If you have ever wondered what the secrets of slim people are, your questions might be answered in a show called ‘The truth about slim people’
The truth about slim people
We will get to see how two people; Anne-Marie and Yemi, manage to stay slim despite it seems eating whatever they like, whenever they like.
It is a true case of nothing being as it seems as I read the article about it.
Anne-Marie is a 42 year old mother of two who was trained as a dancer but now runs a dance classes for kids. She is 9 stone a size 8. Every aspect of her life was filmed for 5 days.
Yemi is a 37 year old father of 2, has a 32 inch waist and weighs 12 stone. His childhood nickname was ‘Dustbin’ because of his large appetite. He did a lot of sport in his younger days.
Neither of them eat ‘healthy’ food and they both at what they like in the quantity they desire. Or so it seems.
As part of the programme they both have medical test and it is found that neither of them have ‘magic metabolisms’.
The findings tell this story (see if you can spot the key ones that I, as a Hypnotherapist, will talk about today):
- They don’t snack in the day
- They fully satisfy themselves at mealtimes by eating what they fancy.
- They both eat enough to feel full until the next meal.
- Neither of them are ‘emotional eaters’.
- They don’t drink much alcohol.
- If they eat a lot one day, they eat less the next day
- They unconsciously seem to balance their calorie intake
- Anne-Marie is found to be a ‘fidgeter’. Never sitting still and using up lots of energy just ‘being her’.
- Yemi walks at a very fast pace
- Both sleep well
- Both have good gut bacteria
- Neither of them are ‘hung-up’ on food
- They are both ‘self-regulated’
- The conclusion from the show was that the secret to staying slim is mindset.
From the list above I am going to talk about the emotional eating aspect today.
So what is an emotional eater?
It’s safe to say that an emotional eater will not see food as fuel only. If you are an emotional eater, food is more of a friend that you call on when you need to feel better. When you feel negative emotions you will use food as a way to take yur mind off them. Because your mind is distracted by the emotion, it means you don’t recognize when you are hungry or full so eat you fulfill an emotional need rather than a physical one.
Emotional eaters use food as a crutch rather than a source of pleasure to be enjoyed for what it is.
So what emotions might trigger an emotional eater to eat? Well any negative emotion really such as:
- Dislike of yourself
- Feeling unloved
Eating numbs the emotion and therefore feels comforting. But the bad news is after you’ve eaten you will probably feel more negative emotions about yourself like hating yourself for having no control, guilt, not liking your body, feeling fat or ugly or shame (especially if you eat in secret).
If you are unhappy being overweight, you may feel you have to wear make up to ‘hide’ yourself or even feel ugly without it and you may feel the need to behave in a way that distracts from your body which only adds to your feelings of internal discomfort. You may not be happy in your own skin.
Before you beat yourself up for what you crave and eat….
Why is it that certain foods seem to feature highly for emotional eaters? Foods like cake, biscuits, ice cream? Well your cravings can be justified for good reason. The blend of carbohydrates, sugar and fat can be delicious. A multi-sensory and temporarily satisfying experience. The feel in your mouth, the smell, the flavours and the taste exciting your senses and providing a distraction from anything else at that moment. And they are so easily available.
These type of food also provide instant gratification.
But did you know that your brain chemistry actually changes when you eat. “Carbohydrates set off a series of chemical reactions that ultimately lead to a boost in brain serotonin,” says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., the former director of the Research Program in Women’s Health at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Clinical Research Center. The higher the levels of serotonin, the more content you feel (at least temporarily).
There have also been studies around fatty foods making people feel less sad because fatty acids can induce a signal from your gut to your brain, which may influence emotions.
So how can an emotional eater change?
Keep an emotional food diary
Keeping a food diary to track what you’ve been eating alongside what how you are feeling at the time can help you identify what triggers emotional eating.
Knowing what these triggers are can help you break the emotional eating habits and deal with triggers instead of turning to food.
How can you deal with emotional triggers?
So if you’ve done your food diary and spotted some emotional triggers for you, you need to know how to do something other than eat when they occur.
Although there are many ways that you could find something other than eat to do, it is a good idea if you try and find something that satisfies your reward centre. What I mean by that is the place in your mind that needs to feel good and satisfied (known as a reward centre). If you don’t do this, you are merely distracting yourself from the thought of wanting to eat (this strategy can work well for some people too).
If you think about how your emotions are soothed and the deep connection they have with food for a minute.
Ice cream at the seaside – this often starts in childhood. There you are having a great time with your family and your treat is an ice cream. Not only is the ice cream delicious in itself, but it anchors those happy feelings of your time at the beach probably with people you like to be with.
Popcorn at the cinema – going to the cinema is a sensory experience. you are going to watch a story that you can be absorbed in undisturbed for a couple of hours. You will see things that might be amazing and open your unconscious mind and emotions right up (think Disney or Hollywood). You then eat some sweet popcorn which anchors the experience.
Candy floss at the funfair – you are surrounded by fun and people laughing. you may have been spun round and round or been taken on a ride up in the air. Everyone there is happy and laughing. There are bright lights and your adrenaline, serotonin and oxytocin which make you excited and happy will all be in full force. The candy floss anchors the experience.
These experiences are bonding tastes and food with experiences. Your brain will want the same feeling if you don’t give it the food it thinks it wants.
So you need to get creative to think of things you can do which may make you feel good. Maybe excited or like you’ve accomplished something. Get thinking about what they might be now. What are you craving and how can you get it another way than eating?
If you need help
If you need help with your emotional eating or weight loss then I can help you by seeing you as a one to one client for 4 hours. We work at a deep level to change your subconcious behaviours around cravings and eating and to change beliefs you might have about weight loss or yourself.
We work on any emotional healing that needs to take place to allow you to move on.
We work with the inner voice that damages your self-esteem and I help you to love your body (yes, in its current form) so you want to care for it and nourish it. We also work on making better food choices, sugar cravings and confidence. The whole works.