Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Why do so many people link indulgence in food with feeling good? It is true, that certain foods that we love can cause us to overeat. This must mean that we enjoy eating those foods right?
Well, not exactly. It gets complicated when we start examining the specific emotions we feel when we make poor food choices or when we overeat. Ask yourself, what emotion did you feel right before the last time your over ate? Chances are you did not feel confident or happy. In all likelihood you had feelings of defeat, frustration or maybe even depression.
NLP teaches us that we have a strategy for doing everything. Events must occur in a particular order for us to arrive at the compulsive behaviour. (overeating or poor food choices) What you may find is that the emotion you feel when you overeat is always the same. In fact, if you do this exercise correctly you cannot come to any other conclusion.
Now, the question that begs to be answered is; what happens when you can interrupt this syntax of events and arrive at a different emotion? If you are able to do that, will you still be able to overeat? You probably could but it would not feel like a compulsion. Suddenly, you will feel as though you have choice. An option that did not seem to exist for you in the past is now available to you and you may find that more often than not, you are getting joy from smaller portions and from less frequent eating.
If you are experiencing a joyous mental state or one of over flowing confidence you will not engage in behaviour that is contradictory to your conscious desires. We require a negative state to engage in self sabotage through food.
We have just answered the question of whether or not we can feel joy from eating less. Once we link the positive emotions with eating less we get better results. It becomes the new way of being for you. You won't feel like you are "being" any particular way because it will come so naturally.
Indulgence in food did not give you real joy and now this becomes apparent to you. You realize that the positive feelings that came from eating only lasted a short time and they were immediately followed by intense negative emotions like guilt or sadness. How do you get rid of this intense negative emotion? Well, one simple way is to eat more food and the cycle continues.
I help my clients link joy with healthy food choices and smaller portions. They still get the feeling they are after but now it lasts longer and the consequences to their body composition and health are positive.
Some people say that overeating is emotional. I believe those people are correct.