The other day I cam across something that stopped me in my tracks.It was an article written by an ‘expert’ on weight loss. The article talked about overeating, and what you should do to overcome it.It said when you feel the need to overeat or binge, just overeat ‘healthy’ foods.What?!
Here’s the thing: when you eat when you’re not hungry, whether you eat carrots or carrot cake, you are not listening to your hunger and not listening to your body.
And you cannot, and will not, lose weight, keep it off long-term, and have a healthy relationship with food if you don’t listen to your hunger and to your body. Period.
By simply replacing the ‘bad’ or unhealthy food with a ‘good’ or healthy one, is simply putting on a band-aid. Because you’re still overeating. And I can promise you that if you overeat with carrots, you will overeat with cake. Because overeating is simply a symptom. A symptom of something else that is going on. So if you simply overeat with healthy foods, you’re still overeating
. You’re still not honoring your body, not honoring your hunger, and not addressing the real issue.And I’ve been there. I’ve tried the whole “I’ll only eat healthy foods” but what I did in times of stress, or unhappiness, or just not feeling good — is I would overeat the foods I deemed “good”. But that simply put a mask over the real issue — the overeating.And I found that overeating the healthy foods, did me no good. I would eventually overeat the high-caloire stuff too.I’d have the urge to overeat. So I’d tell myself, “okay, I just have some rice cakes.” But that didn’t satisfy my hunger.So next I’d opt for the low-cal popcorn. Ditto, still not satisfied.
Then I’d say, “what I really want are some Oreos, but I’ll just have two.” Which later became 3, then 5, then half the bag….oh what the hell, I’ll have the whole dam bag!”Sound familiar?But what I later learned — and what I want you to learn today — is this:
If hunger isn’t the problem, then food isn’t the solution.
If you eat when you are not hungry, no matter what food it is, you are simply replacing the “fix”, the craving, the hole.And sometimes that ‘fix’ is food, sometimes it’s shopping, for others it can be drinking, overspending, excess exercising….it doesn’t matter what it is. But whether you’re filling the hole with apples or apple pie, with a salad or with chocolate, with a Fiber One bar or a Snickers bar — it’s still overeating.You are still denying your body. You are, in a sense, beating it up.
And when you’re beating your body up, it’s hard to really listen to it.
If you’re stuffing your face with carrots — you’re still stuffing your face.It’s just that we’d been told (wrongly) by the diet community, the experts, and the weight loss gurus, that if you eat healthy food you will lose weight.And yes, eating healthy foods is important.But if you overeat
healthy foods — you’re still overeating. You are still not connecting to your hunger, your body, and your life.Whether you’re overeating healthy or not-so-healthy foods — the question you really should be asking yourself is WHY? Why are you overeating?Because the issue is not what
you’re overeating, but why you’re overeating in the first place
.So simply overeating healthy foods when you want to overeat, will not solve the problem. You’ll still be disconnected from your self. And you’ll continue to beat yourself up.So next time you have the urge to overeat, don’t try to cover it up with food (healthy or not-so-healthy food). But instead take a look at the why. Because that’s where the magic is.YOUR TURN: What are you’re thoughts? Have you overeaten healthy foods, only to still feel miserable, or later overeating more ‘guilty’ foods? Questions and Answers:
[toggle title="Michaela"]Spot on! So many articles that focus on helping people lose weight by not giving into cravings for “sinful” foods or by finding healthy alternatives to the foods that they are craving miss this important point. Why are you craving those types of foods? Why do those foods seem to have special meaning or power? Why would eating a carrot satisfy if you really want carrot cake? It’s so important to look past the food and see the WHY behind it all.[/toggle] [toggle title="Julie"]You have just hit the nail on the head!!! I talked with a man who was told he had to lose weight because he had diabetes. He was desperately trying to find he could mindlessly eat that wouldn’t make his weight go up. Sadly, he was convinced that all he had to do was change the food to “healthy” ones and he could continue to overeat, because now it was okay.
He will never get his weight and diabetes under control until he figures out WHY he overeats! You are so right in this! Great blog!!![/toggle]