… ever notice those portions getting bigger and bigger?
Over the years the extra portions, the additional piece of cake, or the craving for sweet or savoury carbohydrates can become hard wired into our behavioural patterns forcing us into piling on the pounds as many of us to seek ways to achieve a desired weight-loss goal.
A while ago there was a great documentary on BBC2 called ‘The Men Who Make Us Fat’.
Observing many issues around our eating habits, the program looked at the concept of ‘supersizing’, where over 40 years ago an American cinema manager introduced big bucket popcorn, which ignited the fuse for change in how we increased the volumes of what we eat. It was discovered to be a great marketing strategy in selling bigger single portions to people at fast food restaurants. The psychological factor being that it’s OK to purchase a large size but not to ask for two individual portions. Of course the ‘value for money’ tag encouraged people to eat and drink even larger volumes until it just became the ‘norm’ – grande or venti anybody? Extend that into supermarkets, where super size and value packaging especially around high-fat, sugary foods and drinks are concerned, and we can see the beginnings of the obesity problem and decline in health for adults and children.
In fact when it came to assessing how much an individual’s body weight departs from what is perceived as ‘normal and desirable’, an American insurance company reclassified the body mass index (BMI), in the post-war era. Keeping in mind that the BMI was ‘originally meant to be a simple way of classifying sedentary (physically inactive) individuals, or rather, populations, with an average body composition, many people, including physicians, came to rely on the numbers as an authority for a medical diagnosis!’ (Wikipedia)
With all this pressure the diet industry was born, fuelled by a demand for help with weight management, with people relying on measurements from stepping onto home-weighing scales. It wasn’t long before the average person found themselves on the merry-go-round of persistent yo-yo dieting which we see up to the present day.
“First they are shamed by society, then they are told that when they don’t lose weight long term through commercial diet programmes that it is their fault.” (James Pretti, ‘The Men Who Make Us Fat’)
Being stigmatised, or under peer pressure to conform with what is attractive when it comes to weight and size also creates psychological issues. Clearly being underweight can be as serious a health issue as carrying too much weight due to poor food choices and habits.
And it stands to reason that if we aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins and minerals we need from shifting the balance to eating too much processed food, and we are encouraged to expand on our portion size, then the results can prove to be dangerously divisive when it comes to our fitness, our health, (think type 2 diabetes), and longevity.
I’ve come to the conclusion that emphasis on ‘weight management’ should be less aligned to weighing scales and constant dieting, and more akin to increasing our knowledge and understanding of nutrition, portion size and general good health and fitness.
Changing your mind …
The more we eat the more our mind is triggered to believe it wants even more as a method of survival – it becomes part of the human imperative to feast in case of times of famine!
So now we are beginning to understand more about foods, and the industries that are built around food, we can look at ways to take back control for what we are putting into our bodies. This means eating the right sized portions to enable us to stay fit and healthy which also effects benefits in weight-loss and maintenance.
Bad habits or addictions to certain foods can also be connected to emotional issues such as comfort eating, problems around acceptance or feelings of belonging, attractiveness, boredom, social pressures and self-esteem, anxiety and as a reward tactic.
Are you ready to make a permanent change?
Cognitive hypnotherapy adds value by supporting you in helping you to change your relationship with food and with yourself. This is NOT a diet and is much more than a desire for weight-loss – it’s a way to help you change old habits and behaviours around food, so that you can achieve your goals and have a much better relationship with food.
Ultimately you are responsible for really wanting to change and putting in the work to make this a reality. You will be supported in:
- Breaking those habits that have built up over the years and replacing them with more suitable behaviours. RESULT: eating sensible portions and having a much better relationship with food, thereby breaking the constant diet syndrome.
- Finding out what it is that makes your behaviour unique to you, thus acquiring tools to help you conquer cravings and move forward.
- Setting SMART* goals on how you tackle this problem, plus hypnotic downloads to help reprogram your brain towards finding better solutions to fill emotional needs.
- Relearning how to listen to your body to recognise when you are full, meaning that you can refrain from overeating.
- Stopping blaming yourself, living up to the expectations of others or the glossy, air-brushed magazine images, by exploring how to improve your own self-esteem. We can be our own worst critic even when we know that nobody is perfect! (whatever perfect is, it’s a perception).
- Discovering the emotional connections; that means you stop reaching for less healthy snacks and pursue the real solution to your problem.
- Looking at ways to relieve stress in your life. Stress can make us fat, especially around the belly, which can be a health issue.
Get off the battleground, get aware of what’s going on around you and within you and make peace with food and your body.
*SMART refers to aiming for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound goals