Do you feel you can’t stop eating, even when you’re full? And no matter how hard you try to think of something else, your mind can only think about food. Why is this?
This is because there are 2 types of hunger we can feel. One is physical hunger and emotional hunger.
They are both ruled by one core principle of human behavior. That is the pain-pleasure principle. It states that we do everything to avoid pain or to gain pleasure. Pain drives the desire to eat, we eat to relieve physical pain. We feel hunger because it forces us to seek to feed ourselves.
Were does taste come from?
When food tastes good, it does because what it supplies helps avoid pain. So taste is subjective. It isn’t the food but the associations we make.
That discomfort will last proportion to what we need for the lifestyle we have. When we eat and supply what’s necessary, then you will stop eating when you’re full. The discomfort stops, the hunger stops, and there begins to be discomfort of fullness.
But emotional hunger works differently.
Emotional eating is what makes you can’t stop eating
Emotional hunger occurs when you have linked pleasure to eating. And it’s has become the only mechanism you know to make you feel better. That causes these 2 forces drive you to reach for food when you feel pain.
Emotional hunger will stop the moment the negative emotion stops.
But the caveat is this.
When people feel guilty about eating, they create more negative emotions. Guilt creates internal pain besides from what made them reach for food first.
That creates a closed-loop know as the binge eating cycle by judging the act. This is the cause of the moment’s where you can’t stop eating
The cause of not being able to stop eating is emotional hunger that comes from guilt.
When they do this, they create negative emotions coming from within. People are not aware that the pain comes from judgment. The emotional hunger can only stop if the judgment stops. They begin to value themselves based on what they do, with the judgments there.
But the fact that their judgments are the source of the pain is out of their awareness, so they can’t control it. Thus the mind gets out of control seeking escape from these emotional pains, and people can’t stop eating even when they’re full.
Then the images that come into mind are about they’re coping strategy, food.
That creates guilt as well, and it wants them to want to cope more, every piece of guilt isolates the desire to eat even more.
In every moment, there’s a lot of possible actions.
But we will take the one that we have imagined ourselves doing most times.
What you think you feel and do
As your guilt and desire to not eat becomes strong, you cannot think of what you desire, only on what you don’t want. The discomfort makes you lose the sensitivity of fullness and you believe freedom lies in eating, and you eat only to find more guilt, then you can’t stop eating.
This causes your mind to go into a state of learned helplessness, where you think you are powerless, and can only give in.
And it feels powerless because it’s only conscious of what it wants to avoid and not in where it has to go.
To shift your behavior at the moment, there has to be a state shift. Your state controls the decisions you make. And it does so according to your thoughts and intentions at the moment. The decisions and actions depend upon what feels better. To change your behavior you must change your state.
Your focus guides your thoughts and feelings
This can only happen when you’re focused on what you want. You need a definitive decision to focus. The problem is every time you want to get rid of something, your state can’t change. Your mind gets more fixated on the problem, and your mind and body don’t shift. You stay stuck with the same bad decisions and actions while wanting to change them.
Your feel confused, and focused on the problem, desiring the solution. And you feel negative because things don’t go the way you want. The problem is that your fixation on the problem prevents the state shift.
You keep making the same bad decisions because you can’t focus on what you want.
It goes like this, you feel bad and you choose to eat to relieve the discomfort; then you become conscious of what you’re doing, and you judge it; and because you’re eating you feel guilty; guilt feels bad, and you have to keep using your coping strategy, you keep eating to feel better, and you don’t want to feel guilt; so you keep eating as a distraction… It is a closed-loop.
At times its necessary to cope, so we can balance our emotions. To solve our problems we don’t need resources, but resourcefulness. To be resourceful we need a good state of mind. You may just need to get more resourceful about your current problem. If you’re stuck in negative emotions there are no solutions to problems. As you get out, solutions appear because of your perception changes-new information comes to your awareness. But you have to respect the process and not interfering with judgments.
The only things that make you can’t stop eating are your negative emotions, and the only thing that keeps you having negative emotions are judgments.
To manage yourself and your mind, don’t judge things
Judging is creating another problem and it puts you in a closed-loop.
What is the way out of this?
By reading this post you’ve become aware of what was happening. That is 90% the problem solved if you don’t feel it solved yet.
The issue is that you are creating those negative emotions with your judgment. you have to be aware of this to stop it, then you’ll be able to stop eating so much.
You can only solve an effect by reaching for the cause.
If the feelings of judgment come automatic and you don’t notice them, you need mindful eating. You may have heard about it many times, but you must understand it and understand why it works to work for you. Let me explain.
Mindful eating is eating with awareness, you focus on how the food feels, the flavor, shape, texture, taste, crispness. You concentrate on that, and when your mind wanders, you bring it back to the sensations the food brings you. The goal for you is not to force focus but to bring the attention back, and that will in time train your ability to stay concentrated.
How mindful eating can help you control your body and mind
Why does this work?
Simple, because when you become conscious of the food, you become conscious of the moment. And as you stay calm eating and breathing, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms your emotions and makes you more present. That will help you become conscious of the sensations of the body more at the moment. You become conscious of the discomfort of fullness, and it will drive you to stop eating as you’re full.
This is another loop, but a loop of control, not a loop of helplessness and lack of control.
Another benefit that mindful eating can bring you, is to make you aware of the thoughts that cause you to feel negative.
The judgmental thoughts that produce the emotional hunger of the binge cycle may be out of your awareness. When you focus on mindful eating, you become aware of when your attention wanders. This helps you see what is that you’re thinking, and it will bring you control. You’ll see it’s just a thought, and it could not touch your state, this is meta-cognition.
Nothing has any meaning except the meaning you give it, you give meaning with your thoughts and mental pictures. As you become aware of your thoughts, you become free from those negative meanings. You will be able to see that there’re 2 sides you can choose, positive and negative.
Awareness of your patterns stops the obsession with food
Negative meanings only affect you when they’re out of your conscious awareness. All negative emotions just mean that you have made negative meanings.
As you live a more focused life, you will avoid negative meanings easier.
Be aware of your judgments to see the cause of all the negative emotions.
Human behavior connected to perception and emotions. Anything you think about, your behavior and perception will move towards. If you think healthy, your perception will make healthy food feel better for you. Just from thought, but when you’re guilty your meanings can’t change. You stay stuck dwelling about the problem at the moment.
Without changing your meanings, you can’t change in emotions and behavior.
Overeating is the result of wanting to escape from negative emotions. When he problem persists even when we’re aware, it’s because those negative emotions come from the guilt of eating. By using mindful eating and become very aware about the information presented you’ll then be able to stop feeling negative so much and you will stop eating when you’re full.
I hope you found this helpful and let me know if you have any comments and suggestions, I would also love to know about your short term and long-term progress using these techniques, so I can know more about you and change them to help the biggest number of people possible.
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