Why You Still Have Unwanted Habits With Food Even Though You Eat Healthy
I always give a free initial consultation before I take anyone on as a client. This way I can assess what the clients needs are and if my services can actually help them. I have a variety of people come to me with many different issues around food and body image BUT the one thing that they ALL have in common is willpower or lack thereof, specifically around food. Yes, all of the women I work with are some of the most intelligent, type A , strong willed human beings I’ve ever met that have zero control when it comes to their “negative” habits with food, no matter how hard they try. So I thought I’d explain why.
First off let me just say, if you are having a willpower problem where you feel like you can’t control yourself near food, but don’t struggle with control in any other area in your life there will ALWAYS be some sort of restriction or self imposed rules happening in the background with food.
Quite simply: Human beings are NOT meant to be controlled with food because it puts us in to fight or flight mode which triggers a survival response in the brain. And, when we are trying to survive we are not thinking about how to be skinny but rather simply, how will I keep myself alive? This is very real and if you are a human being in a human body, there is no way of bypassing it.
Now let me explain how this happens in real life. Say you’re not happy with your body and you want to lose a few pounds right? So you go online and start researching different methods to lose weight. It doesn’t take long before you read that if you eat less of this, or cut out x foods then you can achieve weight loss. You try it, and at first you’re following the plan perfectly and you might even lose a few pounds but, because food is SO closely tied in to our survival mechanisms eventually you start to feel deprived and crave sugar and carbs like nothing else because you have now been triggered in to what’s called the ‘survival response’. Meaning, you truly don’t know when you’ll get this food again. Then, right as you’re about to put the donuts and chocolate in to your mouth you think once I eat this, I’ll start my diet again tomorrow. Sound familiar?
If you’re the type A person you might feel like you’ve completely lost your mind but in reality you’ve actually just packed in food (for survival) because you’ve put your body in to a space where it doesn’t know when it’s gonna get this food again. You probably think what is wrong with me?? I have no willpower. But, it’s just not true!!!
Don’t let a plan or an idealized way of eating dictate the choices you make with food. They don’t work. If they did you would not be failing at it, right? I want to share something with you. If you want your power back around food you will have to stop dieting and start the practice of intuitive eating. Intuitive Eating is defined as a person who “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.”