Despite what you’ve been told by your mother, the media, your friends, weight loss “experts”, your personal trainer from 2009, your PE teacher from middle school, magazines, Dr. Oz, and everybody else YOUR OVEREATING IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
It’s not your fault.
And there is nothing wrong with you.
The reason you overeat is because you have over-desire and over-hunger.
The reason you have over-desire is because no one taught you how to manage your mind.
The reason you have over-hunger is because of how your body processes sugar and flour.
In this article I will explain both and then I will tell you what to do about it so that you can stop overeating and gain some control over your relationship with food.
I keep talking about this “manage your mind” business and admittedly this is a very ambiguous, if not downright cryptic, term.
What does it even mean to manage your mind?
It is easier to just start doing it than to explain it, so start here.
3 Steps to Manage Your Mind for Beginners
These three steps are the beginner steps but are by no means the end.
They are just the beginning!
What follows are what you do with the emotions-- the actions you take.
The sequence always goes:
Circumstance ---> Thoughts ---> Feelings ---> Actions ---> Results
There is no other way.
The circumstance is always neutral.
So once you’ve begun to observe and work with your thoughts and feelings, the actions and results that you get are very, very different from before.
And this, my friends, is life changing.
Life changing because you can finally start to break old habits and patterns that have felt out of your control for years, like overeating, overdrinking, not exercising, or whatever the habit is that you don’t love.
The world we live in here in the west is one of food overabundance.
You can access food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
And this food is hyper-palliative, meaning it tastes intensly good thanks to the sugar, fat, and salt food manufactures put in these foods.
When you pulverize plants like wheat or corn and turn them into flour, you end up consuming far more with each bite than you would have had you eaten the plant whole. The result is a huge spike in insulin levels which by design makes us hungry. This surge, especially when overfed, results in chronic over-hunger.
Couple that with experiencing a uncomfortable emotion like anxiety and the pull that those foods then have is the equivalent of being sucked into a hunger vortex-- why feel all this super uncomfortable anxiety when I could just snack on bread and cheese and wash it down with a couple of glasses of rose-- making me feel oh-so-much better in the moment but causing a lot of mental turmoil after the deed is done.
Eating isn’t the solution to over-hunger.
The solution is to eliminate flour and sugar completely.
And this freaks everybody out.
Especially us emotional overeaters.
The thoughts come rushing in…
And this is where the work begins.
Loop back to the section above and start to manage your mind.
Notice your thoughts.
Write them down.
Notice your emotions.
Flour and sugar have no nutritional value whatsoever so the argument that you want to eat them is from a purely emotional standpoint.
You like them.
They taste good.
And your decision to eat them is making you overly hungry, resulting in weight gain.
TAKING THE LEAP
I tell my clients to start this way.
You will be blown away with what comes up mentally and emotionally when you stop numbing out with flour and sugar.
And these thoughts are the goldmine, because they are the source of your emotional overeating.
After 4-6 weeks you will come out on the other end.
I’m not going to lie to you-- it'll be difficult because sugar in particular has addictive properties.
But after 4-6 weeks you will feel so much better.
Commit and you’ll be free from over-hunger and be on your way to managing your over-desire.
And for us mamas who have been ravenous and out of control our whole lives, this will take our lives to a whole new level.
Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach and educator who helps women put an end to emotional overeating and lose weight, permanently.