If you’re a fan of The Biggest Loser then you may have recently watched Lara’s emotional confessions about gobbling up a packet of biscuits and feeling powerless to stop; a feeling that many of us know all too well.
Lara’s story highlights why effectively tackling weight issues often involves more than addressing diet and exercise alone – sometimes we need to dig a little deeper. For many of us, the tendency to overeat is often emotionally driven, as we turn to food in order to suppress or soothe negative feelings such as stress, sadness, or loneliness. This pattern can become so habitual that snacking becomes an automatic and unconscious response to uncomfortable feelings. But whatever the emotions that drive us to overeat, the end result is usually the same. The feelings return with a side order of guilt over losing control, which can lead to a self perpetuating cycle. If this sounds like you, there are some steps you can take to regain control over your eating patterns:
- Take a hunger check: before snacking, consider whether your hunger is physical or emotional.
- Keep a food diary: keep a record of what you eat and when, as well as how you’re feeling at the time. You may see a pattern emerge showing a connection between mood and food.
- Manage boredom: if you tend to snack when you’re bored, try distraction techniques – take a walk or phone a friend.
- Seek therapy: if self help just isn’t working, then it’s not a bad idea to consider therapy with a qualified psychologist. Therapy can help you identify factors driving you to overeat and develop healthier ways to deal with emotions.
For some people, seeking therapy for a dietary issue may seem like a last resort when in fact, therapy really should be one of your first appointments when seeking a change in lifestyle. Remember that therapy doesn’t need to be “taboo” or “serious” just another thing in your “I’m going to have a healthy life toolbox!”.
How many times does your head rule whether or not you eat that muffin or you talk yourself out of doing exercise for every reason under the sun and you can justify every bit of it?!
At Create Health & Fitness we are partnered with Lisa Harris, Clinical Psychologist from PACT Psychology. We do recommend that along with your exercise and nutritional programmes that you do seek advice from a Clinical Psychologist to help you achieve your goals, you may even achieve them faster by putting some tactics in place right at the start! Medicare and Health Provider rebates do apply.
We do offer packages to incorporate Clinical Psychology as part of your programme.
For further information on this topic, please contact us.