High Calorie Emotions
Permanent weight loss is not just about Diet. If you are looking for the latest
pill, magic potion or perhaps some celebrity’s amazing secrets, then you’ve
come to the wrong place. However, at some point you will be back, because
at some point, you will realize that unless you address the cause and the
truth about your eating habits, you will end up on the merry-go-round again.
There are many products and services promising fantastic results. Some are
good but most are average. Usually they cost more than they are worth.
Some are outright dangerous. Losing weight is a simple matter of either
decreasing calorie intake or increasing energy output. Most people combine
both to achieve fast results.
Many people have tried these methods often enough to know that they work.
My main aims are to address the many causes of weight gain and focus on
the creation of new habits in order to bring about permanent weight loss
I once worked in a very innovative weight loss clinic. The programme focused
on nutrition, relaxation techniques, and psychology. I was a counsellor and
worked there for almost ten years. Although I was working as an expert, I
think that I learned more from my clients than I did from my textbooks. I
counselled thousands of people over the years and it became very obvious
to me that they all had a lot in common. Almost without exception, they all had
an emotional connection or response to food. Their eating habits had
become an automatic response. They all knew a lot about food and calories
and they all knew how to lose weight. They had all lost weight and regained it
a number of times. This, we referred to as the ‘yo-yo syndrome’.
If you happen to be one of the very few people who do not understand diet, I
will lightly touch on it to give you a crash course in weight loss.
An important thing to know about diet in relationship to losing weight is this:
There is no such thing as a fattening food
No food is either fattening or slimming. It’s this simple, food contains calories
and calories are units of energy. There are no fat calories or thin calories.
2000 cake calories are exactly the same as 2000 celery calories. Calories
are burned by the body to produce energy. Just being alive burns calories.
However, the more active the body - the bigger the burn. If you burn the
same amount of calories as you eat then your weight will remain the same. If
you eat 3000 calories and burn 2000 then 1000 are stored as fat.
It’s the same as banking. If you put $100 in your account and only spend $80
then $20 is saved. If you did this for 10 weeks, $200 will be saved.
Overweight people do not necessarily eat a huge amount of food or a huge
amount of ‘bad food’, they simply consume more calories than they burn. The
unused calories are then stored in the body as fat. If you put too few calories
in, the body will burn the stored calories (fat) and use that for energy,
thereby, creating weight loss.
I am not going to go to any great length to discuss food or diet as I have
found that overweight people know as much as I do about food and calories.
If you wish to know more about food or nutrition there are many books
available. One point I do wish to make about food is this: vitamins, minerals,
protein, carbohydrate, fats, etc. are vital to maintaining health. Foods heal,
build and repair. Foods produce energy and well-being. You will not get fat
from eating cakes and drinking soda. However, if you are putting in calories
that have little or no nutritional content, you will become tired, depressed,
unmotivated and ultimately, very sick.
When you decide to use fat storage for energy you will lose weight. As in the
banking analogy above, put less in and use more, then you will burn up the
Let’s say your weight maintenance requires 2000 calories a day. If you
decide to put in 1000 a day, your body will then rob the fat stores of 1000.
This is where food choices are most important. Because you are reducing
the calorie intake by half, you need to be very diligent about getting the
maximum amount of nutritional benefit from the food that you eat.
Most diets emphasis fresh fruit, salads, grilled or boiled fish or chicken etc.,
not because these foods are thinning, but because they have the most
amount of food value (nutrition) for the calories they contain.
Highly nutritious foods give you vitality and well-being. Low nutritional foods
will make you feel tired, grumpy, and unmotivated. (Making it more likely to
Reducing calories will get you to your ideal weight. The purpose of this
information is not to motivate a diet. This is about looking at long-term habits
and changing them so that your future behaviour will become automatic,
without conscious thought or willpower. By following the guidelines below you
will lose weight, keep it off, and maintain health, vitality, and well-being.
Your weight can be about many things or a combination of many things.
Overeating may be part of the problem, but what is the cause of overeating?
Your reasons may be unique, but many of the common causes are:
Being disorganized or too busy
Many facets are related to body image, self-esteem, and even sexual issues.
Some people find that they have an emotional attachment to food due to
childhood associations. If you were rewarded with sweets for good behaviour
or sent to your room without dinner for bad behaviour, you may very well be
treating food as a reward or a punishment. Your eating habits may have
become confused with approval or disapproval.
If your family was poor you may equate food with being prosperous or
For many people, the stomach area is the emotional centre of the body.
Stress, worry, fear and unhappiness will create tightness there. Often
overeating is an automatic response to releasing this tension.
Observe yourself for a few weeks and you will probably notice how common It
is for you to push food down into the tightness of your stomach area when
you are stressed.
You may find that you use food to release and stretch the area - this is
particularly obvious in a binge eating session.
Food can nurture and food can provide comfort. By detached observation,
you will learn a lot about yourself and your eating habits. Watch yourself
without judging yourself for a few weeks and you may be amazed at how
often you are feeding your emotions.
By understanding your eating behaviour you will be in a better position to
bring about permanent changes and lose weight without great effort.
There are some basic principles that need to be addressed and explored if
you sincerely wish to lose weight and keep it off.
Some people feel safer or stronger by being bigger and may panic or feel
insecure when they have lost weight. Sometimes weight can be thought of as
being ‘big’. If you have a history of being bullied or made to feel small in
some way you may use your weight as a way of feeling bigger, stronger or in
someway more protected.
Being overweight can often be used to repress sexuality. Teenage girls often
find sexual advances intimidating and they may sub-consciously put on
weight as a barrier to them, which continues throughout life.
If your sex life is unsatisfying, you may use your weight as a turn off. Maybe
you are so self-conscious about your weight that you deny yourself your
sexuality. Some women who have experienced sexual abuse will use their
weight as a sexual defence or as personal armour.
You may on a very logical level desire a thinner body. However, sub-
consciously you may feel that being too attractive projects the wrong image
or gives out the wrong signals. If you are a wife and mother, you may feel
that your body image should not suggest you are a single or available
woman. Sometimes, being a wife and mother creates conflict with being
sexually attractive to other men. Maybe being a good mother requires a
Binge eating is usually about punishment. This is very common in high
achievers. (Anorexics and Bulimics are often in this category as well.) Binging
is usually about trying to get it perfect and then destroying all effort if there is
a slight slip up. This is the ‘all or nothing approach’.
Binge eating is also very common with Pre-Menstrual-Syndrome
Pre-Menstrual Syndrome can cause women to be emotionally fragile. Their
thinking can be fuzzy. Their body may retain fluid, meaning that they feel
fatter or bloated. There is discomfort in the stomach area and sugar cravings
are common. If you are serious about long-term weight maintenance you
must be prepared for these things. You must plan alternative actions; like
being kind to yourself, more flexible, self-loving and forgiving. Keep a
calendar and be prepared before you hit crisis point.
Ah! ‘That time of the month’ can create the monster that some women
become and they may go through hell at this time. You must tune-in to your
body and get to know the signs. Some women have a little discomfort for only
a day or two before a period. For many women, it can bring about a week or
more of emotional chaos as well as pain.
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|Weight Loss and Body Image
How Thoughts and Emotions create our habits
Binge eating and yo yo dieting - part 1
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