Change Your Relationship With Food so You Can Lose Weight
Have you given some thought to how your attitude toward food and eating from the past has literally shaped who you are today?
If it’s your long-term goal to look and feel better, live a healthier lifestyle, move easier, and avoid chronic disease, then the time has come to assess your relationship with food and eating, and how you can make changes to help you achieve your health and weight loss goals.
Take an Honest Inventory of Your Habits and Attitudes
Before you can reinvent your relationship with food, you must take an objective look at your habits and attitudes around eating and what you can do differently.
Do you tend toward emotional eating? When it’s been a tough day at work, your energy is low, or you’re anxious or lonely, are you apt to drown your troubles in a hot fudge sundae or head to the drive-through?
Do you reach for food when bored? How many times have you come home to an empty house, and procrastinated your to-do list in favor of a salty, sugary or fattening snack?
Is food a reward in your mind? Whenever you accomplish something, is it your tendency to give yourself a food-based reward?
Break the Habits that are Unhealthy
Here are some guidelines for breaking the habits that have you relying on food to satisfying your inner yearnings.
Shift into mindful eating. Become self aware of your mind state before, during and after eating.
If you feel compelled to eat, stop and assess. Consider the following:
- How long has it been since your last balanced, nutritious meal or healthy snack? What are you about to put in your mouth? If it’s truly time to refuel, ask yourself how can I make the healthier choice?
- What were you doing before you suddenly developed your craving? Were you waiting on a slow-moving line at the store? Battling traffic? Dealing with a defiant toddler? All of these and many other daily frustrations count as low-level stress. Stress tells our brain, “I need feel-good chemicals!” What can you do to feel good that does not involve eating sugary, fattening snacks?
- How are you emotionally? Do you feel like putting something in your mouth because someone or something tweaked your emotions? What other type of activity can you do to release these feelings? Can you go for a walk? Do a few stretches? Hit the cardio machines?
- Are you taking time to savor your food? Often, we rush through eating so we can move on to the next activity. Gulping meals puts stress on our bodies. Our digestive system will have to work much harder to process barely-chewed foods. We may only partially digest, with much of our nutrition becoming waste. Eating too fast can cause inflammation and a host of unpleasant digestive symptoms.
Hypnosis Can Help
Maybe you’ve already read my own story of changing my relationship with food. Back in my 20’s I was “stuck” in a bad marriage, having been moved far away from my family, and I ate to stuff my feelings. My Dad, who learned hypnosis as part of his work with juvenile delinquents (he was a social worker), put together a 45 minute long hypnosis tape for me to help me lose weight. He didn’t ever mention it, but the tape also held a lot of suggestions designed to help me feel more in control of my life. These are what we call “ego-strengthening suggestions.” I listened to that tape every night for almost a year, and I went from about 180 to 122. AND I developed the emotional strength to get a divorce. The rest, as they say, is history.
I work with clients all the time to help them create a new relationship with food, AND with themselves. When we feel OK with ourselves and feel that we are effective in our lives, we begin to change our habits about food naturally. Hypnosis for weight loss can create a change that lasts a lifetime.