It’s so simple; it will hurt your eyes!
You know what? I was blind to this one thing that was causing me to gain weight after all the hard work I did to lose it. There were times I couldn’t work it out. I would be doing so well, sticking to my diet, exercising, and keeping up with a positive mindset. But, there was always something causing a dent in my success, and I couldn’t work it out. Why were other women so successful at this, and I kept failing? I am a personal trainer, dieted for bodybuilding shows and know what to do — but something stopped working in my favour. A situation like this is not uncommon for many women. It’s so frustrating that I wanted to write about it. Finally, I have some evidence to suggest that this is reality. Plus, it also happens to celebrities. Rebel Wilson was ballsy enough to say she had an issue with this. A recent study conducted on more than a thousand people by Orlando Health found that;
- Thirty-one per cent of Americans think a lack of exercise is the most significant barrier to weight loss.
- Following on from that statistic, what you eat matters, which is 26 per cent.
- The cost of a healthy lifestyle falls into the 17 per cent barrier range.
- And the lowest at 12 per cent of people believe the time necessary to commit to weight loss is a barrier.
When you were younger, your associations with food were based on family traditions. The treats you were given for behaving or getting ice cream as a reward for helping mum or dad with something around the house. What about the smell of cookies or cake when your family members would have a weekend bake off? I still recall the smell of my mum’s bread and the delicious cookies she would make during easter time. Mum made that unique sugar-free batch just for me to snack on regularly. These associations result from conditioning because the food was not only a means for survival — it’s also comforting. It’s not wrong to have this kind of relationship with food — if you abide by the limits and do not allow yourself to be swayed by eating for comfort. Once we start associating food with comfort, our brains release dopamine neurotransmitters. As a result, we feel fantastic every time this hormone is activated (so we keep eating it). However, we get into a problematic situation when this association is mixed with food as a reward. As you can imagine, the result manifests into negative consequences. Researchers have found a link between emotional occurrences like stress, anxiety & depression with a higher body mass index. Women can relate to overwhelming indulgences resulting from a bad day at work or fighting with our partners. “As a mental health therapist, my job can be very stressful, and every day when I got home from work, the first thing I would do is go to the refrigerator,” she said. “That was my way to calm down and relax.” So says Shekyra DeCree of Columbus, Ohio. When DeCree finally realised her emotional attachment to food, she consciously changed the association. However, it took her over a year of conscious effort and re-training to lose over 100 pounds of excess weight. “I’d gone on countless diets and tried to exercise before, but this was different,” she said. “You have to change how you deal with your emotions, stress, and anxiety. Once I understood the mental aspect, I felt free.” Says DeCree If your emotions are attached to food, you will never experience successful weight loss. All women need to hear this now, and when you do, it will change your life forever.
Here are some simple tips you can use to break the cycle of emotional eating now and for good
Before eating any snack, as yourself this question ‘ Am I starving?’ If the answer is yes, test yourself a little more by having a glass of water instead. Then, after a few minutes, if your stomach is growling, you know what to do.
Keep a food log
Allow yourself the gift of a separate diary to use that will help pinpoint those moments you snacked without hunger. Note any emotions, feelings, or situations around that indulgence or snack. Did you ever ask yourself why you eat certain foods like chocolate, cakes or biscuits? When you eat them, how do they make you feel? Does it help you ease your stress and anxiety after you eat it? Note both the emotional and psychological response — even if you get a sore stomach!
Identify the culprit food you have, even if it is healthy because we can sometimes use that to justify eating it more often!
Watch out for this one — it was the biggest kicker for me. I would chew gum or overeat nuts and justify that they are healthy, so it was ok. Sometimes you can become your own worst enemy.
Key take away
The goal is to identify the emotion and take food out of the picture. When I discovered this, my life was free! I no longer find myself on a spinning wheel — losing weight for five months and then gaining it. Finally, everything is stable because I know my trigger and food are out of the picture for good. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about increasing the health of your mindset. We spend so much time fixating on personal trainers, nutritionists, and anyone who can help us get leaner — but we pay no attention to the biggest inhibitor — the little person in our brain governing everything we do. It’s our most prominent advocate or enemy. Now it’s time to start using it to help you overcome anything that crosses your path — including your relationship with food. If Rebel Wilson can do it — so can you!
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