A while back, a colleague asked me to review an hypnotic weight-loss CD she had just made.  Interestingly, being overweight was never a problem for her – she did say, “I lost 3 pounds once” – and her script showed it.  That’s because she kept referring to ‘hunger’ with suggestions that started like, “When you’re feeling hungry”, “When hunger occurs”, statements like that.

What she didn’t realize, and didn’t seem to be able to hear, was that over-eating is rarely about hunger.  The triggers that turn on the compulsive eating switch are far too vast and complex to simply be about the ‘feeling’ of hunger.

So, what are the feeling triggers?

In learning to regulate your eating, its a good idea to become the ‘watcher’ of your thoughts, feelings and body sensations.  By doing this, you begin to increase your level of awareness of what is happening in the physical realm and get on track with regulating eating effectively.

Some triggers to look for and become aware of are:

  • Feeling ’empty’
  • Feeling a sense that something is missing or wrong
  • The urge or impulse:
    • To go ‘look in’ the frig or pantry
    • For something salty, sweet, greasy, chewy  
    • Of the feet or whole body wanting to move
  • Eating food that triggers more eating
  • Seeing food or a picture of it

Notice that the ‘urge’, ‘impulse’, or ‘feeling’ comes prior to the thought, even though, at first it seems the other way around.

Then ask, what do they actually feel like?

  • Butterflies
  • Bubbles
  • Fear sensations
  • Lonely
  • Lacking

And where do those sensations appear in your body?

  • Above the diaphragm?
    • chest
    • heart
  • Below the diaphragm?
    • stomach
    • 2nd chakra

Check out your internal experience.  Both when you’re eating and not eating.  Notice what draws you to calmness, and what leads to over-eating.  What happens when you stop indulging? 

Feel free to share.  What have I missed?  There is an ocean of feelings and body sensations, so there must be more.  What do you find?

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