Emotional Eating – Is it all in your head?

Conquering the Battle with Emotions and Food?

By Maggie Wilde – The Potentialist

There are numerous reasons why many of us wish we could address the unhelpful eating habits including picking and snacking or eating our emotions.

Whether weight management is a priority for you in your decision to disconnect emotions and food or not, the majority of people will indeed reduce weight, when they first learn how to disconnect emotions and food.

Winning at breaking the habit of emotional eating is about learning the missing piece in the puzzle: the role of your brain in your food choices, absorption, intake and elimination.

Not simply the role of your brain however, but also the subconscious battle with triggers that cause us to overeat, under eat, succumb to sugar cravings, boredom snacking or the unsatisfied ‘’ache’’ of emptiness that we attempt to solve by opening and closing the fridge or pantry numerous times each evening. (Of course, we were positive that the solution is in there somewhere).

The success to rewiring your brain and overcoming comfort and stress eating and even boredom eating is founded on the principles of Neuro-plasticity: the science of changing the wiring in your brain. As a direct result of rewiring your brain for different habits, thoughts and emotional reactions, you can have a physiological influence on your body.

Winning the battle in your head with emotional connections to food and your body confidence is not about dieting or even willpower, it is not even about motivation or ‘positive psychology’. This battle is about how you can teach your brain to learn specific Neuro-chemical reactions to stimulate certain food choices, moods and motivation. It is also about teaching your brain how to assimilate food better, increase the metabolic rate and even reset your baseline weight. (The weight that your body is most comfortable at, meaning that you actually feel comfortable in your own skin at last).

Nerve Cell AxonYour brain is your control centre

Your brain is like the cockpit of an airplane. You can steer and direct your brain’s influence and impact on your body by sitting in the pilot’s seat. Just like an airplane, your brain too has an ‘automatic pilot’.

When your brain’s auto-pilot has been programmed well for slim and healthy outcomes, the brain and body work together to achieve this. If your brain has been programmed with an auto-pilot that, for whatever reason, attaches food and emotions, stress, boredom, fear, loneliness, reward or punishment with food, then your brain does not judge that programming, it simply runs it on auto-pilot, just like a broken record.

No matter how hard you try to change your patterns, when one of these emotional stressors occurs the old auto-pilot program kicks in and until you update the auto-pilot, that response will be stimulated, no matter how much willpower you use. If you’ve relied upon willpower so far to achieve your health and weight goals, then until the auto-pilot program has been updated to a healthier one, then the old unhelpful program continues to fire on all cylinders, no matter how frustrated you are about it.

If your brain is the control center, then your body simply follows its instructions. Your body and your actions respond to your brain’s chemical releases. These releases stimulate certain moods, cravings, thoughts, desires, sensations and signals.

It doesn’t matter if you have a fast or slow metabolism, a genetic predisposition to weight gain or a stressful life that lends itself to weight gain due to the cortisol stress response or lack of sleep. It actually doesn’t matter if you have no idea why you gained and lost weight repeatedly or always had a propensity to use chocolate or even bread or alcohol to feel better. What matters is rewiring your brain for better outcomes and choices, which addresses the underlying source of the issue (your brain’s wiring) and provides you with a mind plan not a food diet.

Rewiring your ‘auto-pilot’ to overcome unhelpful eating patterns is about feeding your spirit, not your emotions. It’s about allowing not denying, it’s about acceptance not resistance, it’s about choice power not willpower.


Unleash Your Potential

Maggie Wilde – The Potentialist