If you have resolved to lose weight this year, the chances are that you have been looking at diet books and weight loss clubs and wondering what will keep you motivated and whether you can keep weight off in the long term. So many people lose weight on a diet only to put on more when they start to eat ‘normally’ again.
In a new book published this month*, Dr Deborah Cohen sets out two forces that are driving obesity in the modern world. One is the availability of cheap food, large portion sizes and food advertising. The second major force is our human nature, the fundamental limits to our self-control and the unconscious ways that we are hard-wired to eat.
Dr Cohen says, “Because our moods and desires change throughout the day, many people claim their weight problem is the result of emotional eating. They say they eat when they are stressed, lonely or anxious – whenever they are not at their best. Yet others claim they eat too much when they are happy’.
When I work with clients who want to lose weight we talk about establishing a different relationship to food. I always start by asking them to eat slowly so that they really notice what they are eating and can recognise the signal that their body has had sufficient and is satisfied. I also help them to discover techniques for recognising emotional hunger and dealing with it.
If you really want to lose weight in the long term you need to change your mind first. It is the only way to long-lasting change.
*’A Big Fat Crisis; The hidden forces behind the obesity epidemic and how we can end it. ‘ by Deborah A Cohen, MD., Nation Books, Jan 2014