We use food to celebrate achievements and big life landmarks, it helps to bring us closer to others and is a brilliant way to find more out about other cultures. Food is awesome!
Food is also a highly emotional topic. We make choices about the food we want based on our emotions in that moment. We also use it to help mask those emotions.
In any weight-loss regime your personal trainer or nutritionist will likely get you to write down a food diary. This food diary will be a glimpse into your weekly eating habits. However, without knowing the full picture as to what drove the choice in the first place, the emotion, we cannot offer the most optimal help.
This is where psychology comes in. Let's assume Client A is a comfort eater. Whenever they undergo some form of stress they resort to food. This is their default habit that they learnt at a young age and has led them to be overweight. If we were to look at a normal food diary we would see increases in junk food, so the natural approach would be to say stop eating junk food. Problem solved. But the problem is not solved and this is why so many people are gaining and losing in a constant cycle of bitter dieting. We haven't addressed the underlying problem which is the emotion behind the eating.
By becoming aware of the emotion that drove us to make certain food decisions we can put that sadness, stress, anger etc. in a different direction. That direction will be a new habit that better deals with the emotion such as exercise, yoga, meditation, seeing friends etc.
If you are a comfort eater and you are unsatisfied with the weight you are currently at then I highly recommend trying the following…
Write a 7 day food diary that includes the food but also the emotions you were feeling at the time of making the food choices. Based on what you discover you can start to form new habits. Instead of reaching for your comfort food of choice in a time of emotional distress use another method such as phoning a friend, going for a walk, stretching, exercising or having a good cry!!!
Love you all