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How to Stop Binge Eating and Food Addiction: The Mind-Behavior Connection

http://www.bingeeatingbreakthrough.com ← Click here for a FREE 3-part course to discover how to stop food addiction and binge eating.

If I asked you to list the most important events that have shaped your life and your relationship with food, how would you respond?

Have you ever looked at what led you to your current state of relationship with food? Do you feel you’d like to change some things, but can’t ever seem to make a new habit stick? Or maybe it seems like you can’t resist certain foods, no matter how hard you try. Or perhaps you’ve always felt frustrated with eating and don’t remember what it was like not to be.

Yet you got to where you are now somehow.

If you were asked what events shaped your relationship with food and you HAD to answer, what would you say? This presentation explores the way we craft our "food story" and beliefs about our relationship with food. It includes experiments and guidance for shaping your beliefs and behaviors if you feel stuck.


If this strikes a nerve, check out http://www.bingeeatingbreakthrough.com to find further tips and resources on how to stop binge eating.

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How to Stop Binge Eating and Food Addiction: The Mind-Behavior Connection

  1. 1. HOW TO STOP BINGE EATING FOOD ADDICTION AND
  2. 2. CHELSEA Lover of chocolate pudding, neuroscience and psychology geek, author of Binge Ea)ng Breakthrough “Un$l I studied the brain, I took my thoughts as reality. If my brain was calling me to cave in and eat temp$ng binge foods, I assumed I couldn’t resist it. It sounds ridiculous to me now, but I truly believed, for the longest $me, that my binge ea$ng was inevitable, handed down from above, totally out of my control.” – Binge Ea>ng Breakthrough eBook, p.17
  3. 3. THE CRITICAL POINTS re-­‐wri&ng your food story If I asked you to list the most important events that have shaped your life and your rela5onship with food, how would you respond? Have you ever looked at what led you to your current state of rela5onship with food? Do you feel you’d like to change some things, but can’t ever seem to make a new habit s5ck? Or maybe it seems like you can’t resist certain foods, no ma@er how hard you try. Or perhaps you’ve always felt frustrated with ea5ng and don’t remember what it was like not to be. Yet you got to where you are now somehow. If you were asked what events shaped your rela5onship with food and you HAD to answer, what would you say?
  4. 4. Was it when your dad made a comment about the 4th helping of dessert you had when you were 4 years old? Was it one of the class clowns in 4th grade, leaning back in his chair during class and calling you “fa9y”? (This was one of my mine.) Was it month aAer month of rigorous college classes, or the arrival of a new baby with a demanding schedule, (leaving no Cme to prepare food or work out)? Is it frequent travel with irregular sleeping pa9erns and airport food that makes it hard to eat healthy on the road...leaving you starved when you make it to your desCnaCon? Was it moving to a new area, ge=ng out of your rou&nes and losing your surrounding social network? “Where are you putting all that food? You eat like a kid twice your size..” “I have no time to sleep, much less make a salad or get in a workout...” “My choices are fast food, nut mixes or candy. I have to catch my plane, I need something...ok, chocolate bar it is!” “I don’t really know anyone in this new town. It’s easier to stay in and enjoy ice cream on the couch.” “Haha, look at you, Fatty!”
  5. 5. These events add up. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, your brain has cra@ed a story about you and food. Right or wrong, it doesn’t maCer. You have a story about who you are in rela&on to food and ea&ng, and it’s a story you probably have never ques&oned before. Because you are so used to this story, it’s built into a belief that has shaped your life and feels like reality. Even if you are aware of this, it can sCll be really hard to spot what’s your story (also called your beliefs) verses what is reality.
  6. 6. 2 INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT OUR BELIEFS no&cing the small details Interesting Thing #1. Our beliefs, or our stories, about who we are and why we relate to food the way we do seem 100% real. It’s also very difficult to dis5nguish what’s actually true and what’s a belief without having someone look at your story with you. Interesting Thing #2 By nature, we are designed to delete details in order to focus fully in the moment on what will keep us safe. If we actually were focusing on everything around us in the moment (the sounds outside, the blood pumping through our ears, our heartbeat, the itch on our toe, the chilly breeze, the homeless guy on the street, etc.), we’d hit overload quickly. We’d be way less effecCve. So, our brains tune into the few details we need in order to funcCon and reach our goals moment by moment. However, this means that many of our memories or accounts of events in our life recall only a few small details and leave out all the rest. Over Cme, our memories leave out more and more details. we’re deletion machines What’s Really Real?
  7. 7. YOUR FEELINGS Your beliefs directly affect your feelings. If you believe something is “bad,” you’ll feel nega$vely towards it. If you believe something is “good,” you’ll feel posi$ve. The belief is the origin of the feeling. The way you feel about food is coming from the belief(s) you have about it. YOUR THOUGHTS Your beliefs influence the thoughts running through your mind every day. It’s been said that 95% of the thoughts we have are not original-­‐-­‐-­‐they’re the repeated thoughts we have every day. Our thoughts are derived from the beliefs we have. If we believe something is bad, we think nega$ve thoughts about it. If we believe something is awesome, we think posi$ve thoughts. YOUR BEHAVIORS Your behaviors are the result of your beliefs + your feelings. Because you believe something, you feel a certain way about it. Your behaviors are the result of the way you feel and what you believe. YOUR BELIEFS
  8. 8. The Magic Equa4on BELIEFS THOUGHTS + FEELINGS = BEHAVIOR
  9. 9. BELIEFS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY Beliefs are a func$on of our brain designed to keep us safe and navigate the world. For example, because you believe the sun will rise and you’ll be alive tomorrow, you plan accordingly. Because you believe you have civic rights in your country, you react if those are threatened. Because they’re so deeply ingrained, we don’t think twice about them. But some beliefs can become a hinderance when they stop you from taking ac$on towards your goals. Or if they s$fle you when you wish you could be more expressed. Or they limit you when you have the poten$al for something greater.
  10. 10. So...what’s this have to do with eaCng? There’s a VERY good chance that the perspec&ve you have about yourself in an area of your life where you feel stuck-­‐-­‐-­‐for example, with food-­‐-­‐-­‐ isn’t actually true. It’s a belief. Or, in other words, a “story” you have about yourself. Your story can be empowering or disempowering. If it’s disempowering, it’s coming from a limi2ng belief you have about yourself. Your story is YOURS-­‐-­‐-­‐meaning, you can shape your story however you choose to....whenever you want to. You can shape your story however you choose to....whenever you want to.
  11. 11. EXAMPLES OF LIMITING BELIEFS AROUND FOOD I have no control. I always give in. I always eat too much. I can’t be around sweets without losing it. I crave bread. I hate exercise. I don’t like vegetables. I can’t sNck to a diet. I never succeed. No one else baOles with this like I do. I will never be “normal” with food. I’m a loser. I’m weak. I will never get it right. I will always have to diet. I can’t stop binging. I can’t stop craving sugar. I’m a mess.
  12. 12. Think about a person you know that has your “ideal” relaConship with food. It could be a friend, rela$ve or celebrity. Someone that seems to enjoy or feel at ease with food and their body the way you would like to. What kind of “story” or beliefs do you imagine this person has about eaCng? What do they probably believe about themselves and food? Or general wellness? Or physical fitness?
  13. 13. FINDING A MODEL Think of another person that has your ideal behavior with food. How do you imagine they feel about ea5ng? How do they behave in situa5ons with food where you might otherwise feel overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious? What beliefs does this person probably have that makes them feel that way? What beliefs do they have that make them behave that way?
  14. 14. THE MODELING EXPERIMENTS Experiment A. Find a restaurant that aCracts people that appear to eat in a manner you would like to emulate. For example, maybe there’s a new smoothie bar that serves green smoothies, and you see healthy, happy-­‐looking people going there. Or an authen&c family-­‐owned Italian restaurant where the Italian women enjoy bread and pasta and look fit and trim. Go to the restaurant to have a meal while you casually observe the people around you. Make up stories about them and their beliefs about food. How could you adjust your own story to create similar behaviors? Experiment B. Before ea&ng, take a moment to think about a person who seems to have a great rela&onship with food. Close your eyes and imagine what they think about when they sit down to eat. How do they decide what to eat or how much to eat? How do they probably feel when they’re ea&ng? Step into their shoes and imagine yourself ea&ng as they would. Then open your eyes and prac&ce.
  15. 15. Changing your limi2ng beliefs doesn’t happen overnight. But one way to get leverage is to experiment with different beliefs or approaches to ea&ng. When you do, it’s easier to see where you want to make changes.
  16. 16. = BEHAVIOR BELIEFS THOUGHTS + FEELINGS There’s another way to shiL your beliefs. Because we’ve learned that beliefs > thoughts + feelings = behavior...so it goes that behavior + feelings + thoughts can be used to shape beliefs. BEHAVIOR + THOUGHTS + FEELINGS BELIEFS
  17. 17. To shi@ a long-­‐held limi&ng belief, become conscious of your thoughts and feelings about the situa&on. How can you change your thoughts and feelings? What would you have to believe in order to do so? How would you behave differently with those new thoughts and feelings?
  18. 18. For example, let’s say you normally feel bored, lonely or stressed at the end of the day and tend to eat more at that &me. You’re not sure what the belief is behind it, but no maCer what you try, you always fall back into the habit. Try no&cing the thoughts and feelings you have at this &me in the evenings. Experiment with changing your feelings and thoughts by doing a new behavior in the evenings. Go for a walk, call a friend, go to a movie, take a class, visit an old friend for instance. The shi@ in behavior will cause new feelings and thoughts, and both will shape the beliefs you have about yourself.
  19. 19. BREAKTHROUGH BINGE EATING Devouring Life With Delight www.BingeEa&ngBreakthrough.com

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