If you’re one of many who diet once and again, but can’t stop overeating and you don’t lose even half a pound, you may find here the reason why.
According to some studies, 75% of overeating is due to emotions. Specialists claim that most of us use food as a self-comforter, instead of facing our emotions and solve our internal conflicts. Recognizing those emotions which make us overeat might be the first step to lose weight.
Why My Diet Doesn’t Work?
This is the million-dollar question but, generally, the answer is right behind our emotions. If we’re constantly on a diet it’s because we’ve entered a vicious circle: we overeat, so we gain some (or a lot of) weight, so we diet. Once we’re on a diet, we make up endless excuses to cheat and get off track. Obviously, we regain weight, so we diet again… once and again.
To break this vicious circle, you should first understand that neither food, nor weight is what really matters: they’re just symptoms of the real problem. We focus on achieving an “ideal” weight, or in the number of calories we consume, but we never ask ourselves what makes us overeat or eat when we’re not even hungry.
For Geneen Roth (Breaking Free from Emotional Eating), worrying too much about our weight may mask deeper concerns, generally related to unsatisfied emotional needs, (such as lack of love). That’s why, when we eat compulsively, we’re not really trying to nourish our body, but to fill an internal void. Food substitutes our emotional balance.
That’s why, in the end, losing weight doesn’t make us happier, unless we solve our emotional conflicts first. Being thin does not fill that void which has no form, weight, or name. It doesn’t matter how well planned or effective a diet is if the person following it is not aware of the reasons which caused his/her overweight.
As we always say here at Forma Vital, what really matters about losing weight is not to meet any stereotype, but to have a healthy weight which leads us to a more fulfilling life. To achieve this, it’s important that we learn to recognize the role emotions play in how we eat and the food we choose. Below you’ll find some pieces of advice that can help you:
- Keep a food journal. Log everything you eat and how it makes you feel, physically and emotionally.
- Organize your meals. Do not skip any meal and try to keep a fixed schedule.
- Eat mindfully. Savor and enjoy your food consciously, not while watching TV or being distracted. You can see our article about mindful eating.
- Drink plenty of water. This will help you distinguish between real hunger (to nourish your body) and food cravings.
- Congratulate yourself on your good calls. Take your time to feel proud of who you are and the good decisions you take.
- Look for help when you need it. If you realize you cannot cope with your feelings or emotions by yourself, look for the help of a professional instead of indulging yourself with food.
Breaking out from our comfort zone is a real challenge, but it is the first big step to achieving a full and healthy life, physically and mentally. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, #DecideItNow.