Reasons why you are Overeating and How to STOPMay 10, 2022
The struggle of overeating is near and dear to my heart.
In our 20’s and 30’s we could tweak a few things in our diet, like not drink or eat desserts for a week or two, up the exercise and ba-da-bing, those pesky pounds would drop off.
We rode this cycle and it worked for us, but truth be told, we were just band-aiding the issue.
There is one reason why you and I are holding extra weight on our body – overeating.
We are eating (or drinking) more than what our body is naturally asking for.
And where once upon a time, we could apply a quick fix, times have changed. We are in our 40, 50’s and beyond, and those tricks don’t work anymore.
When we deprive or restrict food, we may last for a little while but then we actually eat more and more to make up for what we didn’t eat. There is an explanation for this but I’m not going to dive into it here.
If you are looking to drop a pant size or 2... (and let me be serious for a second and go beyond vanity…. our weight & what we eat, DOES impact our health) I would love to share with you one aspect in this blog about how to lose weight and keep it off for good.
Everything I share with you; I have tested on myself. If you struggle with overeating and your weight (or health) than I want you to know that it is ABSOLUTELY possible to lose weight permanently (and improve your health) without dieting, deprivation and restriction and have FUN in the process.
The 3-step method that I have created in The Willis Method teaches you to ….
Balance Your Blood Sugars. Feel Your Feelings. Stop Overeating.
Today, let's dive into Emotional Eating and what you can begin to do to address your overeating.
What is emotional eating?
It includes eating that is induced by discomfort, stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, emptiness, anger. It could also be because you are happy or in a social situation – but mostly from the aforementioned.
- Why we eat emotionally
- As children we were not taught to fully express our emotions. Instead many of us would have parents or caregivers give us food to soothe us – to take away the pain. It was uncomfortable to them for us to be in pain and the best thing they knew how to do was use a distraction instead of allowing us to work through the emotion (cry, be angry, laugh, temper tantrum etc.)
- As we grew older, we made this connection that when we feel uncomfortable we eat, drink it, smoke it, shop it- suppress it – instead of allowing ourselves to feel the emotion
- Therefore it’s a coping mechanism
- It’s not until we first notice our habits and reactions that we can begin to consciously change this programming. Pick up your free copy of 5 Ways to Drop a Pant Size and a copy of my book Cookie Dough in the Dark for further guidance.
- Your needs are not being met and perhaps you don’t know what they are because you are not giving yourself the time to feel and sit in that discomfort. Needs could be relationships, sex, financial security, personal development (think of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs)
- There is an imbalance in your life and your needs are not being met.
- Learning how to sit in discomfort – we haven’t been taught to sit with our emotions
- We don’t like discomfort – I certainly don’t – but what I know for sure is that suppressing the initial discomfort with cookies (or whatever your “go to” is) does not address the discomfort. Instead I’ve created more discomfort – one with the feeling that I have just temporarily suppressed and 2) now I have guilt and sometimes self-hatred because of what I just ate or drank.
What are some foods (or actions) that you do when you are feeling uncomfortable?
- Emotionally eating is caused by not listening to our inner child and giving it the needs that are wanting to be fulfilled such as love, acceptance. Again, instead of paying attention to the real reason for this pain, we cover it up by eating it.
What is it that you are longing for that you are pushing away and eating instead?
- Emotional eating is a coping mechanism that we have been taught since a very early age. It is a symptom, a reaction that is now a habit – and what is important, is to realize the root cause to why we are eating.
What is your root cause? Mine was feeling unloved initially and food filled me up – not with love but with a feeling of having something to comfort me.
- Stepping back and just taking a small moment to notice how we are feeling will begin to add space, a moment, a pause, to reflect on what we are feeling. I talk about this a lot in Cookie Dough in the Dark. Food was my drug, my coping device, it was not the problem. The problem was that I was overeating because through repetition, I had acquired and reinforced the skill of overeating (which becomes a habit), to cover up the pain I was feeling.
How could you create some space between what you are feeling and the initial reaction to distract yourself from that feeling?
- We haven’t found another way to cope or meet our needs
- As stated above – most of us have learned to cope by eating and therefore have not had the chance to learn other ways to meet our needs.
- I know that eating or drinking/smoking provides a very quick relief and therefore learning another strategy – such as going for a walk, breathing, spending time in nature, calling a friend – is not as instant – but is a great way to meet our needs and fill our heart and soul. Some of these may make you feel more vulnerable (talking to a friend/family member when in need of love and support) or giving ourselves permission to take a little time to breathe, walk, re-center.
- How to start the process of change to manage emotional eating
- Be kind to yourself and know that this is a journey – not a magic pill – quick fix
- Step back and become the observer of you – this was huge in my journey.
- There is no failing – only catching yourself and readjusting – this is a process of imperfect action
- When you feel the urge to eat – can you delay it and tap into what you are feeling in that moment. Put some space between the unconscious habit of grabbing for food.
- Ask yourself – “would I eat broccoli right now?” – if the answer is NO – you are not hungry – you are emotionally wanting something – what is it?
Keep asking yourself WHY am I eating? Peel back the layer of the onion.
I’m a wife and mum, personal trainer, fitness/pilates instructor, Behaviour Change Specialist, Nutrition Coach, Pain-Free Movement Specialist, author of Cookie Dough in the Dark, creator of Vibrant Living Membership - your ONE STOP shop for movement + nutrition + mindset, The Willis Method and PEEL THE ONION - Your End Emotional Eating membership..... among many other things!!
I’ve had many issues dealing with the scale going up and down, a muffin top that wouldn’t disappear, emotional eating binges that did not involve carrots and struggling with insecurity! Through all of this I just wanted to feel normal. I wanted to be happy like everyone else!
In my teens and 20’s I wanted the quick fixes, the magic pills, the fairy dust – whatever I could get my hands on to make me a lean, happy and sexy machine. Yup, found out it doesn’t exist. I wanted to cry!! I was so frustrated. I felt like I was going around and around until I was completely exhausted and back at the starting point. And when I talk with other women they feel that way too. So, I delved further into holistic health – the emotional, mental and physical – wrote a book, and have been in this field for many years helping countless women.
I discovered that by being smarter, not working harder, I could get the results I wanted and also for my clients. It started with some really small shifts that I will share with you over time. With this new knowledge, I felt ALIVE, VIBRANT and COMFORTABLE in my own skin. And my clients felt this way too!
My mission is to continue to help women step into the body they WANT. To feel confident & sexy, in control of their food choices and have their clothes fit just as they should while having the energy to live a VIBRANT life.
Ready to elevate your health? As a certified Behaviour Change & Nutrition Coach, I'd be happy to chat with you. Contact me at [email protected].
1) Download 👖5 Ways to Drop a Pant Size
2) Buy my book or just read the first chapter here
3) Book a call to discuss your next best steps when it comes to losing weight, click here
Videos 1) https://www.facebook.com/564187937/videos/368838605282627/
I look forward to seeing you inside the 5 day stronger to the core challenge
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