Losing weight is not always about the food.
As I sit at my desk posting photos of happy weight loss clients and people high fiving, I feel like weight loss is so easy, so worth it and so simple. THEN, 2 minutes later I get a craving for "no reason" and I find myself staring at the cupboards romancing each and every box, package, and piece of food...staring it down, touching the container, considering the name and the picture on the package. It's that moment when I am reminded that sometimes weight loss can be challenging, very mysterious, and very much NOT about food! Now, Before you roll your eyes too hard at the blogger who said weight loss is easy, please note that I lost 70 pounds at a client with MRC over 9 years ago, so these thoughts I am sharing come from both my personal relationship with food and my perspective from the other side of the chair, as a weight loss coach.
What we choose to eat can be obvious, for example, we eat the lunch we packed last night at the correct time (yes, that does happen), but today let's explore why we leave our desk, with that lovely salad we made last night sitting uneaten, and get in our car and go eat something "bad". Why am I driving to Panera to eat Macaroni and Cheese...for the love of carbs...WHY!?! At Metabolic we call this non-hunger eating. Non-hunger eating can occur because we become over-hungry resulting in a drop in blood sugar and a feeling of being out of control, or because we are; sad, mad, angry, lonely, bored, depressed, stressed. You get the point. We often eat for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with routine and physical hunger and everything to do with a feeling or emotion.
What is one to do when they find themselves in this predicament? Eat cake...no just kidding...the first thing to do is assess, like a good detective you begin to ask questions. The truth is that most of the time when you can analyze, detect, label, or name the hunger, you can find a new solution. By discovering why you are eating you remove the mystery, remove the excuse, and lift the veil...when that has been done you are free to easily find a solution. Here is how that looks in my head:
First I scan to find out if I am truly hungry (usually the answer is no;)
When did I last eat?
Do I feel physically hungry?
Is my stomach growling?
Am I weak? Light headed?
Have I had enough water to drink?
So, I answered no to all of the above, Now I know I am not physically hungry. Now it's time the advanced scan:
Where am I right now? Kitchen? Desk? Car?
What have I been doing recently? Assess my environment.
What thoughts are running through my head?
Look at my hands...are they clinched? Am I angry?
Where is the heat in my body? Is my heart racing? Am I nervous?
What do I need to resolve?
How do I feel overall? Sleepy? A headache?
Emotional Scan...Am I mad, sad, hurt, lonely?
Body Scan...Am I stressed? Is my body tense or tight? Do I have a headache?
Now that I have shared how I work through my assessment, what's next? For every one of us, it will be different. For me it sounds like this in my head:
Hmmm...why am I so stressed? My jaw is clenched and my neck is tight. Why? I've been sitting at this desk for 4 hours and I really hate this project, I feel overwhelmed. AH-HA...I am stressed out and feeling very "bound up", frankly I feel pissed off.
Not every day do respond as my "ideal self" should...but let's assume that today I'm on my game. I'll show you how that looks, after all, we all know what it looks like to stress eat, let's discover what it looks like to conquer non-hunger eating! Back to my thoughts:
Go get a cold glass of water, drink. Ah, the water is good, relaxing, cold, wow I needed that. I think I will do some neck and shoulder stretches, and walk around the office a few times, get my body moving. Now, that is better... I am feeling better. I think I need some deep breathing, I need to calm down. This project is really not that hard, I was simply going at it from the wrong angle.
See what happened to me, as soon as I assessed, hydrated, got my body moving, changed my scenery, I began to see a new way, a new option...and the food and impulse to eat went away. Learning to overcome your non-hunger eating will gain you so much more than weight loss...so so much more!
There is help out there, and there are proven strategies for tackling non-hunger eating. Contact Us Now!
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