Portion Control and Learning a Four Letter Word

emotional eating image

How to know when to STOP

Why is it that when some people pick up their fork they become possessed – struggling to put it down and only eating until they are satisfied? Do they think there is going to be a major food shortage and they feel the need to stock up so to speak? Good question!

Upon further inspection we see that the main reason is tied to emotion – hence the term emotional eating common in weight loss therapeutic circles.

So why aren’t we satisfied with less – eating that is?

Well for starters this is more of a North American/Western phenomena that holds strong psychological and emotional roots. As kids, most of us were instructed to clean our plates spotless when eating. Furthermore, we were reminded of the dubious notion that, “There are people in other parts of the world who are starving!”

So, many people who have difficulty with portion control eat from a subliminal level of guilt and shame. They feel guilty that they are wasting good food and shameful for this wasting of food while people in other parts of the world are dying of starvation. Even though they may not be thinking this consciously, deep down roots were planted back in the day at the family dinner table.

Another reason people struggle with portion control issues is they were taught to “grab what you can“, and/or “take what you can get“.

There are no guarantees that tomorrow will come, let alone your next meal. Live for the moment; rather in this case… eat for the moment! From this, some individuals figuratively become human warehouses when they eat — storing up calories just in case.

Once again, this mindset often operates below the surface at an unconscious level. With that said, some people actually believe this to be true and speak it. Think about when you are on vacation. You might load up on a “big lunch” (one that makes you want to take a nap shortly thereafter) because you don’t know how long it will be until you have supper. Sound familiar?

It’s interesting that some portion control problems happen because of the presentation of the food (smell, color, taste and variety) as well as the environment you are in.

In social settings, such as parties, weddings and banquets, people generally eat more because they are outside their norm of daily meals. What they find in their kitchens pales in comparison to what is presented before them at these feasts. And best of all, they didn’t have to prepare the meals or better yet, clean up later. Bon appetite!

This makes over-indulging more appealing because critical sensors are down (“I better save some for later“) because they are eating for the moment. If you will, taking what you can get!

Did you know that some restaurants use certain recipes to promote undisciplined eating? And they do this through ingredients.

Do you like chicken wings? Ever notice that eating chicken wings is just like eating potato chips in that once you start it is hard to stop even though you feel ready to explode? This is because when you blend fat (grease) with salt and sugar, you appeal to all levels of the brain and it is euphoric — these three things make you want to eat more.

Even though people associate eating with the stomach, it is really between the ears… your mind.

It is all about perception, discipline and control. When you change the subliminal, unconscious messages, you change the behavior — disproportionate eating. And how does one do this?

Simple by retraining their mind by creating new sets of thought patterns through the creation of new neuro-pathways. This is best achieved through hypnosis/self-hypnosis and avoiding situations where there is more than enough to eat. It takes some time to change… say about 21 days to recreate new pathways. With that said, it is okay to leave the dinner table without your plate being spotless!

Portion control is all about learning a four letter word – STOP. Stop when you’ve had enough and not when the plate is clean.

Portion control for weight loss is something we cover in our weight loss hypnosis service we run in group and private offered in our Cape Cod office or online. Check it out if you’re struggling with portion control as part of your healthy eating program.

Dr Peter
Staff Writer
Free At Last Hypnosis

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