Struggling with Food and Losing Weight
Struggling with food and losing weight can be hard, many of us use food as a way to cope with the stress of life, to celebrate big occasions, just think of birthdays, weddings, Christmas. Food punctuates our day giving it structure, it is an opportunity to come together with others in convivial way. It can be a way that we show our love for another when we make them a meal or a cake or a treat. Food is often there in the background and foreground of our lives.
As with all things though when we use it to much, when it becomes the focus of our day, when there isn’t the same kind of fun to it, when we can no longer take it or leave it, it becomes a problem. When we are eating significantly more than we need and not burning off those excess calories we are more than likely going to put on weight, and this can have implications for our health and wellbeing. This blog considers three ideas for addressing struggles you might be having with food and your weight.
- Mindfulness – mindful eating is not a new idea. Mindfulness is about paying attention to what is happening in the here and now, being present and paying attention to what is happening. Mindful eating encourages you to slow down and pay attention to the food, where it comes from, what it tastes like. To pay attention to the signals of your body when you are hungry and when you are full. Many who have experienced issues with eating will recognise the feeling of mindless eating, eating something and not tasting it, chewing it or being aware of how your body feels in response. Mindful.org has an interesting blog called 6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating which can give you more ideas and tips.
- Develop a practice of Compassion – often when we are struggling to lose weight or eat in a healthier way, it will often only take one slip for us to decide to abandon our intentions and just think, “I’ve ruined it now I might as well just carry on eating whatever I want.” This thinking can then lead to long periods of self-sabotage, self-judgement and staying stuck. If we practice compassions with ourselves we will:
- Stop and acknowledge what has happened that we have eaten or done this or that, be aware of it.
- Consider how we are one of many struggling with food or our weight, we don’t need to look very far for others who are in the same boat.
- Ask ourselves what we need to do now, put it aside and carry on, call a friend, have a sleep, go for a walk to clear our heads, watch some tv. We ask ourselves what we can do to help ourselves feel better.
All of the above we need to do from a place of kindness. We need to talk to ourselves as we would a good friend. To read more ideas about self-compassion and how it can really benefit our emotional wellbeing please read our blog Self Compassion Fostering a Practice
- Drink more water – this is a common tip on many tip lists for loosing weight and practicing self care, but it is very important. When our brains our 75% water it is no wonder that when we don’t drink enough, we can feel fatigued and confused. Drinking enough is important for both our physical and mental health. Our blog on Keeping Hydrated for Better Mental Health explains more. When we are struggling with our food and wanting to eat, ensuring that we have drunk enough helps us not eat because we are tired or low, it also helps us to think more clearly and hopefully not get pulled into self-sabotage and self-judgement.
If you are looking to loose weight the NHS have 12 tips on losing weight that you might find interesting to look at. If you are struggling emotionally around loosing weight and eating you might want to talk to someone for more formal help. If you would like support and would like to make an appointment with Paul, please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.