There are two reasons why we overeat:
In order to stop overeating, then you have to stop eating more than your body needs for fuel.
So how do you know what “food fuel” actually is? And how do you avoid feeling disdainful when you see “food as fuel” and think that you have to remove enjoyment from food? We all have a pretty good idea what kinds of food our body needs in order to keep us alive, help us move well, help us think, eat, breathe, digest, and laugh. We’ve eaten these foods for years – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vegetables, and chocolate. I’m kidding about chocolate, but for some it might as well be its own food group.
True story: When I was still dating my husband, I used to buy a large Hershey almond bar every weekend I drove to visit him when we were both stationed in Washington State. I thought I “needed” energy to help me finish the drive, and sugar and chocolate would keep me awake. I did this nearly twice a weekend for three weekends every month. No wonder I steadily gained weight over the months and years, among my other stellar food choices that the excitement of dating brings.
Some of these macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) have more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than others, but for the most part, a healthy serving of each of these throughout the day makes our body happy and functioning properly.
But where’s the fun in that? “Functioning properly” doesn’t sound enticing or exciting, especially at weddings, college reunions, family dinners, or a even on a random Thursday night when it’s been a long day at work and ice cream appeals to us as fuel more than some vegetables and protein would.
Eating when you’re hungry is normal. It’s a good sign that your body is running the way it’s supposed to. Eating more than your body needs is where we run into problems. Also, eating less than your body needs is – as in, referring to the extreme in the form of anorexia – can be problematic, but right now I’m discussing eating too much food.
How do you solve for overhunger? Basically, how do you not eat when you’re hungry while trying to lose weight?
#1: You need to have a goal.
#2: You need to have a protocol to follow. A diet plan, a nutrition program, anything that provides you with the nutrients you need in order to reach your goal. You can call it a diet or not, it’s up to you. The most important thing is that it has to be something that you can maintain for life.
Think about it. If you’re trying to lose weight and go on a diet for 8 weeks of eating only sweet potatoes (it’s a real thing, believe it or not), at the end of the 8 weeks, you are not going to maintain the body you worked so hard to get to once you reintroduce other foods into your diet. And you need other food besides sweet potatoes; otherwise your body will become dysfunctional slowly and surely.
#3: You need to stick with it.
Discipline and delayed gratification are part of the process. They are some of the best qualities we can develop when it comes to ANY goal we want to achieve. It can be hard to do when dieting because we need to eat food to survive. You don’t need to finish that college paper no matter how disciplined you are. You really don’t. But applying the discipline and delaying partying with your friends ensured that 1.) The paper was done and 2.) You practiced discipline and learned how to get better at doing hard things.
You also need discipline and a plan when temptations come around the corner and when stresses in life start piling up.
Enter how to solve for Overdesire.
Ultimately, we want to reduce the desire for overeating.
You have a goal and a diet plan. If you follow your program, you will reach your goal.
There is a reason weight loss is called a process. That word does not need to be scary or hard. You are training your body and your brain to eat for function. The body physically understands this and doesn’t care how “tasty” or “delicious” or “soft and moist” a food is. It just needs fuel.
Our brain, on the other hand, is a little harder to train. You have to change the way it USED to think about food while adapting it to a NEW way of viewing food.
Tasty vs. fuel.
Fun vs. fuel.
Grandma’s way vs. fuel
A new way you haven’t practiced before, mind you, so it’s hard to see an end result for something you seem to know nothing about.
You also have to give your brain and body TIME to adapt and change to eating in a way that fulfills your goals. Many, many, many people give up on diets because they don’t see results fast enough. Truth is, they may not have followed their protocol 100% nor did they give their body enough time to physically adjust.
Also, urges and cravings and answering them every time keep us from reaching our goals. The thing is, urges and cravings are feelings – they’re just suggestions to eat. As urgent as they seem, as authoritative as they pretend to be, we don’t have to answer to them.
You know this because you’ve used will power and discipline and delayed gratification before and they’ve worked. But after a while, you cave and give in, and sometimes that submission lasts for a few more days or weeks and, eventually, you’ve completely sabotaged the progress you were making.
Here’s some more truth: NOT giving in to urges is also a process that takes time. It is possible to not answer to an urge, and that is based on what you’re thinking about the urge. Sometimes we overeat as a way of resisting or avoiding it. It’s actually by ALLOWING the urge to pass, allowing the feeling to be felt, where we have the power to make the greatest changes.
A lot of us ignore these feelings and think that it’s our body telling us to eat… That urges are natural, even when spooning almond butter out of the jar seems to be a “normal” way of answering an urge.
Solve for overhunger and overdesire and you’ll reach any goal you set out to reach. Each of these CAN be solved if you’re willing to stay true to the goal you desire to reach.
If you would like to find a way to stay on your food protocol and solve for overdesire and overhunger, then let’s work together and find a way to reach your goal. It is possible, and I can help you get there.
I will teach you the model that will show you how to shape your mind and your body.Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see how we can work together.