One of the key causes of excessive eating is poor awareness of when one is one is actually hungry as opposed to simply being tempted or using food as an antidote to stress. Another problem is that, although it can be appropriate to eat a number of smaller meals rather than three large meals per day, those small meals have excessive carbohydrates. Students and knowledge workers use a great deal of blood sugar because the brain consumes it for thinking in surprising amounts. Thus, they must be careful to avoid snacking beyond their actual needs, and to avoid a blood sugar roller coaster that is caused by consuming refined sugars and starchy food. The current “diabesity” (diabetes and obesity) epidemic (also known as syndrome X) is directly related to over-consumption of refined carbohydrates through products such as soft drinks.
How do you know it is time to eat?
Determine how you know that it is time to eat. Carefully look for the rep systems and sub-modalities involved. Include your internal feelings, such as tension, mental fog, and irritability. Be sure to include the feelings of your stomach. What does “empty” really feel like?
What would be best to eat?
Ask your inner wisdom, What would feel better to have eaten? That is, What would make me feel good after I ate it, in the short-term? Consider various foods that are available to you right now, and imagine that you are finishing eating them. Notice your most subtle feelings. You can find a range of feelings such as healthy and balanced, bogged down and sleepy, and very satisfied, but in a gluttonous way. Keep trying different foods until you find at least one that makes you feel very balanced and healthy. Inspect the rep systems and sub-modalities that tell you it is an ideal food. How do you “know” that you feel balanced and healthy? If none of these do this for you, then consider additional foods that are not available right now.
Compare the before and after.
Compare this “ideal food” feeling with the feeling you had before you ate it, that is, the feeling that tells you it’s time to eat. Which one feels better? If the “before” feeling seems better, perhaps you should try out more imaginary foods to find something better. Or does it mean that you should simply wait longer before eating your ideal food?
Contrast with an unhealthy item.
Try comparing the “after” feeling with a not-so-healthy item, such as a candy bar. Carefully inspect the difference between these feelings. Go forward in time a few hours to see how the unhealthy item “after” feeling is. Go forward a few days and feel that result. How do these sensations compare to the feelings of step three?
Once you have found food choices that make you feel balanced and healthy, see how many more food items you can think of that provide healthy, balanced feelings. Imagine making those food choices into the future. Amplify the healthy, balanced feelings and imagine them growing over time as you make these food choices. Imagine yourself as a very spry, active, bright elderly person with those healthy, balanced feelings surrounded by young people who are eager to gain wisdom from you.
Over the coming days and weeks, notice how this technique influences your food choices. Sense how those choices make you feel. See how you can enhance this technique so that it works best for you as an individual, getting the best effect upon your food choices and resulting energy and mental clarity.
Making it less comfortable to reach the type of food you want to avoid craving for is one very easy task. Simply stop buying it! Skip it when you get to the candy section in the supermarket. Another well-known nutrition trick for sweet craving is fruit juices and smoothies. I don’t have enough space in this book to explain it thoroughly, so just give it a try and see how it works for you. Do not buy concentrated juices and always read the labels. Even when it says “100% juice,” it might say “from concentrated” in small print. Another tip that helps me a lot in the morning—for an energetic wake up drink one glass of fresh orange juice, the squeezed type of course. It’s a rush, I guarantee it. One last advice—do not give up or avoid the foods you really love. If Pizza is your favorite food, go for it once a week. If your mind knows that you aren’t going to become a health freak (which can be a health risk, itself), it will become more and more patient through the week and will let you lose the weight, knowing that once a week you’re going to enjoy your favorite indulgences. Of course, don’t go overboard here! But don’t make it a stressful change.