by Janet Thomson: Train your brain to refrain…
How much time do you spend thinking about what you eat, compared to how much time you spend actually eating? Typically people who are considerably overweight confess to thinking about food constantly in between meals, whereas slim people tend to think about food only when they start to get hungry, or are planning meals ahead of time. What is also interesting is that overweight people generally eat very quickly, failing to “think” about the taste and the textures of the food; whereas slimmer people tend to eat more slowly, and be more aware of what they are eating, how it tastes, smells and makes them feel.
It’s no surprise that if you ignore or effectively switch off your senses when you eat, that you are more likely to carry on eating past the point you are satisfied. For some reason people seem to think you should eat until you are full up, when in fact the sensation of your stomach over-distending is not full up, it’s over full! Typically this means you have eaten approximately 20-30% more than you actually needed, simply by not thinking!
Your stomach will send signals to your brain telling it when you have had enough, but it’s not difficult to override these and ignore them. How many times have you heard someone say “I just can’t stop myself!” Perhaps if the stomach delivered the equivalent of an electric shock to the brain when it is pleasantly satisfied, obesity wouldn’t be a problem; however, our grand design relies on us actually listening to our body’s signals and responding to them in a positive way. When we don’t — we suffer, and our body lets us know it in a variety of ways, not just visible excess body fat, but also with aches and pains and even illness or disease.
So how should you think about food? The first stage is to actually make sure you think about what you are eating and how it makes you feel when you are eating. The term comfort food is often used to describe chocolate, ice cream and many other high fat unhealthy foods, so what is comforting about increasing your risk of heart disease and cancer, quite apart from not being able to get in your jeans? The hypnotic suggestions we see constantly in ads and in movies showing foods such as ice cream as being a guaranteed cure for feeling sad are very powerful and creep with stealth-like efficiency into our unconscious minds to create an association between feeling comforted and that food. No surprise that next time you feel sad your unconscious mind pops up with the ingenious suggestion of eating ice cream to feel better!
The reality is that for most people who are overweight, they haven’t programmed their minds to think about how to get fat, but they have allowed other people to do it for them. Without thinking, they have opened up their minds to anyone with a credible marketing strategy, without any thought as to the consequences. When they end up with a body they don’t like—they wonder how on earth it happened and feel powerless to change it.
The good news is you CAN take control of your thinking and literally delete all the installed associations and replace them with a whole new program that can change the way you think and feel about food, and as a result completely change your shape and size, and more importantly drastically improve your health and the way you feel, what’s more it can be a very empowering experience to actually know that YOU have taken back control of your mind and as a result your body, and it’s much easier and far more enjoyable than dieting!