Get “unstuck” and stop overeating habits.

Get “unstuck” and stop overeating habits.

It can be really easy to feel stuck in a cycle of restricting and overeating. Old habits. Old beliefs. Old stories. In this blog I delve into how you can get unstuck from your unhealthy eating and stop overeating habits.

How to stop overeating habits

 

overeating cycle

 

Over the years, through behavioural patterns you repeat, you have created a neural pathway in your brain that has created these habits with food and eating. 

If you instinctively reach for a coffee the moment you wake up in the morning, you have a habit. By the same token, if you feel inclined to lace up your running shoes and go for a run as soon as you get home from work, you have a habit.

Old habits die hard, and creating healthy eating habits that last more than a couple of weeks can often be harder to develop than we would all like.

However, the good news is, through repetition, it’s possible to form—and maintain—new healthy eating habits that last and stop the overeating cycle. Even long-term habits that are detrimental to your health, wellbeing, and happiness can be tamed and stopped with enough practice and a smart approach.

Maybe you find yourself having the same conversations in your head over and over:

“It’s Monday, I’m going to be good today and start my diet”.

“It’s Monday, I better weigh myself and get back on track”.

 

 

Perhaps you retreat towards the same patterns of eating behaviour when you feel stressed, overloaded and overwhelmed:

“I know I shouldn’t eat this, but I deserve a treat!”.

“She/he made me angry. I need chocolate and/or a glass of wine!”.

But feeling stuck is just that – a feeling. No matter how many times you fall into old ruts with eating, you can change your overeating habits. Knowing that is the first step to getting “unstuck” with unhealthy and unwanted overeating habits.

Changing your overeating habits may require professional help, but understanding the basic principles of behaviour change can give you a head start on the process.

How to stop overeating habits

1. Decide if you really want to change

This might sound like a really stupid question…of course, you want to change your eating habits and behaviours, right? 

But many people say that want to change their relationship with food and their bodies, and then never do what it takes to actually, permanently change it. I’m not saying it’s easy. It can be a little scary, to begin with. But you have to really want to change it. You have to hit rock bottom, be fed up and done with the restrict-binge-guilt cycle. No more dieting. Commit to trying another way. 

Additionally, all psychological models of change emphasise the importance of commitment as a necessary first step. If you don’t see a problem, you won’t work on changing your behaviour. The more honest you are with yourself about the nature and destruction of your eating habits on yourself and others, the more likely you will be to start on the path toward change.

2. Gain insight into what is causing the habit

Once you figure out your inner motives and the incentives that are driving your habits, it will help you change them and stop the overeating cycle.

Slow down and take a good honest look at the situations and experiences that lead up to you acting out your habits. It’s possible (I’ve seen it with clients) that your behaviour is motivated by an unconscious, self-defeating need to sabotage yourself.

Do you unconsciously try to thwart your own success because you don’t feel you deserve to do well in life?

Do you fail to engage in healthy habits because you don’t think your body deserves to be treated well?

Everyone responds to reinforcements (the rewards that strengthen our habits). Some unwanted habits like emotional eating feel good, so we keep repeating them. Eating may also make other problems such as stress, loneliness, and boredom temporarily go away, and this instant relief becomes yet another source of reinforcement. 

3. Set realistic goals

Your habits have taken years to establish themselves. So please understand, you’re not going to change them overnight. As much as we love a quick-fix, they just don’t work long-term. You want a permanent solution. Not an exhausting cycle of victory and failure.

So, decide on what you would like to achieve and HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO FEEL (super important) and set realistic and flexible goals and a schedule that will work for you based on your values, available time and resources, etc.

Getting your body moving and overcoming a sedentary lifestyle is a great example of how you can proceed through this step.

Don’t set yourself up to fail. Saying you’re going to go to the gym five days a week when you’re currently not going at all won’t work. You will likely not achieve that and then use your failure as proof that you can’t change or the process doesn’t work.

Start off slow (two or three times a week), and gradually increase if you want to. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

 

4. Be mindful of your progress and don’t be discouraged by slip-ups

If you’re going to reach your ultimate goal, you will need to know how well you’re traveling. Achieving your smaller goals you’ve set as first steps is a good way to see if what you’re trying to achieve is happening for you. This means that you may want to keep a diary or journal. Keeping a journal is hard evidence of what is working and what is not. It’s something that you can look back on with curiosity and make the necessary changes if needed. 

Your motivation to change will be fired up in part by the rewards you get from your new behaviours.

However, even the most dedicated and determined people experience slip-ups. Lady, you’re human after all and the road to food and body peace is rarely linear. So please do not beat yourself up. If you use that slip as “proof” that you can never change, you will in indeed, never change. 

It’s important to get back on the horse so-to-speak and learn from the experience. What can that experience teach you for next time? How can you approach things differently?

Additionally, sometimes the pleasure of engaging in the habit outweighs the frustration of changing the habit. This will certainly happen in the beginning. Don’t give up! Note these experiences in your journal, but if they keep happening and you just can’t make the change, you may need to adjust your reward system or move to Step 5.

5. Seek support if your habits are proving hard to change

One of the best ways to build your inner resilience is by looking outward for support. If you’re having trouble making these changes on your own consistently and long-term, reach out to your friends, family, or perhaps an eating behaviour and body image professional.

Group exercise programs may be more motivating and fun than going on your own if you’re wanting to be more active. Zumba is SO much fun (don’t worry if you’re uncoordinated, you won’t be the only one!). Having fun is the key to sustainable physical activity and making it a habit.

If you’re afraid that reaching out to an eating behaviour and body image professional will be time-consuming, expensive, or just not worth it, you may be surprised to learn that many of my clients have changed decade-long habits in as little as 4 or 5 sessions (3 months).

They were just like you when they started. Doubting they could change. Believing it would be just like another diet they would fail at. But they did it and their lives have transformed because of it. 

Furthermore, needing help doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

It just means the change you desire is going to require more resources than you initially anticipated. And that’s totally normal. You’re not alone in that. 

The next time you find yourself on autopilot, take a moment to (gently) knock yourself off that well-worn path you’ve walked for years and begin a new one. Step outside of unhealthy or tired routines and try something new. We create new neural pathways every time we experience something new and different.

Remember, your past might set a precedent, but it need not be your present. There are other ways to feel good about eating, body, weight, and self. They might be unconventional and require an open mind, but if you’re still reading, I think this is just the thing you need.

Open yourself up to change and get “unstuck” from an unhealthy eating mindset and stop overeating habits. I promise you it will be worth it. 

If this is a problem you’re currently experiencing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here>>

Kelly Renee

 

 

 

 

 

The Quickest Way To Stop Cravings.

The Quickest Way To Stop Cravings.

Do you struggle with sugar cravings? A lot of women believe they’re addicted to sugar. Read on below to see how you can stop sugar cravings in a way that leaves you feeling satisfied.

beat sugar cravings

 

Firstly, I get it. I love chocolate probably a little too much.

Does this sound familiar? You went out with friends, and everyone was eating cake. You held out for a bit, but finally gave in and grabbed a piece.

Then all of sudden, you’ve “blown your diet”, so you may as well keep eating…aka “The Stuff it Effect!!”
Then, cue the binge. Followed by the guilt. Followed by the diet. And the cycle begins.

Eating by the rules almost always leads to overeating (eventually), because once you deviate from the plan, there’s nothing left to guide you and let’s be honest: you can only deny yourself your favourite foods for so long.

Can you imagine a life where you don’t overeat and you are in control of your cravings?

For most people, “giving in” to food and cravings represents a loss of control.

Craving’s are wrongly thought of as bad and should be eliminated as soon as possible. The only thing correct about this statement is the later: cravings should be dealt with sooner rather than later.

That means: EAT! Eat what you’re craving – Mindfully.

You’re much more likely to eat less and feel satisfied quicker, when you’re present and in the moment whilst eating.

Cravings and the brain?

Cravings are a sign that your body needs something (ie: food – perhaps you’re hungry). NOT that you’re addicted to sugar or carbs.

Sweet foods are highly desirable due the powerful impact sugar has on the reward system in the brain. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released by neurons in this system in response to a rewarding event.

Drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and nicotine activate the system that leads to intense feelings of reward that can result in cravings and addiction. So drugs and sugar both activate the same reward system in the brain, causing the release of dopamine.

Unfortunately, what many health experts fail to understand, is that while it is indeed true that drugs and sugar light up the same part of the brain, so do hugs and small puppies and smelling flowers and getting a compliment and basically anything that brings humans, pleasure.

So many of us FEEL addicted to sugar. However, it turn out though, just because we ‘feel’ addicted, doesn’t mean we are PHYSICALLY addicted.

When we’re physically addicted to drugs it’s potentially life-threatening to withdraw from. Alcohol withdraw can kill you. Heroin is a horrendous to come off.

We don’t get life-threatening symptoms when we stop eating sugar. We might get a headache and feel lethargic for a few days. That’s it.

How to handle cravings?

Cravings usually kick in because when we deny ourselves something, when we tell ourselves we’re never going to eat again or we try and detox it, we automatically can’t stop thinking about it. Food is literally on the brain.

Don’t think about a pink elephant.

Bet you thought of a pink elephant!

If you think of cravings as your body’s way of communicating with you, then indulging your cravings would mean giving your body what it’s asking for – this is intuitive eating.

In this case, indulging your cravings is something to be celebrated (yep!): it indicates that you’re in tune with your bodies cues, and that you’re able to decode your cravings and decipher what you really want and need.

You probably want (and need) food (if restricting). 

You probably need self care, to stand up for yourself, rest, a holiday, setting boundaries, talk to a counselor, pleasure or getting back into a hobby, for example.

When you have a craving for something sweet for example. It’s better to allow yourself to eat one or two biscuits mindfully. Because if you ignore the craving, what could have been a couple of biscuits, often end up being the whole pack later on.

Can you relate?

If you want to stop the self-sabotage with food, you must stop the deprivation.

No deprivation = no binge!

Explore these questions:


1. Why do I overeat?
2. Would I still eat this way if it didn’t impact my weight?

Food, eating and body image are deeply entwined. Many women report to me that they would still continue to eat the way they do (especially emotional eating) if they didn’t put on weight.

So are we worried about the eating or the weight gain? Food for thought there ♥

If you’re trapped in a vicious cycle with food, weight, dieting, and you’re NOT seeing results, you may want to open your mind to the possibility that a new way of thinking (NOT a new diet) could actually change your relationship with food permanently.

If you’re curious about working with me, the next step is to get in touch with me here.

 

Kelly Renee The Body trust Coaching Sunshine Coast

Is Work Burnout Linked to Your Emotional Eating?

Is Work Burnout Linked to Your Emotional Eating?

Did you know? A Finnish study has revealed that women who are fed up with their jobs may be more likely to turn to food for comfort in times of stress. Read on while I discuss how you can lower your stress and stop stress eating.

The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those who reported work burnout were more likely to have a habit of “emotional eating”, or eating when stressed, anxious or down, rather than physically hungry.

What’s more, they were more prone to “uncontrolled eating” – the feeling that you’re always hungry or can’t stop eating until all the food’s gone. Additionally, they have a hindered ability to make changes in their eating behaviour.

Emotional overeating almost always ends with bloating, guilt, regret and potential weight gain. All of which are potentially more negatively impacting than the food itself.

You can’t live like that forever. It’s just not sustainable.

We know that workers who take regular breaks are more productive and enjoy their work more.

 

How to stop stress eating

 

So what can we do as women to prevent or stop stress eating and emotional eating? (besides quit your job…unless you really want/need to)

We prioritise Self-Care.

The term self-care describes the actions that an individual might take in order to reach optimal physical, emotional and mental health.

What has self-care got to do with this?

Self-Care means – LESS stress and MORE resilience! and ultimately a happier and healthier relationship with food and body. 

How do we prioritise self-care?

Put it on your calendar and/or in your diary. Like you would any other appointment.

If you are struggling to find time to prioritise self-care, this may be a difficult step for you, but by all means don’t skip it. You are a smart woman, you know for something to happen there has to be time and space for it to occur.

You must leverage the same skills and talents you use in your job and every other part of your life to make self-care a priority. Make space in your life for your own health and wellbeing. You deserve it too and you’ll be no good to anyone a run down mess.
 

We don’t have to choose one or the other; family or work or ourselves. We can have them all side-by-side. So, please drop the guilt. You will be a better mother, partner, employee, entrepreneur and person for it.

Schedule your “me-time” and honour that appointment the way you would if it was with anybody else. When you value yourself and your time (instead of trying to wedge yourself in to an empty space that never occurs) it can create an important mind shift.
 
Others (namely your boss or even your children) pick up on the value you place on yourself. As you show more respect for your time and energy, you may find that they do too.

Of course addressing all sources of stress in general is important.

Big stress triggers in life such as work (where we spend on average 40 hours a week. 60+ if you’re an entrepreneur), may make it difficult to stop stress eating, lose weight and keep it off.

We cannot add, gain or become more when our time, mind and energy is full and cluttered.

If you need help to stop stress eating, don’t hesitate to take a look at my program Stop Punishing Start Nourishing.

 

kelly renee eating behaviour coach