.  Everyone has struggles and bad days, and these are usually not voiced on these platforms.  Consequently, why do we try and live up to impossible standards? Making these negative comparisons is very disempowering.   

self love

3. Curiosity

Come from a place of curiosity.  If you overeat (for example), lovingly ask yourself ‘Why did I do that today? Maybe I felt stressed or tired? Was my blood sugar out of balance?‘.  Compassionately ask yourself these questions and then ask yourself, ‘What can I do now to nurture myself? What do I need? Next time what will I do instead?’.  This space of compassionate curiosity is not only self-loving but also nurtures future behaviours that are aligned with our goals.

 

4. Gratitude and Appreciation

Saying ‘thank you‘ to our body can feel challenging if we perceive ourselves to be flawed or withholding imperfections.  But saying a loving ‘thank you‘ is an important part of our journey to self-acceptance and appreciation (and love, too). Let’s give thanks for our body performing the billions of functions it does throughout a day.  We can give thanks for the seemingly little things. Take a moment to find what you are grateful for. A morning or evening gratitude ritual can be powerful. Research shows that we actually rewire our brain by practicing gratitude on a regular basis. It wires our brain to be happier and more content. These things can be something simple like ‘I am grateful for my working arms to cuddle my children’ or ‘I am grateful for my heart that pumps my blood’.

Body love and gratitude

5. You Are Not Your Body

Your body is yours but it is not you. You are not the rolls, the cellulite, or love handles, as much as you are not the rock hard abs or seemingly perfect breasts.  Without a doubt, making this distinction helps us remember that the body is a vehicle for something bigger and more powerful – your mission on this planet.  

 

Self-Acceptance

Ultimately, the issue is generally never our weight, what we look like or even our body; it is the conditioning from our society. You didn’t choose to feel that way, it is a byproduct of the environment we live in. If I was living in a country where curvy women were an “ideal”, I would feel “too thin”. If Given, I live in the western world where being small/skinny is a privilege, I feel more accepted. As soon as I go to a mall and see too many billboards with photoshopped faces and bodies, I start feeling inadequate and feel a coming up desire to change how I look.

Being aware that a lot of our internal views on ourselves are not our own, but a result of the environment, can give us a different perspective and hopefully self-compassion. Consequently, this might reduce the tendency of gravitating towards negative coping mechanisms.  Thus, self love is born from a compassionate and curious inner dialogue.

 

For more specifics on self love, here is a video I have created to support anyone who struggles with this issue.  Also, check out this podcast by Megan Crabbee about how to create a body-positive world for yourself (she is awesome).  

self love