How to Break the Cycle of Over-eating
This is the time of year when my clients are asking a lot of questions about dieting, over-eating and resolutions. A new year is always a good time for a fresh start, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of New Year resolutions. Very few people actually keep them and broken resolutions can damage our confidence and self-esteem.
Instead, I recommend choosing a theme to play with and/or setting intentions for the year to come. Intentions are more fluid than resolutions and still lead you on a path to what you want and who you want to become. If you fall off the path there is no need for judgement, you simply pick up where you left off.
This morning I was talking to a client about improving her relationship with food and breaking the cycle of over-eating. As I recommended some steps for her I realized they might make a good blog post,, so here they are:
UNCOVER THE MOST POWERFUL REASON(S) WHY YOU WANT TO STOP OVER-EATING
When you connect with your deepest reasons why, it will be easier to stay motivated. You can also use them to help you get back on track if you slip up. I encourage you to write a list of powerful reasons not to over-eat and put it where you will see it often or near where food is stored.
Keep in mind the deeper reasons are not usually to lose weight. You may want to journal about what losing weight would mean to you and how your life would be better. My clients have discovered that motivations like, living to be with grandchildren, confidence and self esteem, preventing a disease that runs in the family, improving a medical condition you have, or the ability to do certain things that would be meaningful are great motivators.
SET A CLEAR AND POSITIVE INTENTION
Write out what you want and who you want to become in the process and form an intention for that outcome. My clients like to post their intentions where they will be seen often to help them stay focused. An example of an intention around food might look like this: I intend to interrupt unhealthy eating patterns and make conscious choices that will support me in (your deepest reasons for not over-eating).
INTERRUPT YOUR OVER-EATING PATTERN
Much of our over-eating is mindless so it is important to stay aware and catch ourselves when we reach for something unhealthy or take more than we intended. Once we realize what we are doing we have the opportunity to choose something different. Ask yourself:
Which do I want more, the extra food or (your deepest reasons for not over-eating)?
You can also learn more by asking optional questions like these:
- What am I feeling now?
- What am I trying to avoid?
- Is this stress related?
- Is it just a habit?
TAKE INTENTIONAL ACTION
The last step is to start doing something unrelated right away. Take a walk, journal, work on a project. Replace the over-eating with something more positive. This will assist you in moving on more quickly and help prevent you from being pulled back into the unhealthy pattern.
Many of you will also want to add accountability into the mix. Having other people witness your progress and support you is often a key to success.
Changes like these don’t happen overnight and it’s important to repeat this process whenever the desire to over-eat comes up. Over time it will get easier and you wont’ feel the urge as often, but it does take a little while to rewire your brain into alignment with your new intention.
Don’t worry though. You can so do this and I’m over here cheering you on.
If you would like coaching support as you set and move into new intentions and goals, I would love to talk to you about the possibility of working together. You can reach me here.
To read more like this or learn about Linda and Life Coaching go to lifecoachlinda.com
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