Sometimes the strongest food cravings hit when you're at your weakest point emotionally. You may turn to food for comfort — consciously or subconsciously — when facing a difficult problem, feeling stressed or even feeling bored.
Emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. It often leads to eating too much — especially too much of high-calorie, sweet and fatty foods. The good news is that if you're prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight management goals.
Whenever someone feels low, if they’re lonely, or disappointed about something, if they’re worried or anxious, or even if they’re just bored and dissatisfied, it’s because there’s a physical need or an emotional need within them that’s not being met. That need might be for greater intimacy, to feel more connected, it might be a need for more meaningful, challenging or creative work, it might be a need for security, and to know that you’re safe, or it might be a physical need for more sleep, for proper nutrition, or for more sunlight, fresh air and exercise.
But just like a baby can’t always signal clearly what it needs, and all you know is that the baby is crying, so our bodies don’t verbally communicate exactly what’s missing. Instead, you find that you can feel a knot in your stomach, a weight in your chest, or a painful tightness across your shoulders. And when you feel that inner knot, that tension, or that heaviness, you may have found yourself trying to get rid of it somehow, to mask the unpleasant feeling with something else, instead of listening to it and trying to work out what it’s telling you about your life.
This is such a common, human thing to do. Nobody likes unpleasant feelings, and basically we wish that they would go away, and we do our best to make them go away, as quickly as possible. Some people mask their feelings with alcohol, or by using drugs, or engaging in other unhealthy habits. And a very common way to self-medicate, and try to mask the feelings, is through food.
People often tend to use sugary, high carbohydrate foods to medicate themselves in this way, because for a brief period, while you’re eating the food, the rise in your blood sugar levels will temporarily mask the way you’re feeling. But this so called ‘comfort eating’ doesn’t usually comfort you at all in the long term, because after eating a lot of junk food, or sweet, sugary snacks, instead of feeling comforted, you tend to just feel guilty and angry at yourself. This can create a negative cycle of feeling low because you’ve over-eaten, and then eating even more to try to temporarily mask those feelings of guilt.
Hypnotherapy is going to help you break that pattern of drugging yourself with food, and the fact that you’re listening to this means that you already realise that using food to mask your emotions doesn’t really solve anything. It’s just a temporary high, a feeling of bloated fullness, or a sugar buzz, that covers up how you actually feel for a short while, but leaves you feeling worse afterwards. In this session you’ll learn to respond to your emotions differently, to feel them without running from them, and let them be your guide in showing you what changes you might need to make in your life.
But that doesn’t mean you need to let your emotions dictate everything you do. Sometimes emotions carry an important message, like that you need to be spending more time with your friends, or that you need to find ways to creatively challenge and stretch yourself more. But at other times people can get a bit nervous before a job interview, or impatient in a long supermarket queue, and there’s no great important emotional message here, it’s just a question of learning to manage your emotions, and calm yourself down in such situations.
With the help of hypnosis, you’ll find that emotions no longer trigger that urge to drug yourself with food, so that you can properly attend to your emotional wellbeing, and enjoy tasty, healthy meals that satisfy your physical hunger with a clear conscience, and feel so much better in yourself as you do so.