No one ever wakes up to find themselves overweight. Although it often feels that way, it’s not like we don’t exactly know how it happened. It’s more a question of either recognising the warning signs and then taking steps to fashion a solution – in the case of already being overweight – or avoiding getting there in the first place.
It should come as no surprise that bad eating habits and being overweight usually go hand in hand. Something that starts off as seemingly harmless in our minds, like choosing the cookie over the apple one night, can actually progress into a set routine over time, which may eventually mature into a bad eating habit.
So, we’ve established how it happens. Now what?
As crazy as it sounds, admitting that we have a problem is the greatest step towards losing weight. Once you’ve accepted the facts, gaining a deeper understanding into the type of bad eating habits you may have is the next step.
It has long been established that there exist different types of eaters. We each associate with one (or more) groups, which have their own set of habits and triggers. When you discover which of these you fit into, you can come up with a faster, more targeted result.
Take a look at the following five ‘eater types’ and see which most resembles your eating routine…
- You’re an ‘addictive eater’ if you
- have food constantly on your mind
- eat really fast – sometimes not even tasting your food – and then want more
- crave sugary snacks and don’t usually stop eating until they’re all gone
- eat sensibly all day and then lose control in the evening
Addictive eaters crave junk food, fast food, fizzy drinks, sugar and carbohydrates. They’re addicted to certain types of food and cannot resist them. Crisps, chocolate, biscuits and sweets contain the most colourings, trans-fats and preservatives which help produce dopamine (the feel-good hormone produced naturally by the body). Eventually, eating becomes a substitute for happiness.
- You’re an ‘emotional eater’ if you
- eat when under pressure
- eat to block out feelings of stress, loneliness, boredom or sadness
- often eat secretly
- find that certain foods comfort you
Emotional eaters eat to get rid of bad feelings. Their foods of choice include pasta, cereals, bread and refined carbohydrates which fill them up quickly. Once full, they become temporarily sedated, somewhat. Comfort is also found in sweet food such as ice cream, cake and chocolate, which take the emotional eater back to childhood days when sweets made them feel good.
- You’re a ‘habitual eater’ if you
finish everything on your plate
- often eat quickly and finish before others
- eat whenever food is placed in front of you (hungry or not)
- find that every occasion is an excuse to eat
As children, habitual eaters are brought up to clear their plates, even if they’re not hungry. This programming extends to how they eat on every occasion and everything placed in front of them. They hate to waste food and never throw it away, often finishing others’ leftovers too.
- You’re a ‘destructive eater’ if you
feel anxious about slimming down
- are more comfortable covering up your body
- sabotage your diet when you’re about to hit your target weight
- fear being attractive and everything it stands for, often overeating before a date
The destructive eater sometimes uses food to disguise their attractiveness or sexuality, hiding behind the fat suit due if they feel vulnerable. Destructive eating can develop in those who have never felt enough love, compensating by having more than food than they actually need. They want big portions and frequent meals, fearing they may not get enough food, which sometimes leads to anxiety.
- You’re an ‘ignorant eater’ if you
think pizza is a complete meal (because it contains tomato and mushroom)
- eat low fat, diet and reduced sugar foods because they must be good for you
- think ALL salads are healthy – creamy coleslaws and dressings alike
- eat lots of microwave meals and other convenience foods
Ignorant eaters let themselves be brainwashed by the food industry, trusting that everything they eat is healthy and harmless. They believe that convenience foods are as good as cooking with fresh ingredients, and they often wonder why they still have a weight problem when they eat diet foods and drinks.
If you think you fit into one of these groups more than another, you’ve taken the first big step to resolving your bad eating habits.
Kick-start your journey towards a healthier set of eating habits
You can begin on the road to recovery by using some of the following methods:
Addictive eaters should exercise moderation and/or choose healthy alternatives. Once you start eating healthier, natural foods, your body will prefer the higher nutrients. Stop feeding the addiction and it will go away.
Emotional eaters should recognize the bad habit and break the vicious cycle. Hot liquids, such as soups, have been suggested as substitutes for the usual carbohydrates. They are comforting and don’t put pressure on your digestive system like excess carbs do.
Habitual eater should discover how they acquired the habits in the first place, which is often enough to begin breaking the behaviour. Escape the childhood conditioning by asking for a doggy bag at restaurants, returning food to the fridge, or learning to eat slower to savour every bite. This gives your body the chance to recognise signals of no longer being hungry.
Destructive eaters should recognise that their subconscious mind drives their behaviour. The subconscious tries to protect you, but it doesn’t do it right. Being subconsciously reminded that the destructive eater is in charge of what, when and how much they eat can break the cycle. This eater may require the assistance of a professional therapist to release or reframe trauma events.
Ignorant eaters should move towards becoming a slimmer, well-informed eater. Understanding food labels is a great start, as is cooking homemade healthy meals, rather than turning to convenient options. Planning a more structured, healthy eating plan is a fantastic way to reduce the need for microwave meals.
Nothing can change for you unless your mindset does first; your frame of mind affects the way you perceive and react to everything you experience. At the end of the day, the solution to breaking bad habits that lead to overweight rests with you and your ability to apply what you’ve learned about what you eat, how you eat and why you eat.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.”
– Henry Ford
If you would like to learn how hypnotherapy can help you pin-point your triggers and show how over-eating isn’t always your fault, get in contact with me for a free rapid change consultation.