30 Apr Eat What You Really Want and Lose Weight
Sound too good to be true?
Well let me guarantee you that it is not. I have been teaching others how to become healthy and happy for years through the method of intuitive eating. Essentially, intuitive eating is the principle of eating whatever you want, whenever you want — as long as you are tuning into your bodily sensations, cravings, and the process of eating itself.
So you might be sitting there asking yourself, how is it possible to lose weight while eating what I want, whenever I want? Let us start from the beginning.
The first thing I ask clients who are carrying excess weight to do is to consider, “Why do I need this excess weight?”
The answer might not come so easily, but I have found that there are two very common trends in people who are carrying excess weight on their bodies. The first is people who are in a state of chronic self denial. Externally, this will show up in their eating patterns by constantly being on a diet in some form or another by restricting themselves. This mentality does not just encompass the way they eat but also their life in general; they tend to deprive themselves of what they truly want and need because they do not believe they deserve it.
The second common trend is people with a deep need for emotional protection. This need for protection can stem from a variety of experiences such as: a traumatic experience where they felt they needed to protect themselves from someone or something, seeking love and fulfillment through food, feeling a lack in their life that they are trying to overcompensate for, wanting to be physically held, suppressed anger and resentment, and/or a desire for power so that they will not be taken advantage of.
Ultimately, the excess weight is a result of a thought pattern, not an eating pattern. The eating pattern is just the external representation of what is happening internally.
Therefore, the key to losing the excess weight is to meet and thus release the need, which is the root of your weight gain.
When I explain this many people are baffled, but it does not really matter what you are eating in terms of how much you will weigh. Yes, your health may suffer if you are not eating nutritious food, but it does not automatically equate to weighing more. You may witness this phenomenon when you are surrounded by friends who seem to be able to eat absolutely everything in sight and are thin as a rail.
The next time you eat notice what thoughts consume you. Are you biting into your food and internally saying to yourself, “this is helpless no matter what I eat I gain weight,” or are you saying, “this is delicious, I love this food.”
I am willing to bet that if you identified more with the first statement you are carrying some excess weight. If you identified more with the second statement you are that friend who can eat anything in sight and maintain your naturally slim physique.
The secret to maintaining your natural weight is to hold the mindset that you can eat what you want while achieving your desired weight. You cannot eat foods you believe will make you fat and get skinny or think you are fat and get skinny. This is why dieting is the antithesis to weight loss. Instead, shift your mindset from restriction to feeling good.
What makes you feel good while you eat and after you have finished eating? Emphasis on after you eat — remember that food can be a source of numbing oneself from reality. In the moment it can feel good to eat that chocolate cake to avoid the deep sense of loneliness inside but afterwards you may experience feelings of guilt or an uncomfortably full belly. If you are eating the chocolate cake from a place of hunger and pleasure you will easily be able to stop at the signal of fullness and leave the table feeling satisfied. If you eat this way you will be eating yourself to the body you desire.
This article was originally written for and published by the online resource World of Psychology through Psych Central.