With all the associated health risks, availability of information about healthy eating, low fat foods, diet gurus, ‘fat’ clubs and increasingly popular gastric bands why is it that we are still not a nation of average proportions and healthy eating?
We all know the formula, eat less + exercise more = lose weight but it’s just not that easy for a lot of people. Eating often provides an emotional boost in times of loneliness or boredom, or it is seen as a celebration.
For people that have an emotional relationship with food, diets, lifestyle changes and even gastric bands may only have a temporary effect. It’s how we think about our meals and snacks that will change the way we eat.
So how do we know if we have a relationship with food? Things to look out for include a strong preference for a particular type of food. Patterns in the way you eat – do you eat more alone or in company? Do you eat more when you are feeling happy or low? Do you eat as a ‘treat’ or to reward yourself? All these things can be an indication that an emotional relationship exists.
So how do we get rid of an unwanted relationship so that eating just becomes a normal part of living? Often it means addressing a judgement we made as a child about what food means that just isn’t valid any longer. How many of us received sweets when we were good or as a treat when we had scraped a knee? The formula then becomes sweets = being good or sweets = feeling better.
Not every child will make that type of judgement but for those of us that do it can create a pattern of behaviour that is difficult to break as an adult. Taking a journey back to the moment that the judgement was made and looking at it from an adult perspective can enable that relationship with food to be changed.
So is it really that simple? For some people it is and for some people it isn’t. Sometimes there is more to a relationship that one single incident but addressing the relationship to food that many of us have can help provide an answer for those people who despite their best efforts struggle with losing and maintaining a healthy weight.
If you would like to discuss this further, please call.
Read more about how cognitive hypnotherapy may assist weight loss.