Carolyn Chaffey

Some call it binge eating, others call it compulsive eating, some call it emotional eating or food addiction. Whatever it is, I believe it is the single most common barrier to weight loss.

It is common knowledge that in order to lose weight you have to create a deficit of calories burned over calories eaten.

It is also common knowledge(and common sense) that you should create this deficit by eating high quality food and participating in activities that increase your energy output.

THAT is the secret of weight loss..all there is is right there.

So what is the barrier to weight loss? In my personal opinion it has to do with a distortion within our culture that has not created only an epidemic of obesity but even more serious, an epidemic of food disorders, or what I like to call disordered eating.

Much attention has been placed on anorexia and bulimia(as it should be) but the opposite is also disordered eating. I believe that most overweight and obese people have disordered eating as do many of the normal weighted people.

I believe THAT this is the problem.

What do I think caused this? I have come up with a list of contributing factors.

1. We were raised by children of, or children of the children of the depression. There was a shortage of food that scarred the psyche of an entire generation who became afraid of famine. Eat your dinner, clean your plate, starving children in China or Africa, look at how much your cousins eat. All of these message were instilled in us.

2. Our mother's attempts at dieting. We watched their disordered eating and absorbed their misplaced attempts to be slim.

3. The distortion of what is ideal beauty in our society...we all should be five foot ten with two silicone blobs on our chest weighing 102 lbs.

4. The diet industry. It is the single biggest contributor to the disordered eating we experience in our society.

5. The convenience industry. It has packed our food full of chemicals.

6. The junk food industry. It has labelled junk as food.

7. The combination of all of the above that imprinted false messages upon the collective psyche of the culture.

The cure? Reprogramming the messages.

Step one: No more dieting
Step two: No more dieting
Step three: No more dieting

Step four: Decide to do it.
Step five: Do not purchase anything from the diet industry again.
Step six : Throw out the do not have a weight problem, you have a eating problem.
Step seven: Do it.
Step eight: Do it.
Step nine: Do it.
Step ten: Keep doing it.

Tools: A note book and will need to get to know yourself, you will need to write some stuff down. This isn't a program, this is your are going to find out what you love so you can keep doing it and do more of it, and what you can easily let go of. This includes food.

Access to the Internet..assuming if you are reading this that you have that.
An account at on lifestyle change, not weight loss!

You can purchase some recommended readings..these are books and tools I found informative and helpful in my journey. They are not from the diet industry.

I recommend The Biology of Believe by Dr. Bruce Lipton to understand how the brain works.
I recommend hypnosis.

I recommend an iPod if you can afford it. You can download many things for free, audio books, all sorts of part of the change you will walk. A lot. And why not learn while you do that.

If you can't do not use that as an excuse not to do it. No more excuses

Hypnosis is a fantastic tool for rewiring the subconscious. I recommend Kym and Hypnotransformations. Go here!

I recommend Excuses Begone by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

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8 Responses
  1. Beth Says:

    I think all of your comments above are good, but IMO, some, if not most of compulsive eating is physiological, not psychological!

    David Kessler's The End of Overeating talks about the effect on the brain of the high fat, sugar, and salt of our processed food diets.

    Anyways, I agree with your tools, but also think that people should experiment with reducing industrial food (especially sugar and refined grains) and getting more whole foods!

  2. Breeze Says:

    Kessler's work is great however I don't believe they are mutually exclusive. I've known people who have worked hard to get themselves into peak physiological condition who have slipped back into old ways of eating, patterns of thinking and if it were simple physiology then that wouldn't happen. It is a combination of the physiological AND the psychological.

    If it were as simple as cutting it all out then once we cut it all out we'd never go back..but we do go back..because we are wired by the physchological messages we've been inundated with from all sides.

    Never underestimate the mind/body connection...decide and do...that's it.


  3. A very interesting post. I have eating disorders but have managed to knock them on the head! I used to binge eat but could only do it when I was alone. My husband made a joke out of it until I explained that in doing so he was compounding the problem. I asked him to ignore my issues and I will work them out, which I did.

    I believe that some foods are addictive. I have found that if I don't eat certain foods such as chocolate for a few days then I no longer crave them. I can't have just one chocolate from the box, I have to eat them all until I feel sick so these days I prefer to refrain!

    I keep a journal of what I eat each day and when I have a "bad" day I try to work out why and then resolve the issue.

  4. Hilary Says:

    Sound advice. Basically, all it comes down to is .. eat less and do more... and learning how to accomplish both. I suspect that last part can be quite different for everyone.

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