Today we are going to explore a little weight loss psychology and how it relates to our biochemistry.
Self reflection is a useful practice to learn to understand your habits, and upgrade them when needed, to healthier, health affirming habits.
I hope you enjoy some enlightening reflections.
Which Eating Type are YOU?
You may find that you are a bit of all of them, or do some sometimes, or maybe you are strongly in one category. Understanding our habits can help us understand underlying imbalances and create strategies to divert bad habits for healthier ones.
Probably the biggest stumbling block of people struggling with weight loss. Emotional eating is defined as the “propensity to eat in response to positive and negative emotions”.
You mindlessly snack on anything at hand when busy doing a task. Often people struggle with workplace ‘snacks’ such as processed biscuits, bakery items, lollies and other unhealthy options.
Most of us are guilty of this! If you are trying to lose weight, you can over do your calories in a flash if you snack whilst watching TV. Even heathy snacks such as nuts can be quickly overindulged due to the mindless nature of this eating – you are, after all, focused on the TV, not your food!
You can’t say no to any food on offer, happily eating any ‘shared’ foods, eating whatever is in the cupboard, and love all-you-can-eat buffets. You probably do ok when temptation is not there – but if it is in the pantry, it is a given that it will be eaten!
Eating whilst driving
You simply love to eat when you drive. Not only is this potentially dangerous, you are in a flight/fright/freeze mode when driving, so food will not digest well. Sluggish digestion is counterproductive to weight loss.
You are the house cook, you love cooking, tasting dishes every step of the way. You eat the cookie dough off the mixer blades, you like to share meals when out so you can experience everyone’s plate, and you may be known for stealing food off people plates as well.
The Stress Eater
You can go long periods of time with no food, then get ravenous and eat whatever is quick and easy. You eat to give your body energy, rather than for pleasure, and it is an inconvenience. You would be happy to have someone else cook all your meals so you didn’t have to think about it.
The Social Eater
Every gathering revolves around the food. Food brings family together! No matter what time of day you get guests, you must have a plate of food to feed them. You tend say things like “eat up you are too thin!” and love indulging people with naughty foods. You can’t fathom a social event without food – it just seems wrong.
>>> There are more clinical pictures of eating behaviors which I have not mentioned, as they are more in the realm of eating disorders and outside the scope of this email. If you suffer with a more serious eating behaviour, please consult with your doctor for guidance and support.
Biochemical reasons and answers
These eating behaviours, when continued for too long, lead to a number of imbalances – or suggest an imbalance. This is where a functional approach to weight loss can win big!
This is a severe nutrient deficiency where your cells are not getting the nourishment they need. It results in an unfulfillable hunger, low moods, blood sugar imbalances and weight gain. Nutrition affects everything!!! This condition is usually deeply set in, with the cement being chronic inflammation, digestive insufficiency and slow metabolism.
Thorough functional pathology is needed in order to discover the true depth of the deficiency and which nutrients are the concern.
Nutrients that directly affect weight when too low: zinc, vitamins K, D, E, A, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, H plus a host of essential amino acids.
Dopamine is our ‘reward’ chemical. We get a surge of this when we complete a task, do well at something, or … eat food. Many people rely on eating food when their dopamine is low to feel some satisfaction in their life, but it is masking a deeper issue, and leads to weight gain.
An added complication of the dopamine seeker, is that sugary foods give a BIG dopamine surge, whereas a healthy salad doesn’t. It’s very easy for unhealthy habits to form.
A new solution? Correct the low dopamine! Low dopamine is caused by a nutrient deficiency, generally experienced after periods of stress, pregnancies, and big life events.
The most powerful thing you can do for your health is to eat mindfully. This means putting your focus on your food. Look at it, smell it, taste it, chew it. Simply bringing your full awareness to your food helps your brain register when you are full, aids much better digestion, improves food transit time through the gut, and most importantly, puts your nervous system into the para-sympathetic mode. The para-sympathetic system controls homeostasis and the body’s rest-and-digest response. We definitely want that switched ON when we are eating 🙂
If you struggle with any of these points, you could very well have a biochemical imbalance that is either driving your unhealthy eating behaviours, or making it impossible for you to effectively change the habit. Contact us, get some thorough, sensitive pathology done, and get started on a truly integrated approach to weight loss.