Comfort and boredom eating are two contributing factors to over eating. Obesity along with all the associated health and no self worth issues is the cost of lack of food control.
In fact if all overeating were because of habit, it would be easy to lose all the weight one wanted to and keep it off. The problem is that for many decades, the over eating problem has been treated mainly as a habit. The most effective techniques for dealing with habitual eating is awareness.
If you think about it, most techniques and programs such as Weight Watchers is about the overweight person becoming more aware. They use one or a combination of the following:
Diets which makes one very aware of the specific foods allowed on the diet and quantities.
Behavioral modification such as putting the fork down between bites, eating slowly...
Stop thinking techniques.
True, these techniques do work for a period of time. However, over the long haul, there is a break down to the change. Old eating habit return causing one to gain the weight back and then some.
Let's define habitual eating. The easiest way to understand it is to relate with the person who stops at Dunkin Doughnuts every morning on his/her way to work. It's a habit. Or the person who comes home in the afternoon, walks through the living room into the kitchen, and opens the refrigerator door. It's a habit.
Break the habit and break the behavior. Take a different route to work. Find another activity in the afternoon to replace coming home. Or, if you do come home, climb in the back window instead of walking through the front door.
Any of these techniques are effective in breaking the eating habit. Weight comes off until... The "until" is an emotional stress at which point all the effort "goes out the door." They have no idea how to control binge eating or even how to deal with it. And any personal change or improvement plans are 搊ut the door.?br />
There are two factors that end the diet or whatever awareness techniques that were being used:
1. To self berate: The individual gets very upset with oneself and begins to wonder if they have a "mental problem." They call themselves stupid, dumb, asinine, and so on. They believe that this one incursion has completely ruined all their past successes and may even gorge themselves to get even with themselves. In other words, they have become their own worst enemy through their own thinking mechanisms. The irony is that they often use this same kind of thinking to thwart the best of intentions for any personal change or improvement plans that they have either on a personal or professional level.
2. They are totally ill equipped to handle the stressful emotion. The disappointment or success that led to the emotion yields a stressful situation in handling the emotion. This is because most of us have been trained to avoid emotions, control them, or pretend they don't exist. Even success leads to emotion? Yes, the emotion is happiness, yet it's amazing how many of us don't allow ourselves to feel happy. "Don't be too happy, you'll set yourself up for the big let down," is just one of several beliefs we've acquired towards happiness.
We could write a book about all the other emotions such as upset, boredom, confusion, anger, frustration, depression, and so on.
All the good work achieved to lose weight is lost. Portion control and everything else is for naught. When we learn to treat ourselves lovingly instead of self put-downs and embrace emotion instead of denying them, changing eating habit is a natural process. Then it becomes a realistic goal in our personal change and improvement plan.
A progressive approach to losing weight involves asking important questions "What is missing here? Why are you not getting the results you've been promised?" It is clearly insane to keep dieting and using techniques to deal with habitual eating when the results are so poor. It's more important to gain a grasp on how to control binge eating--eating emotional stress than it is to read the scale. Besides focusing on the scale doesn't empower you to be a better more enlightened person, whereas learning how to overcome boredom and comfort emotional eating empowers you in all aspects of your life. If you're a sales person, you'll be a better sales person. If you're an assembly line worker, you'll be a better assembly line worker; a mother, a better mother... Overall, you'll build self worth and find that what you really want to eat is far more nutritious and less in quantity than you ever before imagined possible.
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