Taming the See Food Eat Food ... happens when you're just minding your business and suddenly someone walks by with a ... looking cake, muffins, or some other goodie you weren't expectin
Taming the See Food Eat Food Response
What happens when you're just minding your business and suddenly someone walks by with a delicious looking cake, muffins, or some other goodie you weren't expecting. You weren't hungry a minute ago but now you are suddenly ravenous. So you jump up and rush to get yours before it's all gone. After you get back to your desk and a few minutes go by, what happens? You suddenly realize you want more. Your stomach may be growling in fact. You can still see those muffins in your mind's eye. You want them. A few minutes pass while you debate, "I want another, No, I shouldn't, but, I really want one, they sure tasted good. If I don't hurry they might all be gone, what about your diet, who cares? I'm getting one," and off you go.
Frustrating, isn't it? All you need is a plan for when the unexpected food suddenly drives you to eat. It's not like this isn't going to happen time and again, so having a way to deal with it, in that moment, is better than simply being swept up in the wave of wanting. The old pattern of see food, want food, eat food, get angry about eating food, eat more to get over feeling angry, get angrier, give up, eat more. This cycle generally ends when you either pass out or the food is gone. It doesn't have to be this way.
TV commercials also induce this see food, want food response, which is why so many people overeat in the evening while watching their favorite shows.
Try this new approach using a technique caled EFT. It's effective in that it forestalls the immediate pattern of jumping up and rushing to get a treat, and gives you a moment or two to think about what's happening. Realizing you want a treat is fine, and deciding to have a treat is fine too, but simply eating out of a primal see food/eat food response is not okay. You can move past that immediate driven response to food cues by using this approach.
Step 1: The Desire to Eat Unexpected Food
Do a round of EFT the first moment you suddenly are struck by a desire to eat (when you weren't hungry or thinking of food a moment before):
"Even though seeing those muffins made me hungry, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I'm suddenly starving, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I want some cake (or whatever it is), I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I know once I start, I'll never stop eating all day, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I'll wreck my diet today, I deeply and completely accept myself."
Now, these statements make not appear to make much sense, but if you've used EFT in the past, you'd know that a quick round of EFT on whatever it is that's first and foremost in your mind (the thing you want, despite that you wish you did not), is what you want to address. That's how EFT works. I don't know anything about my car's engine, but I can drive. You don't have to understand every nuance of EFT or why it works to use it. Just do use it. (For info on learning EFT see resource box).
Step 2: Spending Your Calories Wisely
First check out the offerings by looking them over. Food, especially unexpected food, has to qualify before I'd even consider eating some. For me a food qualifies as special by how it looks, it's texture, taste, and whether it truly is "special." Does it appear good enough to spend my day's calories on? I do pay attention, and I know I have a certain amount of calories on any given day and I don't want to waste them. If the food is ordinary (something I could buy myself any day of the week), then more often than not I'll choose to pass, saving my calorie expenditure on something I deem more worthy.
I think to myself, "I'd rather have cheesecake," which means I decide whether I want this food, or whether I'd rather go get something better later. I can always stop by the bakery on my way home. There are other things I like better which I could have instead. Think of your own favorite treat and use that when confronted with unexpected food that you may want, but it's not fabulous, just ordinary.
By ordinary I mean doughnuts bought at the supermarket that are nothing special, or a bakery cake with icing you don't like. I don't like typical bakery shortening icing and always scrape it off because the cake's still okay. Don't eat parts of the food you don't even like. Chips, pretzels, cookies, etc. Are they home made or store bought. You can buy the store bought brands any day, they aren't special at all. Take a pass. Save your calories for something really special. I'd rather skip the morning treats and have a piece or two of excellent chocolate tonight.
If you take a bite and find the food is not as good as you expected, you don't have to eat it. "Really? I don't have to eat it?" That's right, you can choose to not eat. There is simply no way I'm wasting calories on food I don't even like. No one is going to notice you aren't eating. Talk to those around you. Laugh, enjoy yourself. Set the plate down, walk away. No one will even notice. If someone says, "Aren't you going to eat that?," you can say, "In a minute," and go on chattering. They'll forget all about it. Their only making conversation, they really don't care whether you eat, believe me.
If the idea of leaving food or throwing food away is more than you can tolerate, use EFT on that issue too:
"Even though I can't stand to throw away food ..."
"Even though I hate wasting food ..."
"Even though there is no way I can throw away perfectly good food ..."
"Even though my mother said you should never waste food ..."
Being unable to "waste" food is usually a holdover from childhood. You can outgrow childhood conditioning, if you want to. If you hold on to those beliefs, fine. There are no rules here. Just go with whatever comes up, using EFT on anything and everything, and you'll be amazed at the difference it can make.
Step 3: Ending Food Cravings Even When You Don't Want To
Do a round of EFT on the desire to eat anyway. If you think you don't really want the food, but yet you do. In other words, you can't decide not to eat it, or you're deciding not to do the EFT because you want to eat it anyway, then do the EFT first, have the food second. You'll still get to eat the goodies. No one is taking anything away from you.
You may still want the food but find your desire has lessened. You'll want it because you're hungry for it, or you'll want to take some and save it for later when you are hungrier. You can always save some for later. There is no food police to take it away if you don't eat it right now. Nobody is going to scold you for not finishing your food. Maybe when you were 6-year sold, but not now.
If any memories pop up about eating, leaving food, your mother telling you what you should or should not do, wasting food, or about getting enough to eat, use EFT on those too. That's the best way to use EFT, just go with the flow of your thoughts, ideas, memories. You'll get where you want to go without needing to know the details in advance. Just use EFT on whatever thoughts pop up, and slowly those emotional issues and faulty beliefs will melt away like light snowfall in the afternoon sun.
If you take these three steps and still want to eat, go ahead and eat. You'll feel okay about what you're eating, and that's the point. Doing what is best for you in the moment is what really taking care of yourself is all about.
~~ Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, author of the free e-book: Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss, and owner of OneMoreBite-Weightloss.com Get The Daily Bites: Inspirational Mini Lessons Using EFT and NLP for Ending the Struggle with Weight Loss.