Food: It’s Not About Willpower

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binge-eatingIf you’re like many of my clients, you may have struggled for years, often decades, having a dysfunctional relationship with food. Food and emotions are so intertwined, which can lead us to eat for any number of reasons other than physical hunger. We can eat socially, mindlessly, emotionally, or have binge-eating behaviors that keep us overweight, frustrated, exhausted and unhappy. But it’s not just about willpower.

Binge eating can happen because:

We’re over-hungry, which leads to overeating.
We haven’t created a strategic plan for our eating.
A trigger (person, place, thought or feeling) encourages a binge.
We have a food addiction that’s so powerful it’s been keeping us hostage and preventing us from achieving the body, health and life we want most.
We’re eating a certain type of diet that that gives us an energy spike and crash – so we spend our days searching for energy in all the wrong food choices while leaving us on a roller coaster ride of energy highs and lows all day.
You may have been taught “everything in moderation” and “all you need is willpower.” It’s this information and more that helps to CREATE a struggle with food.

It’s not about moderation and it’s not about willpower – that’s false information that leads us to feel we’ve failed. No, you didn’t. You were taught something that’s simply untrue. The foods you’re most likely eating in moderation (low nutrient, high sugar, highly processed “sub foods”) are highly addictive, inflammatory and keep your cravings high. They’re doing little to nourish and support you. What they are doing is slowly chipping away at your health, waistline and belief that you can lose the weight once and for all. Keeping these foods in your life is a temporary “fix” yielding long-term aggravation.

Now, if you’re sensing that you’ll feel deprived without these toxic foods in your life, consider my spin on deprivation.

You know what REAL deprivation is? It’s:

Not feeling good in your own skin.
Struggling with symptoms and illnesses created as a result of inflammation.
Wearing what fits vs. what you want.
Feeling uncomfortable speaking up or speaking out because of the way you feel.
Not participating in activities because you’re uncomfortable.
Being hungry all the time because you’re never truly satisfied.
Settling for things you’d never settle for if you felt better.
And the list goes on and on…

Sure, that food may taste great for the few minutes you’re eating it, but if you swapped it for something better, what you’re securing lasts a whole lot longer. It’s time you felt great again and stopped depriving yourself of what you REALLY want.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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  • Paula Gallagher
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    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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January 2023