The Driving Force Behind Your Unwanted Behavior

I get all kinds of people calling me and asking for help to lose weight and get them back on track with their health and fitness. It's what I do, so it's not uncommon to have people seek advice and information from me. I'm used to it. One of the questions I hear the most is "why do I continue to behave this way, when I know it's hurting me?" Emotions are a driving force behind unintentional unhealthy behaviors, especially behaviors involving eating.

Usually, people who are overweight, and are trying to lose weight, eat in response to emotions and not hunger. This is probably one of the main reasons people are overweight. Eating in response to emotion, rather than real physical hunger. When you eat in response to real physical hunger, after a certain amount of food, you will eventually feel full. And when you feel full, you will stop eating. That is a natural ability in almost all of us. Check out a new arrival to this world, if you're unsure that this is so. Newborns stop eating when they have had enough. They naturally eat what they need, and do not overeat.

How Do We Get Into This Overeating Pattern?

So if that is the case, what happens to get us into this overeating pattern? One of the main reasons we tend to overeat, is that we learned a way to feel better with food. We found out that if we just eat some food, we can stop whatever uncomfortable feeling we are feeling in that moment. This happens innocently enough. When we are born, we have very limited ways of communicating. Basically we cry when we want some kind of attention. So we cry, and mom checks us out to see what we want. She'll check to see if our diaper needs to be changed, she'll check to see if we want to be held and comforted, and she'll check to see if we need to be fed. If we need to be fed, we are usually comforted at the same time. So food and the comfort response are connected from the very beginning.

Later we'll have other food-comfort connections made. Doctor visits, which can be painful (think vaccinations and needles), usually end up with lollipops when we are crying in response to any pain inflicted by the doctors or rough handling by the staff, and separation from the parents. Again food-comfort connection is being solidified.

How Is The Overweight Adult Affected?

So how does this affect us as adults? Well the food-comfort connection is already established. We know in our subconscious that one of the ways we can feel good is by eating. So what happens when we feel bad? We seek out a way to comfort ourselves. Nobody wants to go around feeling bad all the time. So emotional eating is a way that the subconscious allows us to feel good. The subconscious does not analyze things, it does not make judgments, and it does not understand time. Everything is in the present to the subconscious. But it knows, for sure, a way to feel better, and that is to eat, since food is linked to comfort. The subconscious isn't concerned with what the long term affects are of that behavior, because time is not of importance to the subconscious. It is only concerned with the "now", and it is satisfying a "now" problem by eating and feeling better now!

What Can You Do About This Silly And Dangerous Response?

The first thing you need to do is to recognize when you are physically hungry and when you are just emotional eating. One way you can do this is to keep a journal and each time you eat something, make a note of the time, place, and what was going on at the time. Are you eating appropriately? Are you feeling an emotion? Can you identify that emotion? Start to ask yourself some important questions about your behavior.

This is a good start to making changes. Using self-hypnosis techniques can speed up the process of any kind of change. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable professional hypnotist can uncover and neutralize the offending emotion, and then you can work to create new conditioned responses. When healthier habits are created, your life gets back on track.

Author's Bio: 

Marc Carlin,
known worldwide as "The NYC Hypnotist" has an office in Manhattan, NY where he focuses on helping people get rid of the emotional eating response, allowing them to lose weight, by using his unique hypnotic protocols. You can get further information about emotional eating and how hypnosis can help you, along with a free self-hypnosis course by going to
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