Has dieting become a way of life. After Christmas you diet. For the holiday, you diet. For that wedding, you diet…
You go round and round, trying on different food fads like they’re fashion accessories, without much thought to the lasting impact of the powders, pills and potions currently jostling for attention at our local high street chemists.
If you’re past getting excited about eating like celebrities and adopting short-term skirmish tactics to what has been a long-running battle, then read on… Your end game could be in sight.
Let’s not beat about the bush; in all probability, if you’re overweight then you have some overeating habits going on.
Mine stemmed from childhood. Those were ingrained habits. I didn’t even realise I ticked some of these boxes until I recognised the symptoms.
There are actually six different types of over eater. And only one of the six categories relates to people who stand a cat in hell’s chance of keeping weight off in the long term, using dieting alone.
Pretty long odds. All right, you might quite fancy one in six odds, but the vast majority of people sit in more than one of the over-eating types. And some of us sit in several categories. That stacks the odds much further against dieting as a strategy.
And this is why more than 90% of people who go on a diet fail to keep the weight off in the long term.
Now if you like dieting, walk on by. But if you’re sick to the back teeth with whirring round on the merry-go-round of fads and regimes, then read on.
You see, you can eat like Madonna or Beyonce until the cows come home, but if you’re using food for anything else other than food, you’re setting yourself up for long-term trouble.
In her book You Can Be Thin, internationally renown hypnotherapist, Marisa Peer, identifies the six types of over-eater.
Let’s see which of these categories resonate with you.
Do you eat when you’re sad? Do you eat when you’re bored or when you’re lonely or feeling stressed?
Do you stand in the supermarket aisle agonising over which biscuits to buy your colleagues/friends/family?
Do you believe certain comfort foods make you feel better?
Do you eat differently when you’re with other people than when you’re on your own?
Do you crave sugar and go on sweet-stuff binges? Like not so much one biscuit, but a packet?
Or are you a crispoholic who can cheerfully demolish a large bag of crisps.
Do you eat sensibly all day and then lose control in the evenings?
Do you eat foods like crisps or chocolate so fast you realise you’ve eaten far more than you meant to and you don’t even remember enjoying it?
Are you a member of the clean plate club – you just can’t leave food even if you’re full.
Do you find it hard to throw food away?
Have you lost touch with being able to recognise when you’re full and when you’re hungry?
Do you eat what’s in front of you whether or not you’re really hungry?
Do you think a glass of orange juice, granola and milk is a healthy breakfast choice?
Do you count potatoes as one of your five-plus fruit and veg portions?
Do you think low-fat foods and diet drinks help you lose weight?
Would you class dairy, bread and cereals as good foods?
Do you get close to your ideal weight and then sabotage your best efforts?
Do you feel anxious and uncomfortable when you’re slimmer?
Do you feel uneasy when your body is on show and prefer to layer up?
Do you like bigger clothes and prefer winter clothes to summer?
Do you prefer crunchy, chewy food – crisps and French bread, nachos and toffees?
Do you chew gum morning, noon and night?
Will you go eat after you’ve been arguing because it shifts your state of mind?
Do you get irritated when you have to wait for your food – for example, when you’re on an aeroplane?
Worked out which of the six apply to you?
Now if you hadn’t guessed, it’s the misinformed eaters who stand a good chance of getting long-term results with dieting alone, because they just need to change their food choices.
For those of us who understand it’s our emotions or habits, frequently stemming from our childhood, ways of eating that can have been ingrained over decades, then we have a different job on our hands.
You see, your mind’s job is to move you away from pain and so it will do whatever it takes to keep those feel-good chemicals whirring about in your brain. If it thinks cakes make your happy, when you’ve had a bad day, you’ll find yourself thinking about cakes – because your mind wants you to cheer up. Maybe you think about a particular cake that you associate with good friends or fond memories… sound familiar?
Once you know what’s pushing your buttons then the task is to rewrite your habits. Hypnosis helps you work with your subconscious, where all these past behaviours originate.
Through hypnosis you can get the whole of the mind on board with what you want, so you’re not relying on willpower alone. You rewrite your habits and repeat your new thoughts until they because second nature habits.
It is possible to see food as just food. It really is. And I have to say, knowing that and feeling that tastes pretty good.